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Tyga, Black Thoughts 2

Tyga has shown stunning growth in the three years since the release of his poppy debut single “Coconut Juice.” Black Thoughts 2 finds the Compton, CA repper seeming to combine elements of Lil Wayne and Curren$y, but beginning to find his voice as an emcee.

Opening the project, “Storm” is a knocking, conflicted meditation on the perils of fame. Tyga alternates boasting about cars and chicks with “looking at the murder rate.” Later, the acoustic strum of “Reminded” sets the stage for a somber break-up number, and the YMCMB spitter reflects on recent success over epic strings on “Moving Backwards.” While the rapper still sounds best when he can match his mellow drawl to airy beats, as showcased on “Don’t Wake Me Up” and “Hypnotized,” he seems thoroughly uncomfortable on the tape’s three Lex Luger beats.

Though not perfect, BT2 shows Tyga’s artistic growth and true promise. With a little trimming, it will undoubtedly find a lot of rotation as the summer approaches. —Aaron Matthews

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