Over the course of two years, Ty Dolla $ign has inked a deal with Atlantic Records, released two critically acclaimed mixtapes and constructed his own lane in the rap genre. “They say I sing rap lyrics,” he says about his style of music. The melodic spitter-producer hails from the West Coast, and has already appeared on tracks with the likes of Dom Kennedy, Terrace Martin, Wiz Khalifa, Ice Cube and of course, longtime collaborators YG and DJ Mustard, creating a his own independent sound that continues to develop with each project.
As the third installment of the Beach House series, Beach House EP serves as a preview to Ty Dolla $ign’s 2014 debut album. Continuing from Beach House 2‘s “Intro / These Hoes,” Ty Dolla $ign opens up with waves crashing and a spoken word on “Work.” He goes on to say, “I produce wings like eagles, soaring the highest clouds and letting my conscious free,” noting the concept of growth, while Casey Veggies and Nate Poetics get outshined by an effortless and crushing delivery courtesy of Twista. As his first retail project up for grabs, the Los Angeles native strategically divides the 2013 summer anthem “Paranoid” into two separate tracks; the “original,” which replaces Jose Moses with label-mate B.o.B, and a posse remix. Calling upon Trey Songz, French Montana and DJ Mustard to produce the remix, Dolla $ign puts a new spin on his original verse, while Trey sings about bi-sexual fly-out girls and French channels his inner Ludacris and speaks on girls in different area codes.
The Taylor Gang affiliate enlists Wiz Khalifa to come through on the DJ Mustard-produced “Oh Nah”—a collaborative cut void of romance and love, but rather focuses on getting straight to the point—or in this case, the sheets. While DJ Mustard subtlety guides the track with the sounds of creaking bedsprings, both Ty Dolla $ign and Wiz take the time to question their potential bedmates about food and weed, making sure the femme fatale can cater to their needs.
With features from Travis $cott and Fredro Santana, “Familiar” proves to be the weakest track on the EP, getting lost in too familiar sounds and lackluster verses, while the Cardo-produced and violin-driven “Wood & Leather” distinguishes itself sonically, but doesn’t offer anything to grasp lyrically. As the EP comes to a close, Ty Dolla $ign recycles the Beach House 2 cut “Never Be The Same” to wrap things up, leaving Jay Rock to deliver one of the best guest verses the Beach House EP has to offer.
While Ty Dolla $ign may not be the most lyrically endowed, it’s apparent that his melodic deliveries illuminates the chopped and screwed music soundscape. Enhanced with layered synths and hyperactive basslines, Beach House EP is an open narrative about sexual politics and hedonistic satisfaction. Despite offering ratchet R&B at its finest, Ty Dolla $ign fails to provide a memorable experience that differs from his previous two mixtapes. Despite showing moments of progression and growth throughout the EP, Ty Dolla $ign still has a long way to go in terms of constructing an album, which hopefully will be fine-tuned as he prepares for his major release later this year.—Erin Lowers