Audio Mixer: Jess Jackson.
Recording information: Ameraycan Recording Studio, Los Angeles, CA; Mally Mall Studios, Las Vegas, NV; Record Plant Studio, Hollywood, CA; Swisher Suite Studio, Miami, FL; The Hit Factory, Miami, FL.
Photographer: Jonathan Mannion.
Rapper Tyga debuted as a Gym Class Heroes-styled alt-rapper, but when his simple and somewhat nasty single "Rack City" took off, he became the kind of cocky thug who would drop a mixtape titled 187. Hotel California, his third official release, goes the full nasty, jamming its songs with lyrics chock-full of sex, drugs, violence, bling, and ultra-swagger, so much so that sometimes, the hook is a second thought. Supposedly, it's a concept album with the state of California its topic, but the advice-filled "Drive Fast, Stay Young" strictly deals with what's in Tyga's left coast mirror ("I'm dope man, you so plain") while the sore winner dubbed "Diss Song" ("Ignorance is bliss so I can't blame your ignorance/It's irrelevant/I'm relevant/It's a big event so go ahead and vent") is California only in that it's summery and pleasant, shuffling along to a near-bossa nova beat from Pioneer Crew member Sap. "Dope" is the almost worthy "Rack City" successor with Rick Ross on the shot callers cut, but the big surprise has to be "It Neva Rains" where the previously day-glo or nu-daisy age Tyga tours the gutter with Game by his side and matches the raspy gangster growl for growl. It could have been the porno he directed since the last album (Rack City: XXX), that makes this rapper's evolution into platinum pimp believable in fits and starts, and yet Hotel California refuses to sort his over-the-top bangers into anything sensible, and without a "Rack City" to make it crossover worthy, this is a full-length to leave for the fans. Casual listeners should check the singles, even the Trinidad James-biting "Molly" which comes with Wiz Khalifa and Tyga's own variation of the "Whoop!" shout. ~ David Jeffries