Review: Ty Dolla $ign, ‘Beach House’ (EP)


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The Opposite Sex Dominates Ty Dolla $ign’s Mind on Beach House (EP) 

Ty Dolla $ign • Beach House (EP) • Atlantic • US Release Date: January 21, 2014

Ty Dolla sign4-20140129-77Ty Dolla $ign arrives in 2014 as a new voice in hip-hop; He’s an R&B singer, but he also has some rapping chops.   As seems to be popular (and safe) for the newbie these days in urban circles, Ty releases an seven song EP, Beach House before dropping a full length album for Atlantic RecordsBeach House ultimately lacks meaty substance.  If the barometer of substance is the inclusion of socially conscious, political, or legitimate relationships, then Ty Dollar $ign fails miserably – like #EpicFail.   Beach House is what it is – an EP that thrives on its excesses and perversion as opposed to delivering a message containing depth.  Since Ty Dolla $ign represents what is trendy in both hip-hop and contemporary R&B, he is on his game contextually.  That said, one has to question if there is truly more to Tyrone Griffin then what he presents at the beach house.

Work” (featuring Nate Poetics, Casey Veggies, and Twista) initiates Beach House superbly, even if it lacks depth. Ultimately, it is well produced, and a change of pace during the bridge section keeps things fresh.  Ty’s mind is focused on sex, specifically on strippers.  “Work” is far removed from love or a relationship, evidenced by lyrics such as “I’m gonna work on it / you gon’ get this work, girl / I’mma throw these bands / you gon’ make it clap with no hands…” The hook further cements the sentiment of only  ‘thinking with his pants’, as potential partners are referenced to as “hoes” – Charming.  Twista definitely confirms the shallowness of “Work” during his guest verse, but at least he’s got a sick flow.  Shameful it may be, “Work” stands out.

Paranoid” stands out as well, particularly the first version featuring B.o.B.  Things grow even dirtier, as it always seems better (and trendier) to “Double Up”, as R. Kelly would put it.  “Both b**ches drive Range Rovers,” sings Ty on the first verse. “None of my b**ches can stay over / both of my b**ches look good as f**k / your b**ch look like a boogie wolf.” Later, Ty is truly “paranoid” because he believes his two girlfriends (or whatever they may be to him) maybe “tryna set [him] up.”  Even more dramatic on the bridge is that Ty keeps it ‘one hunna’: “I’m f**kin’ around with two b**ches / but I never made them h**s my missus.” B.o.B certainly contributes to the raunchiness, managing to blaspheme in the process: “I put my name on it and that’s mine / p**** so wet she thought it got baptized.” SMDH!

A remix, featuring French Montana, DJ Mustard, and Trey Songz is even raunchier.  Trey Songz quite possibly delivers the crudest line: “All of my b**ches eat p*** too…” Still, “Paranoid” is a highlight

Ty Dolla sign-20140129-78Or Nah” overdoes sex, or perhaps it’s the fact it follows three sexually-charged tracks.  Wiz Khalifa guests and establishes the ‘culture’ of “Or Nah” pretty quickly: “Heard you not the type that you take home to Mom / is we f**king when we leave the club or nah?”  Similarly, Ty asks this girl a number of perverted questions, with his funniest inquiry being “Can I bring another b**ch? Let’s have a threesome…” Geez! The outro is completely inappropriate, but appropriate in the context of the material as Wiz raps “Gonna make that a** clap…” Rappers love clappers… rhyme!

Familiar” sports exceptional production work, a trend of this EP.  The production work certainly compliments the lyrics, even at their most salacious.  The familiarity of “Familiar” includes money and Ty’s name…to hoes.  Basically, “Familiar” is your cocky, overconfident rap joint.  Travis $cott and Fredo Santana come along for the ride, and it is definitely one worthy of asking for forgiveness or going to confession.  Travis $cott claims to be “a snort addict, whore addict / and I’m a porn star attraction…I need two Miss Jacksons / a full pack of Magnums…” on the second verse while Fredo has little respect for women on the third verse (“Can’t trust these b**ches / I swear these h**s familiar / she kiss you / but swallow all my children…”).  “Familiar”, content aside, isn’t bad.  But it’s hard to feel truly ‘innocent’ listening.

Wood & Leather” doesn’t switch gears in Ty’s topic of choice, but it definitely has a more distinct sound compared to “Or Nah” or “Familiar”.   The production truly gives this cut ‘new life’ contextually within the album, even if Ty is still concerned about the action he’s getting: “I could take yo b**ch whenever / all my cars got wood and leather…if she ain’t got no a** she got some t**ties”.  Being the confident, perhaps vindictive person is, Ty Dolla $ign makes sure he gets to you: “Every time you see me, man do nothing / I f**ked yo b**ch in the trap on the futon…” Ty, you know you can’t mess with another man’s girl!

Ty Dolla sign1-20140129-75In the context of Beach House, an street-smart set, “Never Be The Same” does possess the most substance.  Basically, it is an introspective number about the pitfalls of ‘coming up’.  Ty sings on the pre-chorus that he “know(s) the trouble the money and fame brings / this time I swear it’s different / I’m in the right place…” Still, the street is firmly planted in Ty on the chorus: “Some n***as hated on me / some b**ches never looked my way / now that I made it homie / there’s some things that’ll never be the same”. Jay Rock guests on verse two, rapping “Tryna make it up out the ghetto / the block is like the Olympics, we walk around with our medal.” It is a fitting close, even if it’s not the set’s best song.

Overall, Ty Dolla $ign shows he has great potential.  If the street savvy of Beach House isn’t a deal breaker, it can be considered quite enjoyable.  Still, the rub is that Ty Dolla $ign seems to put all his eggs in one basket – sex and more sex.  Beach House’s unfavorable view towards the relationship versus it’s liberalized view about hooking up and lacking respect for women (misogyny) is questionable morally and even as a listening experience.  Still, the potential is abundant, with some fine-tuning when a full-length album arrives.

Favorites:

“Work”; “Paranoid” featuring B.o.B; “Wood & Leather”

Verdict: ★★★

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