Photo: Tyga/Young Money
You almost wonder why Tyga is necessary when YMCMB have Drake in their ranks.
The 22-year-old Compton emcee mines the same area of female-friendly, occasionally introspective music his Canadian counterpart does, but with less lyrical incision.
Having already been overshadowed by the success of Drake, Nicki Minaj and the rest of roster, Tyga needs the much-delayed Careless World: Rise of the Last King to show he has a clear role to play in Young Money's success.
To get this end, Tyga uses the pop sensibilities picked up while at Pete Wentz's label Decaydance and the industry swing provided by his new home to produce an album composed of some surprisingly good, chart-ready singles.
Featuring an all-star cast including Pharrell, Big Sean, Nicki Minaj, Chris Brown and Busta Rhymes amongst others, Careless World's production is lush and atmospheric from the cinematic, spoken-word opener.
'Lil' Homie,' 'I'm Gone,' 'This is Like' and the Wale-and-Nas main-event 'Kings & Queens,' especially the latter's elegant lounge music tinkle, all capture a chilled approach far removed from Nicki Minaj's schizophrenic delivery, Weezy's scatter-gun punchlines and Drake's love-hurt soul searching.
That's not to say Tyga can't do lyrical introspection. 'Do It All' convincingly retreads a regretful past relationship ("You sent letters to my heart/ But I burnt 'em all") and even has a Kanye West-apeing Dark Twisted Fantasy-style guitar breakdown at the end.
However, the chart-baiting tracks are the biggest successes. We've all heard 'Rack City,' but 'Muthaf**ka Up' featuring Nicki Minaj is an equally catchy hit, built on Weezy's 'A Milli' formula of a knocking bassline and some inexplicably catchy looped vocal tic.
Recent Cash Money signing Chris Richardson lends his vocals to the hook for 'Far Away,' a ready-made crossover hit that still manages to be deceptively meaningful, with a powerful video to boot.
Careless World: Rise of the Last King isn't the strongest record Young Money will release all year, but it shows Tyga definitely has his own role to play in the group's runaway success.