Whether he'll ever get his absolute props is irrelevant but Ty Dolla $ign is an incredibly consistent artist. Though it can be argued that he's done little to push the envelope or develop artistically across his catalog, he stays in his lane pushes the luxury whip of his choosing well past the speed limit. His latest offering, Beach House 3, which serves as his official sophomore LP, is a lot of what fans love about Ty -- great features and production -- with a sprinkle of extra depth that his projects post Free TC never embraced.
Tyrone Griffin's second album is truly his fourth Beach House release. The first two volumes were 2012-2013 mixtapes. Beach House EP, Griffin's debut for major-label Atlantic, materialized in 2014 and affirmed with two Top Ten R&B/hip-hop hits that the serial collaborator could headline. Beach House III, the proper follow-up to Free TC, trails other intermediary releases and some of Griffin's biggest hits as a featured artist, such as Fifth Harmony's "Work from Home" and Jason Derulo's "Swalla" (the latter the first charting single to share its title with a punk drummer's surname since Kasey Musgraves' "Biscuits").
Ty Dolla $ign's Beach House 3 opens with "Famous," an acoustic number that mulls over people's desires to see their names spelled out in capital letters on Sunset Strip marquees, to watch their likenesses pop up two-dimensionally on flatscreen TVs. "They wanna sign autographs," he sings slyly. You know: "All the important things." It's a curious meditation for Ty--a man whose career can be measured by its proximity to serious stardom, but has lacked the type of massive breakout he has sometimes helped to orchestrate for others.
New Musical Express (NME) - 60 Based on rating 3/5
Ty Dolla $ign has a reputation: he's the ace writer and producer (credits include a co-write on Rihanna, Kanye and Paul McCartney's 'FourFiveSeconds') whose own output - crisp hip-hop with a pop gloss - is fantastically filthy in its preoccupation with sex and promiscuity. The 'Beach House' franchise started with a well-received 2012 mixtape and the 32-year-old reckons that this second sequel (there was also 2014's standalone spin-off 'Beach House EP') is more mature and, naturally, "way better" than its predecessors. The album opens with a curveball.
T y Dolla $ign is the rapping, singing, gun-for-hire whose numerous features have included everything from cheeky metaphors on Fifth Harmony's Work from Home, to scintillating emptiness on Vince Staples' Rain Come Down. But his second album is a narrow, unimaginative collection. The tender minor keys of standouts Lil Favourite and Don't Judge Me give them some pretty melancholy, but the hazy interludes and acoustic moments approximate Frank Ocean with none of the poetic vision.