No ear could escape the voracious and aggressive “rack city chick rack rack city chick” coming from mouths of teenage girls in the suburbs to gangsters on the street all the way to hipster writers of West Chelsea.
The radio version, lasting a little over two minutes, became the anthem of the year; don’t forget the infamous YouTube video of the dancing grandma to boot.
With all the hype that “Rack City” attained, many hip-hop fans wonder if Tyga can compete with his many successful label mates of YMCMB, including Drake and Lil Wayne.
“Careless World: Rise of the Last King” was released on Feb. 20, and with a title like that Tyga has a lot to prove. The question is, is he worthy of the crown?
It starts off with “Careless World,” a song that created controversy with its supposed unauthorized sampling of a Martin Luther King speech. Many of the albums released to stores were without the sample, which may have been for the best, since honestly the song doesn’t do it any justice.
The listener can tell that Tyga is trying to make a “rags to riches” story sound interesting; unfortunately, he misses the mark on that one.
It isn’t until track six that things begin to pick up. “I’m Gone,” featuring Big Sean, is less trying to be profound and more just having fun. It has a great sound to it, simple but reverberating, especially since the drum is paired with distant Drake cooing in the background.
Most listeners will find that the simplest of songs are the ones that hold the most meaning, a perfect example being Drake’s “Crew Love.” Tyga appears to be emulating this simplicity while Big Sean always brings the party feel. The song fades out before Sean appears, keeping the song refreshing and moody.
It’s followed by “For the Fame,” a virtually useless song that doesn’t add anything to the album. Sure, it features Chris Brown, but it certainly isn’t his best effort.
Track nine, entitled “Potty Mouth,” has a Wolf Gang feel to it, complete with the eerie piano and demonic voices.
Busta Rhymes busts into the song with his usual aggressive and speedy flow, adding an element of rawness to the track.
“Faded” comes up next, a song already blowing up Hot 97 and Power 105.1 during the weekend mixes. It features Lil Wayne and is a natural club banger.
The infamous “Rack City” is next, though the album version is much longer for no apparent reason.
The beat, again simple, is one of the best of 2011, and pairing it with a catchy chorus presumably speaking about strippers and Tyga’s egotistical rhymes makes the perfect club song.
“Black Crowns” brings the listener back to the serious and heartfelt. A song about struggle and defeating your enemies, “Black Crowns” hits a nerve, especially ending with a lengthy phone message from what could only be a proud mother.
He stays on this emotional kick with “Far Away,” a song about lost love that every type of music fan can appreciate. Featuring Chris Richardson’s smooth vocals, it is the perfect song to reminisce to.
“This is Like” features Robin Thicke’s signature angelic whispers on a beautiful ride through a town at night. “Kings and Queens” features two big names in the rap game, one from the past the other from the present. Both Nas and Wale do their thing on the track, almost making Tyga’s part seem obsolete.
Nas sneaks in with “You’re in the presence of a majestic, esoteric/Message from the most ghettoest king, worldwide respected.”
With a line like that, rappers like Tyga might want to second guess their profession.
He should have ended the album with “Love Game,” another genuine song dedicated to struggling love. It sounds strangely similar to Desree’s “I’m Kissing You,” featured in Baz Lurman’s “Romeo and Juliet.”
Listeners might be wary of the length, stretching to almost eight minutes, but don’t worry, Tyga packs a shocking surprise in the seemingly mellow song.
With two minutes left, the nostalgic “ooohhs” fade away and a powerful rush of dubstep kicks in, which would have served as a great note to end the album on.
Though it packed many strong punches, the overall album wasn’t anything worth jumping at. The length is definitely off putting; 21 tracks on an album nowadays is just wishful thinking, especially if you need three interlude songs to keep it moving. Though all the collaborations worked well, it seemed that whoever was featured on a particular song was the only reason the song was catchy.
Tyga does have strong qualities to him, but guest rappers are meant to complement the song, not dominate it. Since it is only his first full-length album, Tyga might still have the ability to shine, but as of right now, that crown definitely does not belong on his head.