Release Date: Feb 21, 2012
Record label: Republic
Genre(s): Rap, Pop-Rap
That Tyga ranks as the fourth-best rapper on Lil Wayne's label is hardly a sign of weakness. The 22-year-old's first LP for Young Money lays bare its Top 40 aspirations with misty-eyed R&B ("Far Away") and clings mostly to an everyman rags-to-riches narrative; it also keeps a shrewd eye on the club with the dank champagne-room bounce of "Faded" and Top 10 hit "Rack City." Tyga's strength isn't in introspection, but curation. Pharrell Williams, Wale, Nas and J.
Tyga :: Careless World: Rise of the Last KingYoung Money/Cash Money RecordsAuthor: Steve 'Flash' JuonThe young Michael Ray Nguyen-Stevenson b/k/a Tyga got his jump-off in the rap game thanks to his cousin Travie McCoy of Gym Class Heroes fame. In turn GCH had their career launched into the stratosphere thanks to Pete Wentz of emo/punk/pop rock band Fall Out Boy, who signed the fledgling rap group and put out their "As Cruel as School Children" CD. Even if you don't know that album you know the smash hit "Cupid's Chokehold" that came from it - you know, the "Take a look at my girlfriend - she's the only one I got" song.
Benefitting fully from the creative renaissance the street-born Cash Money label experienced after the first Tha Carter, Careless World: Rise of the Last King is a glittery teenage dream that can slice off a little of the Lil B demographic while still being completely sellable to radio thanks to its Drake-level polish and its Watch the Throne-sized ego. That's a lot to pull off, but the aptly titled album does it, and effortlessly, although with names like Pharrell, Tha Bizness, and Cool & Dre behind the boards, the 22-year-old Tyga's got a better shot than most. He won't be mistaken for Kanye, Jay-Z, or his label boss Weezy, but while borrowing some of that Pilot Talk dreaminess from Currensy (the boast and float "I'm Gone") and allowing T-Pain, Robin Thicke, and J.
For someone to appreciate Tyga’s sophomore effort Careless World: Rise of the Last King, they must first admire the Compton rapper’s unyielding patience for the albums’ release. As would be predicted, Careless World encountered its share of delays, a common corollary for today’s emcee. Despite being a member of Young Money first, one setback he may not have envisioned was the immediate prosperity achieved by label mates Drake and Nicki Minaj, which subsequently pushed back his chance for big time exposure.
Until recently, there wasn't much reason to care about Tyga. The 22-year-old Compton-born MC's biggest claim to fame was that his cousin is that guy Travie McCoy from the emo-rap band Gym Class Heroes. His 2008 debut album, No Introduction, was executive produced by Pete Wentz of Fall Out Boy and was a weird, mall-punk take on Black Eyed Peas-ian hip-hop.
Rack City, the first single from Tyga's sophomore record, unexpectedly ruled much of late 2011. An ode to "throwing hunnids, hunnids," with a bestial bass line and clappy vigour, Rack City is a worthy addition to the canon of austerely produced rap anthems like MIMS' This Is Why I'm Hot or Wait, by the Ying Yang Twins. But Careless World isn't just Rack City plus 20 filler songs, thanks in large part to a phenomenal production team that included Pharrell Williams, Torontonians Noah "40" Shebib, Boi-1da and Arthur McArthur, and UK garage-indebted pop auteur Jess Jackson, plus decent guest appearances by Nicki Minaj, Busta Rhymes, J.
For those whose exposure to Tyga has mostly been limited to his outrageous duo of would-be summer dominating west coast singles, “Rack City” and “Bitches Ain’t Shit” (the latter of which is curiously absent here), it’s possible to not approach Careless World totally intimidated. But for those who’ve been aware of Tyga since his appearances on MTV2 with a co-sign from Fall Out Boy and Gym Class Heroes (their lead singer/rapper is his cousin) telling us about his appreciation of “Coconut Juice”, The Last King is understandably ogreish. Clocking 18 tracks minus the skits – including a seven-and-a-half minute screed titled “Love Game” complete with three minute dubstep outro – and as ominous a subtitle as Rise of the Last King, on paper this album seems like one of Young Money’s more audacious offerings.
Tyga positions his Careless World: Rise of the Last King to play out like an epic movie—or at least a cohesive story—with his opening track, “Careless World.” He speaks, rather than raps, to kick off the album: “I awoke from a dream, filled in a world full of greed and hate. The world was my thoughts and surroundings. I realized I needed to rise, and become king of my own destiny.” In order to do that on his Young Money debut, Tyga’s approach is three-fold: there are moments when he dreams of being the greatest (“King & Queens”), gets emotional about his girl and reflects on his past (“Far Away,” “Love Game”), and lets loose for a good time (“Rack City”).
GRIMES “Visions” (4AD) “Visions,” the third solo album by the Montreal musician Claire Boucher, who records as Grimes, starts out at full speed. Its opening track, “Infinite Love Without Fulfillment,” gallops hard, a collision of art-rock and electro-pop, all in service of Ms. Boucher’s blithe coos. Grimes has only been releasing music for two years but has already established a signature approach.