Ty Dolla $ign on Singing, Producing and Screwing Your Girlfriend
Ty Dolla $ign first caught the eyes and ears of the industry by riding shotgun on YG’s “Toot It & Boot It” (a song Ty$ penned and produced), but it soon became clear the Los Angeles singer, producer and songwriter was more than a one-hit hookmaster. A musical jack-of-all trades, Ty$ released arguably his strongest body of work to date, Beach House, this past fall, led by the hit single “My Cabana” and landed himself a record deal with Atlantic. Last week Ty$ stopped by the XXL offices to talk about the success of Beach House, the truth behind the tape’s “skits” and his upcoming retail release. Grab yourself a seat in the cabana and read up. — Neil Martinez-Belkin (@Neil_MB)
Let’s get to the question on everybody’s mind: How many hoes…
Can fit in the cabana? [Laughs] It depends if you have skinny bitches or some thick bitches. If it’s some thick ones, probably eight comfortably. If they’re skinny though, 14 for sure. Piled on top of each other. We had filmed a video for “Another One” with Dom Kennedy, and we had like 14 bitches in the cabana. Little Asian ones, some white ones too.
Since we’ve gotten that out of the way, are you happy with how Beach House has been received?
Definitely. I had been recording that project for a long time, but towards the end was when I just got all those songs together and just knew that was it. I’m all over the place with music, so I was trying to do something really cohesive. At first I had the house shit on there, uptempo club L.A.-type records, and then the slow shit too. I was meeting with a couple different labels and they all told me the same thing: “Can you just give me one thing?” So I went in, and Beach House was what came out.
You work as part of the production team D.R.U.G.S. How do you guys all come together to make a record?
It’s just different days, different shit, man. I have a studio set up in my crib, and then I have a studio. So some of it was done at the studio and some was at my the crib. At my crib we’ll just be smoking, fuckin’ with bitches and having everybody come through. Maybe I’ll just start a beat, or Nate will start a beat, or Chordz or whoever’s there at the time. And I’ll just end up and going back and finish producing it if they started it. Take the guitar at the end of “Forbidden Fruit”: That’s a mixture of three different guitars. Me, my homie Chuck Gibson and my homie Dumb Bunny from Israel. He’s the one with the more white-boy-sounding riffs, and I got the more soul-sounding riffs. And we just blend it all.
Are the recorded voicemails and conversations on the mixtape real?
Yeah, man. It’s real life. There were three different girls on there… They’re kind of mad. One of the bitches though was like “Yeah that was me on there!” I was like, “Wow, that’s a weird thing to admit.”
Since we’re on the subject of women—throughout Beach House, I got the impression you get off on fucking other people’s girlfriends. What’s up with that?
[Laughs] It just unfolds that way. I wouldn’t want to hurt anyone like that. A lot of people die over people fucking other people’s girlfriends. Like most of the gang wars in L.A. are over a bitch. They’re not even over no real shit. So no, I don’t want to, but that’s just how it always ends up. A girl’s with some other guy but they just wanna fuck someone famous. It’s funny but it’s evil. And everyone goes through it. I’m sure someone’s fucked one of my bitches, or two of them.
How do you feel about all these R&B singers bringing this darker, racier, druggier tone to the genre?
See now you’re seeing a lot of singers cussin’ in their songs, talking about pussy, but I’ve been doing all that. Even with like the ratchet beats, if you listen to the early YG shit, I was doing all that. So when I see people copy, I just go on to the next shit and try to do something they can’t. Honestly it’s easy for me because I really play instruments and really do music.
So what are you working on now?
I got a remix of “4 a Young” with Trey Songz and Kirko Bangz that I’m excited about. And I’m working on a new project which will be a continuation of the Beach House that’ll go through Atlantic and be released on iTunes. I’m just trying to take what I’ve been doing a little more to to the next level.