Tyga: Fresh Stripes

The face of Hip-Hop is forever changing. As Hip-Hop continues to become more and more mainstream and its audience becomes broader, the thin line that once separated Pop from Hip-Hop is blurring. Enter Tyga, undoubtedly a product of Hip-Hop’s Darwinism. Hailing from Compton, what is perhaps the most infamous section of LA, this young MC will be the first to tell you that despite his surroundings he does not rap “gangster”. In fact, his first taste of the music industry came at the hands of Gym Class Heroes’ Travis McCoy who took him on the road with the group. However, America would not formally become acquainted with Tyga until the 2007 Video Music Awards when he took the stage to perform with Pete Wentz (Fall Out Boy), his cousin Travis McCoy and “The Greatest Rapper Alive” himself Lil Wayne. Wentz ultimately signed the young talent to his Decaydance imprint. While Weezy was so impressed with Tyga he made him a part of his “Young Money” squad and asked him to guest on his upcoming The Carter III album. Tyga does not simply walk a fine line between Pop and Hip-Hop, he moonwalks back and forth with ease. With an unwillingness to let people, history, or genres define who he is as an artist, the possibilities for the young MC are seemingly limitless.On Compton’s influence on him as an artist:“Growing up in Compton definitely did influence me being that I grew up listening to the people that grew up in the same area like N.W.A. I’m also a big fan of Game’s, and Ice Cube also. However I don’t really think it has affected my flow because I never really talked about the same things that they talked about. It was just a lot of motivation in seeing what they did. And also I could relate to what they were talking about. But they were also my inspiration in a lot of ways because seeing that someone else that came from where I came make it made me realize that I could make it too.”On Working with Lil Wayne:“When it comes to music, Wayne he just does it. He told me one day ‘Don’t depend on your flow. A lot of artists depend on their flow. Just let the music speak you.’ Working with Wayne, people would probably think there would be a lot of pressure. Or that you have to say certain things. But that’s how I got in my position; I’m a good artist, so of course he is going to expect me to put out something good while we are in the studio. But I was definitely in my comfort zone. He gave me a lot of freedom. The Carter III is going to be big when it actually comes out. The song I did with him on his album it features Hurricane Chris, Cory Gunz, Jibbs, Kidd Kidd another artist from Young Money, and Wayne himself. And everybody did 16 (bars). Wayne was really impressed with my 16 so Wayne told me to put another 16 on there. So I’m the only one who has two verses on there so I can’t wait til that comes out so listeners can hear it.On the line between Pop and Hip-Hop; Pop/Rock mentors (Travis McCoy of Gym Class Heroes, Pete Wentz of Fall Out Boy) VS. Credibility in Hip-Hop:I’m signed to Decaydance which is Fall Out Boy’s label. I’m also on Bat Squad which is Travis’ squad, but basically the same thing as Decaydance. So basically I’m signed to Decaydance and I have the Young Money stamp which is Lil Wayne’s squad. And I also have my label, GED. So Decaydance and Sony are putting the record out with the approval of Young Money (Lil Wayne), GED (Me), and Bat Squad (Travis McCoy). At the end of the day I’m just doing what I want to do. No one is forcing me to do anything. I feel very comfortable in my position right now. I’m not just rap and I’m not just pop. I’m in the middle, I’m just doing me. That’s basically who Tyga is. You know there will always be haters and people who will look at things differently. But there are a lot of people who are open minded to my situation because it is something new. I think its going to be big and I really don’t care what the haters say.[Tyga f/ Travis McCoy "Coconut Juice"]On West Coast Hip-Hop:There are a lot of west coast artists coming out. And I think even with me being from LA, I don’t really think that people are going to label me as a west coast artist because I’m way different that what they are used to. I like the unity that is on the west coast now. It’s going back to what it used to be. You got cats like Jay Rock, Bishop Lamont, Glasses Malone and all these dudes know me, and I don’t rap gangster but I know all the gangsters. I’ve done songs with cats like Jay Rock. The West is bringing back the unity and respect artists used to have for each other.As far the future of the west; they have a lot of gangsta coming out. But a lot of people are trying to change that. And I think once I come out that a lot of that may change.On his contribution to Hip-Hop:I’m just being a leader and not a follower. Just stepping out the box. I got the Pop side with me in Fall Out Boy and I have one of the greatest rappers in the game, Wayne as a co-signer. I’m just being myself and I feel that is going to make me different. There are a lot of people who come in the game and just try to be one way and try to be like the next person whereas I really don’t care. I don’t listen to a lot of artists. I listen to a lot of myself. I also feel like I’m going to be different based on the time that I’m coming in the game. I had a lot of time to sit back and really analyze a lot of these artists and the mistakes they have made as well as their accomplishments. And I have just taken all of that and put it into my little notebook. Now I’m about to share what I’ve learned with the world.[Tyga "Fly N***a"]