In 2016, there are few rappers in hip-hop as polarizing as Tyga. Some hate him for what they perceive to be sophomoric hijinks and a smug attitude, and others love him for his penchant for infectious club bangers and disarming charisma, but what you cannot deny is that the rapper is one of the more unlikely success stories to emerge in hip-hop over the past decade.
Born in Compton, Calif., Tyga moved to the suburb of Gardena as a youth, where he would develop a love for rhyming, taking cues from early influences like Fabolous, Cam'ron, Eminem and Lil Wayne, to name a few. Releasing his debut mixtape, Young on Probation, in 2007, Tyga quickly gained a buzz, piquing the interest of Fall Out Boy member Pete Wentz, who signed the young spitter to a deal with his Decaydance Records imprint. The rapper would also form an alliance with Lil Wayne, who would hop on the remix to his first notable hit, "Coconut Juice," and scoop him up as the newest member of his Young Money squadron.
Tyga's debut album, No Introduction, would fail to catch much of a spark and his relationship with his G.E.D. clique would sour, leading to a backlash that would ruin lesser artists. But he continued to trudge along, hitting the underground hard with his Well Done mixtape series and building his profile via guest verse on various hit records alongside his Young Money brethren. He would also see success on the mainstream in his own right with multiple Billboard charting singles and successful album releases that would continue to raise Tyga's profile. While he has broken ties with Young Money and constantly finds himself to be the topic of conversation due to his controversial relationship with Kylie Jenner or penchant for beef, Tyga remains a fixture in hip-hop and has managed to stay afloat, which can't be said for many other artists.
We take a breeze through T-Raww's catalog and selected the 20 best songs. Did your favorite make the cut? Find out below.
Tyga ventures into the strip club on "Make It Nasty," which finds him talking dirty all over the CP Dubb-produced track. "Make it nasty, make it nasty / Drop, drop it on the bitch make it nasty," on the hook, T-Raww then delves into his first verse, in which he revels in the debauchery of his fast-paced lifestyle. Lines like, "Fucking on the mattress, hear the bed spring / Ain't nothin' better, it's the best thing / Got a China bitch, straight from Beijing / Pussy so tight all she do is scream," leave little to the imagination and speaks to Tyga's prowess as a full-fledged ladies' man. "Yeah nigga I'm a star / Stack some black you can use the black card / Pull up, hop out, valet the car / 'Bout to go big, got bitches galore," he raps. Tyga stunted and tipped his way to another underground hit with "Make It Nasty," which is one of the more recognizable songs in his arsenal of mixtape singles.
2012 was a pivotal year for Tyga. The rapper aligned himself with Young Money and released his sophomore album, Careless World: Rise of the Last King, which included a little ditty titled "Rack City." The song would become a dark horse hit and crack the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100, becoming Tyga's first solo entry to make it to the upper echelon of the chart. Produced by DJ Mustard, the beat is minimalistic, giving Tyga's flow ample room to breath as he maneuvers over the track. "Rack city, bitch, rack rack city, bitch / Ten, 10,10, 20 on yo titties, bitch / 100 deep VIP, no guest list / T-Raw, you don't know who you fucking with," he rhymes. The Cali spitter crafts a classic banger for the strip clubs that stands as one of his most noteworthy cuts to date.
"Still Got It"Tyga Featuring Drake
Prior to their beef, Tyga and Drake linked up for a collaboration titled "Still Got It" that was well-received by fans and radio alike. Drake dominates with the hook, singing, "I feel good / Got some time off, Girl it's been so long / Did you have fun? Cause I'mma need a cab just to get me home," while attempting to rekindle the flame with a love from his past. Tyga comes through with a candid opening verse, rhyming "Probably one of my realest loves ever, four page letters / In time it’s all better, ‘cause time heal whatever / I'mma need a moment cause moments last forever / Cars with cream leather, females are on regular," and lamenting the effects long-term commitments. Produced by Noah "40" Shebib and Supa Dups, "Still Got It" originally appeared on Drake's Thank Me Now mixtape, but was later released as the second single from Careless World: Rise of the Last King. "Still Got It" may not have been a big hit on Billboard, but was a favorite amongst fans of both rappers and is one of Tyga's best collaborations to date.
"Faded"Tyga Featuring Lil Wayne
Tyga continued his streak of successful singles with "Faded," a collaboration with Lil Wayne that would prove to be one of the biggest songs of Tyga's career. Produced by Dnyc3, the beat is powered by drums, hi-hats and bells, over which T-Raww spills about his penchant for mixing drugs and alcohol with pleasure. "Young Nino, fuck a bitch in a peacoat / Carlito, Scarface, Al Pacino / Bun B though, Pimp C, R.I.P though / I goes deep in that pussy: Dan Marino," he delievers. Tyga delivers a bevy of quotables before letting listeners know he's faded with no fucks to give on the simplistic, yet indelible hook. Lil Wayne delivers a solid showing on the third verse with a few slick bars of his own, rhyming, "Mama, there go that monster / Abracadabra, Magic Johnson / My motherfucking doctor said I need a doctor / So I called House, now I am a pill popper," and closing out the track effectively. "Faded" would peak at No. 33 on Billboard's Hot 100 chart and be the fourth and final single released from Careless World: Rise of the Last King.
Before Tyga was hobnobbing with the Kardashians and Jenners, he was just another rap hopeful looking to make it big. The song that would take him from a relative unknown and put him on the map would be "Coconut Juice," a catchy song centered around Tyga's beverage of choice when partying on the scene. Featuring Travis McCoy of Gym Class Heroes, the track is produced by Sam & Sluggo with additional production from Lu Balz and is powered by pounding drums handclaps, and synths, which Tyga drops his bars over in between urging listeners to "Put the lime in the coconut and twist it all up."
"Come back, went straight to the club / Entrance no charge cause we late to the club / Ummmm yes, we don't stand in the club / G.E.D. on the couch pourin drinks on the rug," he raps. Tyga reps for his G.E.D. squad while tearing the club down and scores his first hit in the process.
"Diamond Life" is one of Tyga's earliest standout tracks that highlights a prototype of the versatile flow he's known for today. Produced by Sam & Sluggo, the song has a British feel to it and features Patty Crash on the hook, making for one of the more eclectic selections in Tyga's collection of bangers. "1989 no pressure / But to be the bestest in my section, levels of a professional / Skip school, create my own lessons / Confessions of a mad rapper, music got me rapping," Tyga drops quote-worthy verse before Patty Crash's vocals come tumbling in on the hook. "Diamond Life" is a rare gem in the catalog of Tyga that die-hard fans and those new to his music both can enjoy.
"Fuck what they talking 'bout," Tyga bluntly states at the beginning of "Stimulated," his controversial single that's speculated to be inspired by the backlash surrounding his relationship with a then-underage Kylie Jenner. Asking "Why the fuck you so opinionated? / Sayin' how you do it but they ain't did it, baby / You need a demonstration / This is how you get richer, baby," Tyga scoffs at the criticism while boasting about his lavish lifestyle and the strength of his pimp hand. Utilizing a sample of "Children" by Italian trance composer Robert Grimes," Tyga drops racy couplets, like "I touched the bitch, she disintegrated / Up in flames, I've been the flamest / I've been the hottest, you've been the lamest / I've been on the plane, you've been complaining," and seems to revel in all of the hate and treat it as an afterthought. Despite where you stand on Tyga and Kylie's relationship, what we won't deny is that "Stimulated" is a damn good song despite it being a guilty pleasure based on the circumstances.
It's not often that an artist can take a beat from a superstar artist and do it justice, but Tyga does this that on "I'm So Raw." Hijacking Kanye West's "I'm So Appalled" beat, Tyga leaves the catchy refrains at home for this album and gets grisly with the flow, barking, "I'm so raw, turn the oven on / Chef Papa John, I get the Parmesan / She want a yellow nigga, corn on the cob Indian giver, slob on my knob." Tyga is at his craftiest on the second verse, rapping "All these niggas all clones, we be originals / Young Money seminoles, tribe full of generals / Don't ask me shit, Unless it's in a interview / Nigga, unless it's in a interview," putting the nail in the coffin with the final four bars.
"Deuces"Tyga & Chris Brown Featuring Kevin McCall
The rapper's career got a big boost after linking up with collaborator Chris Brown for a full-length mixtape, Fan of a Fan, inspired by their mutual respect for each other's artistry. The project was highly successful and spawned a number of songs that were organic hits, most notably their song, "Deuces." Produced by Kevin "K-MAC" McCall -- who also lends additional vocals to the track -- "Deuces" features Tyga and Breezy fed up with the strife of an up-and-down relationship, with both deciding to call it quits. "I'm on some new shit I'm chuckin' my deuces up to her / I'm moving on to something better, better, better / No more trying to make it work /You made me wanna Say bye bye / Say bye bye / Say bye bye to her," Chris Brown sings. He does most of the heavy lifting on this number, but Tyga's contribution is far from minimal. The rapper delivers one of the most memorable lyrical performances of his career, starting with the opening bars, where he spits, "Used to be valentines, together all the time / Thought it was true love, but you know women lie," before delving into the meat of his verse.
Lines like "I hate liars, fuck love, I'm tired of trying / My heart big, but it beat quiet / I don’t never feel like we vibing / Cause every time we alone, it's a awkward silence," resonated with men and women worldwide and played a big part in the track earning a Grammy nomination. Not bad for a mixtape cut from mutual fans.
Tyga and Chris Brown's chemistry on Fan of a Fan: The Mixtape was so potent that the two decided to take it a step further and put together a whole album. The LP's lead-single, "Ayo," is an uptempo number that entices listeners to let go and live carefree for the moment. Chris Brown opens the track on the hook, singing, "All my bitches got real hair chilling with the top down / Screaming like ayo I'mma take her ass down / when she bring her friend around / Fuck ‘em both like ayo" and lending his midas touch to the track. Breezy may set the stage, but Tyga crashes it with a mean 16, spitting "And I got an engine full of trunk space / I get money three ways, fucking bitches three ways / Seven different foreigns plus she no hablé / But I make that bitch walk for some cheesecake." A capable rapper himself, CB also drops a bars, rhyming "A nigga ain't worried about nothin' / Rehabilitation just had me worried about fucking / Money, decision-making only worried about stunting / She worried about me, her nigga worried about cuffing." Produced by Nic Nac, "Ayo" would be a big hit internationally, peaking at No. 1 on the UK R&B chart, and would also make noise stateside, topping out at one slot outside of the Top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100.
"Molly"Tyga Featuring Wiz Khalifa, Mally Mall, Cedric Gervais
On "Molly," Tyga goes on a pill-popping binge. The track is the first promotional single released in support of his third studio-album, Hotel California. Produced by Dez Dynamic, the pulsating track serves as a sonic playground for Tyga's lyrical gymnastics, with bars like, "King Gold Chains, that's Notre Dame, that green, yeah I got it / I show up in the party, like 'where the fuck that molly'" setting up what would prove to be a memorable verse from the rapper. Wiz Khalifa grabs the baton from Tyga and turns in a solid performance of his own, spitting "Bitch I'm Young Khalifa, filling my lungs with reefer / Somewhere in the clouds, gotta press up to see us /I gotta whip so fast that I caught a ticket speeding / And my bitch so bad that I'm never ever cheating," and adding his charismatic flair to the track. Peaking at No. 16 on the US Rap Songs chart, "Molly" was as effective a buzz cut as Tyga could've hoped for and stands the test of time.
"Dope"Tyga Featuring Rick Ross
Recording a rendition of a rap classic that doesn't do the original a disservice is no easy task, but Tyga pulled off that task with his song, "Dope," which sees Tyga taking a crack at upgrading Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg's '91 classic, "Deep Cover." Teaming up with Rick Ross, Tyga goes for the jugular on this number, rapping, "Bitch nigga you don't want no drama / I'm worth a couple commas It's death before dishonor / Last King come sign up, all my shit be designer / Extraordinary rhymer I bodied yo' shit for nothing," and flexing over the FKi and Jess Jackson produced number. Ricky Rozay's appearance is by no means in vain, with the MMG boss showing up with his A-Game, dropping couplets like "H on the Buckle, Hermes and the hustle / Crown on the watch, young niggas still thugging / 8.7 on the crib so fuck it / Went gold in a month so it ain't no budget," with finesse. Peaking at No. 15 on the US Rap Songs chart, "Dope" yielded another win for Tyga and serves as a sure-shot in his catalog of heaters.
"Show You"Tyga Featuring Future
"I’m just now getting to know / There's some things I wanna show you / It's a lot I wanna tell ya / But you're so scared of failure," sings Future on "Show You," his collaboration with Tyga from the rapper's Hotel California album. Produced by Detail, the track is a departure from Tyga's more amped-up fare and sees him slowing down the tempo to kick a few sweet nothings. Rapping "That pussy mine, that's anytime / And I get it in when I call she said "couldn't pick a better time / I know is early, just get back in town / I'mma be there in a minute down, drop that towel and its going down," Tyga turns his ladies man swag on for "Show You" and nabs himself another winner of a cut to add to the stash for his efforts.
"Bitches N Marijuana"Tyga & Chris Brown Featuring Schoolboy Q
Whenever Tyga and Chris Brown get in their bag, the result is usually fire and "Bitches N Marijuana" does nothing but carry on that tradition. Produced by Nic Nac, this tune sees the two stars waxing poetic on the joys of women and the sticky green without an ounce of shame. Chris Brown sets it off from the rip with an indelible hook, singing "You can tell by the way I walk that I got 'em / Peel any girl that I wanna, got bitches and marijuana," before Tyga steps to the mic for the opening verse.
Choice bars, like "Motherfuckin' goonies, Cartier rubies / Coupe, no top, yeah I took off the Kufi / I'm high, I'm woozie, D'usse, I'm doosing / I might just be right with my bitch in Jacuzzi," remind listeners that tabloid fodder aside, Tyga is no slacker on the mic and very capable of stringing together rewind-worthy couplets. TDE wild-man Schoolboy Q joins the party with some lines of his own, rhyming "Rollie do no ticky, do the blingy / I'm spending Hundreds, all the fifties / Word around the city I'm that niggy / But this month I made a milli /Another month, another milli / man that shit be getting silly," and dismantling the track with ease. The second single released from Fan of a Fan: The Album, "Bitches N Marijuana" may not have slaughtered Billboard, but was a big hit with the public, receiving consistent burn throughout 2015 and looks to only get finer with the passage of time.
"Hookah"Tyga Featuring Young Thug
"Tearin' up the place / I'm a rich nigga, got Chanel on my waist/ Run up on me playin', I'mma aim it at ya face /And that go for anybody, anyway, aye" Young Thug warbles on "Hookah," which sees the ATLien lending his quirky vocals to this fan favorite from Tyga. Produced by London On Da Track, the song extols the virtues of living the lavish life, which includes plenty of hookah smoke, according to Tyga and Thugger. Popping up after giving Young Thug the time to set the mood, Tyga goes in on with his verse, rapping "Write my name on the wall / Money in the mattress, bet she wanna get involved / She hopped on the blunt, say, where the hookah y'all? / I tell her pass back if the shit too strong" and getting his smoke on. The second single released in promotion of The Gold Album: 18th Dynasty, "Hookah" creeped into the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at the No. 85 spot and was a dark horse hit for Tyga.
"T-Raww, Young Kobe / I'm 24 nigga, Young Kobe / On 24's that's, Young Kobe / I'm king in LA, Young Kobe," raps Tyga on "Young Kobe," a ballerific offering from his Well Done 4 mixtape that pays homage to the legendary Lakers star. Produced by David D.A. Doman, the beat is sinister and powered by 808 drums, making for a rugged soundscape over which Tyga trudges with a slew of rewind-worthy couplets. Rapping "T-Raw, Young Kobe / No assist, make the city holy / Put you on blast, these bitches love me / Bobby Vinton, you Mr. Lonely," the Cali spitter goes for broke on this outing and turns in one of the most efficient performances of his career thus far, making "Young Kobe" an essential listen for any fan of witty lyricism.
"Wait For a Minute"Tyga Featuring Justin Bieber
"Wait For a Minute" features Tyga hooking up with pop star Justin Bieber for a collaboration that is simply addictive and stands among the best cuts in Tyga's batch of loosies. "Well if you walk with me / Well if you take my hand babe / We can go to a place you ain't never seen before," croons Beiber before admitting that "It’s just the way that, the way that / The way that you do it, babe" that's left him awestruck. Not to be showed up, Tyga comes with an impressive verse and spills over the keys, rapping, "Baby I'm the shit but that's a good odor / I'm a young star but my money look Yoda / Crib on the ocean, backyard boat shit / You hating on the internet, I couldn't even notice," while chuckling at the competition. "Wait For a Minute" stands as one of the more indelible offering from T-Raww and showcases his ability to create dopeness with pop royalty in addition to the rapsters that frequents his collaborations.
"Do my dance on your dick / Ooh, you know, you love this shit," is a pretty straight-forward way to begin a track, but Tyga trades in the nuance for bluntness on this x-rated romper. Featured on his Well Done 3 tape, "Do My Dance" finds Tyga cooking up yet another banger for the strippers and twerkers to strut their stuff to. Rhyming "Lamborghini, you don't even see me / Bad bitch, no bikini taking shots of Henny / Order calamari, say she want that fettucini / 5 star bitches, my bitches don't eat at Denny's," Tyga gets his stunt on while catering to his harem of freaks. 2 Chainz delivers a solid performance of his own on the second verse, rapping "She got her booty cheeks on my Louis sheets / She can do it on a pole, but can she do it on me / Her flexing ass, let me see you flex that ass / I don't call I just text that ass and buy special bags," and electrifying listeners with his rambunctious flow and charisma. "Do My Dance" is raunchy and definitely NSFW material, but is a guilty pleasure for even the most prude Tyga fan and will have you humming along, subconsciously or otherwise.
"I'm On It"Tyga Featuring Lil Wayne
After making an alliance with Lil Wayne and his Young Money squadron, Tyga took to the mixtape circuit to regain his buzz on the streets. One of the tracks that helped make his coronation into the YM faction was "I'm On It," which featured Tyga getting greasy all over the jittery, "Drop It Like It's Hot" inspired beat. Barking "Snap-back, chin up, gold chain nigga / Stripes no Tigger, Tyga bitches / Hundred proof liquor, live no liver /There's hoes in this muthafucka straight tripping," Tyga asserts himself and proves why the biggest rapper in the game at the time would use a first-round draft pick on him. Speaking of Weezy, he tossed his new signee a bone with a highlight-reel of a verse, spewing bars like "New Orleans nigga with my dick up in my right hand / Young Money nigga, money longer then a lifespan / Still go to sleep with my Bible on my nightstand / Flyer then a bitch and you ain’t even got your flight plan." Tyga and Wayne were definitely on it on this selection and the poof remains in the pudding five years later.
A little Cali love gets shown on "Switch Lanes," which sees Tyga enlisting Compton connect The Game for a hoo-banger of a track. Handling hook duties on this item, T-Raww ghostrides the track, spitting "When I switch lanes, phantom doors swing / Arm out the window screaming money ain't a thang / Call it automatic bang, bang, bang /Call it automatic bang, bang, bang," before volleying bars back and forth with The Game. Produced by Royal Nice, Laze, this Well Done 3 standout was so dope that it was added to Tyga's Hotel California album as a bonus cut on the deluxe version, which further solidifies why it landed it a well-deserved spot on this list.