Quick Take: Tyga, Hotel California


Tyga ⎪ Hotel California⎪ Cash Money Classics⎪ US Release Date: April 09, 2013

Rapper Tyga had a breakout hit with Rack City”, one of the nastier rap tracks of 2011 and easily the MC’s biggest hit on Careless World: Rise of the Last King.  Rather than returning ‘later than sooner’, Tyga returns relatively quickly with that album’s follow-up, Hotel California. Hotel California, as expected, isn’t as good as its predecessor, which was overstuffed itself.  Hotel California curbs the length, but its themes tend to be ‘smaller’ as opposed to ‘big’, mostly concerning itself with sex, drugs (weed, ‘mollies’, and alcohol), and just how good Tyga is.  Like Lil Wayne, Tyga doesn’t expand creatively and approaches his lack of cerebral with salaciousness and arrogance.  Hotel California isn’t a bust, but it also is no masterpiece.

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Rick Ross

After an undercooked opener in “500 Degrees” (featuring Lil Wayne), “Dope” comes close to matching “Rack City”.  Even so, Rick Ross’s guest spot lacks some of his usual energy, even given a clever allusion to Destiny’s Child’s “Say My Name”.  “Get Loose” is as narrow minded as it sounds while the well produced “Diss Song” doesn’t quite rich it’s mark.  “Hit ‘Em Up” is definitely superbly produced with the minimalism of “Rack City” and “Faded” at the forefront of DJ Mustard’s mind, but it still doesn’t ‘breakout’. The irresponsible but irresistible “Molly” atones for all impropriety, with exceptional production work, and a solid performance from Tyga, Wiz Khalifa, and Mally Mall.  That said, “Molly” couldn’t have been possible without the Cedric Gervais sample of the same title.

“For The Road” features lovely balladry from Chris Brown, sampling SWV’s “Rain”.  A song about getting down ultimately, Tyga throws in “A couple of shots, now we faded” for good measure. “Show You” finds Future lathered in auto tune on the hook.  A second consecutive ‘soft’ cut, Tyga has one particular lady on his mind: “I see you working on your body, getting ready for summer / I just gotta new phone, and I lost your number / But I’mma get it, cause it’s that important…” Not deep, a stronger cut follows in the Tony Toni Tone sampled “It Never Rains”, which features Compton’s own Game.

2011’s O.N.I.F.C. was another rap album that was merely ‘good’/average… didn’t bring anything new to the table.

Much of the end is merely ‘good’ or ‘good’ enough without being ‘triumphant’. “M.O.E.” has good intentions, once more featuring Wiz Khalifa, but it’s rather corny.  2 Chainz adds his touch on “Hijack”, which is exceptionally produced but by no means a home-run.  “Get Rich”, produced by League of Starz (like the previous cut) falls into the same trap of being brilliantly produced but lacking the lyrical goods. “Enemies” is ok, “Drive Fast, Live Young” isn’t bad if too long, while “Palm Trees” epitomizes the Cali sound and closes the effort solidly.

Overall, Hotel California is pretty average at best. Like Wiz Khalifa’s O.N.I.F.C from December 2011, this effort suffers from being really distinct or notable.  “Dope”, “Molly” and “It Neva Rains” are the best tracks.  The rest are good/pleasant, etc., but not ‘the second coming’.

Verdict: ✰✰✰

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