Ty Dolla Sign Scores a Victory Lap With ‘Campaign’
After Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton’s nauseating presidential debate this past week, there are probably some Americans that wish Ty Dolla $ign’s Campaign wasn’t just the name of his new project, but instead a legitimate shot at the presidency. Sadly, Dolla $ign is nowhere near being placed in the Oval Office but by the looks of the Campaign cover art and the triumphant vibe of the tape itself, the West Coast crooner is definitely on a campaign for hip-hop supremacy.
Whether you realize it or not, Ty has actually been on an aggressive campaign to the top since he kicked off his Beach House mixtape series back in 2012. Thanks to his catalog of hit after hit -- "Blase," "Or Nah" and "Paranoid," to name a few -- Ty has developed a sound and fan base not easily recreated. Mixing solid hooks with verses that resonate, Ty knows how to make one hell of a song, which is why he’s become hip-hop’s go-to collaborator for pretty much everything. Obviously guest appearances are one thing but his serenading formula was proven successful on 2015’s solo project Free TC and now Campaign is simply his very own victory lap.
Campaign follows a similar trajectory to Free TC in the sense that Ty let’s all sides of his musical prowess shine through. His singles might be louder, more trap-influenced and more ignorant but they are immediately balanced out by deeper cuts that even your grandma would like. The designated singles for this project include “Campaign” with Future, “??? (Where)” featuring Migos and the Travi$ Scott-assisted “3 Wayz,” all of which house anthem-worthy choruses and surface level lyrics. Usually songs of this nature would be thrown into the amassing pile of generic trap heatseekers but the way Ty can swing his raspy voice from key to key adds another layer to these bangers.
The next seven tracks are essentially an R&B project of their own. “Juice” through “Clean” all share slow guitar and piano-driven backdrops as Ty murmurs about love, sex and success. He concludes the spurt of rhythmic, unpretentious cuts with “My Song,” in which he softly boasts, “She say that she wanna stay over/But I like to stay all alone/I fucked that bitch to my song.” Self-assured indeed, but the singer, along with many others, probably throw on his music before getting intimate.
All these combined bangers and ballads would clinch Ty a satisfactory rating but the addition of “No Justice” makes this project near perfect. The legal case surrounding Ty’s brother Big TC has been well documented but no better articulated than on this particular track. Featuring the incarcerated man himself, Ty and TC lay some incredibly heartfelt lyrics over D.R.U.G.S and D'Mile’s rainy day beat. “4AM in the morning, police banging real hard on my mama front door/Screaming open this shit right now/You got 20 more seconds before we tear this door down” is only one of the unjust police acts Ty describes but none hit home harder than “I watch you gun my people down, plus we're killing off each other.”
“No Justice” is a powerful track that really should have closed out the project, but instead there's “Watching” with Meek Mill to wrap things up. It’s this type of song placement that renders Campaign a bit poorly paced. Instead of bangers at the top and ballads at the bottom, spreading around the vibes to make sure all different kinds of listeners are engaged at every turn would have worked to his benefit.
Campaign may not exceed the musical brilliance of Free TC but it’s a close runner-up. Both projects combined shed light on the fact that Ty could very well be on a career-defining hot streak. With Beach House 3 up next, it looks promising that his campaign continues to thrive.
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