Perhaps taking advantage of the dearth of big name hip hop releases thus far in 2012, Tyga delivers Careless World as the latest member of YMCMB to go it alone. The album had suffered numerous delays, before the popularity of single 'Rack City' undoubtedly pushed the release date forward. Does Tyga forge his own identity at the helm of a full length album, or does he conform to the increasingly low standards the YMCMB camp has become synonymous with?
The listener may be forgiven for expecting the rest of Careless World to feature the simple lyricism present on 'Rack City'. The track is certainly catchy, a perfect club anthem, but the misogynistic content delivered in a repetitive drone is obviously open to various criticisms. It is surprising, however, to note that Tyga has more in his arsenal. It becomes obvious as the album progresses that Lil Wayne hasn't unearthed the new Nas, but the young rapper proves he can hold his own against more accomplished rhymers such as J Cole, Wale and even Wayne himself.
After uneven opener 'Careless World', things pick up markedly with the Pharrell assisted 'Lil Homie'. The track is a laid back affair, with the Neptunes producer crooning his way through a highly listenable hook. The standard is maintained on 'Muthafucka Up', a dark and dirty beat accentuated by a scene stealing Nicki Minaj. Inevitably, this cannot last. 'Do It All' becomes the album's first misstep, a dull trawl through Tyga's teenage heartbreak. At over 5 minutes long, the track soon becomes stale, outstaying its welcome quickly.
'For The Fame' is an obvious choice for a second single. The song is a perfect example of the pitch perfect pop the Young Money group specialise in , complete with the sticky feeling one receives when they catch themselves enjoying a Chris Brown track. In a similar vein, 'Far Away' has the syrupy chorus required to be a hit, Chris Richardson doing all the legwork to allow Tyga to drawl through his bars. 'Faded' appropriately follows 'Rack City' in the listing as another infectious, sexy track. Unfortunately, Lil Wayne continues his recent trend of spectacularly ruining songs with more lazy, uninspired rhymes.
On a more positive note, 'King and Queens' and 'Let It Show' represent an increasingly grown up approach. The former is an opportunity for Tyga to test himself against MMG flavour of the month Wale and veteran rhymer Nas. Though it seems an odd teaming on paper, the track just about comes off. The latter addresses keeping composure in the face of increasing fame, J Cole providing an accomplished verse.
At 21 tracks, the project unsurprisingly has its fair share of filler. 'Black Crowns' has lavish production, yet never seems to get off the ground. 'Potty Mouth' does not come off as the sum of its parts, Busta Rhymes deploying his rapid fire party trick to subdued effect. A strange dubstep interlude breaks into the 7 minute 'Love Game'. While the experimentation is commendable, the effort really doesn't work in the context of the rest of the album. T Pain is featured in the irrelevant 'Celebration', YMCMB inexplicably keeping the singer in work despite his lamentable recent output.
Track By Track:
- Careless World (5/10)
- Lil Homie Feat. Pharrell (7/10)
- Mutha*****Up Feat. Nicki Minaj (7/10)
- Echoes Interlude
- Do it All (5/10)
- I'm Gone Feat Big Sean (6/10)
- For The Fame Feat. Chris Brown and Wynter Gordon (7/10)
- Birdman Interlude
- Potty Mouth Feat Busta Rhymes (6/10)
- Faded Feat. Lil' Wayne (7/10)
- Rack City (7/10)
- Black Crowns (4/10)
- Celebrations Feat. T-Pain (5/10)
- Far Away Feat. Chris Richardson (7/10)
- Mystic AKA Modo Kara
- This is like Feat Robin Thicke (6/10)
- King & Queens Feat. Wale and Nas (7/10)
- Let it Show Feat. J. Cole (7/10)
- Love Game (6/10)
- Lay You Down Feat. Lil' Wayne (6/10)
- Light Dreams Feat. Marsha Ambrosias (5/10)
It is fair to say that Careless World is part of the recent movement towards bland, pop oriented hip hop. It is not wholly terrible, however, with some unexpected quality running through selected tracks. Cutting the track list down would have been beneficial, making the album sharper and more cohesive. Tyga isn't going to make a lasting stamp on the hip hop world with this LP, but with YMCMB behind him, is sure to remain popular.