Tyga positions his Careless World: Rise of the Last King to play out like an epic movie—or at least a cohesive story—with his opening track, “Careless World.” He speaks, rather than raps, to kick off the album: “I awoke from a dream, filled in a world full of greed and hate. The world was my thoughts and surroundings. I realized I needed to rise, and become king of my own destiny.”
In order to do that on his Young Money debut, Tyga’s approach is three-fold: there are moments when he dreams of being the greatest (“King & Queens”), gets emotional about his girl and reflects on his past (“Far Away,” “Love Game”), and lets loose for a good time (“Rack City”). Oftentimes, he intertwines the concepts, on a song like “Black Crowns,” which includes an outro with Tyga’s mother telling him how proud she is.
The Cali native seems to have no hesitation voicing regret and vulnerability when it comes to females, and this proves to be a magnetizing quality, particularly to compliment the facelessness of a hit like “Rack City.” This is to take nothing away from one of the year’s most fun songs, of course, but rather to realize the necessary counterbalance that a personal song like “Do It All” can provide to the club hit, much of whose success relies on its infectious beat.
And the strong suit of “Rack City” proves to be that of the album, as well. The production is well rounded, elastically shifting to set the mood for Tyga’s varied methods of attack. Jess Jackson handles much of it, though Boi-1da, Cool & Dre and The Neptunes also lend their touch. Sounds are typically soft and somber on the more personal tracks, while things turn frantic and bubbly for the party anthems. Four of these feature high-powered YMCMB collabs, as Lil Wayne (“Faded”), Nicki Minaj (“Muthafucka Up”), Drake (“Still Got It”) and Busta Rhymes (“Potty Mouth”) kick verses. Weezy, with his natural bounce and stream of consciousness flow, and Busta, with his whirlwind of words, are particularly memorable.
Other guests help fortify the body of the album from start to finish, as Nas, J. Cole, Wale, Big Sean, Pharrell and others enter Tyga’s world without care. The Chris Brown and Wynter Gordon collab “For The Fame” turns out to be a relatively fresh take on a girl record, too. Even with so many features, Tyga rarely lets the album get away from him, remaining in the driver’s seat even when next to young stars and legends.
For all its highlights—and there are many— Careless World: Rise of the Last King still feels disjointed at moments. It’s too long (there are 21 tracks on the album and 23 on the iTunes bonus, and it clocks in at nearly an hour and a half), and doesn’t quite hone in on the narrative it looks to set up on the opener. Even so, Tyga, still just 22-years-old, is growing as an artist, and reveals that there’s more to him than inescapable club jams, for anyone who may have been doubting.
Plus, it sounds good, and that’s reason enough to care about the music of this album’s world. —Adam Fleischer (@AdamXXL)