July 3, 2013

Max Bell wants to drink sake.

Ty Dolla $ign (Ty$) buys his women the same red bottoms and the same perfume. It’s the smart move: if anyone asks, you only have to remember one set of gifts. He also only considers taking a woman to the movies if the head is right. That’s just being sensible with your money. “How many girls can [Ty$] fit in [his] cabana?” Better question: How big is the cabana?

Signed to Atlantic and part of YG’s Pushaz Ink crew, Ty$ makes ‘RatchetR&B–or R&B music you can grind to both in the club and at home, something just a little softer to play when you’ve maxed out on YG or have worn out your TeeFlii playlist.

Ty$’s DJ Mustard produced tape with Joe Moses, Whoop!, was probably one of the most slept on in 2012. Though I’m sure you’ve heard “Weekend” and the Kurupt assisted “Tricks” at functions all last year from L.A. to the Bay. Beach House (2012), his DJ Ill Will & DJ Mustard hosted solo tape was also a solid effort, one that boded well for all future Ty$ projects.

It’s summer again, and so Ty$ is back with the sequel to Beach House. Hosted by DJ Drama, the new mixtape is called Beach House 2 because fuck a title. With a running time just slightly longer than the original, the number of tracks on the album is a little misleading. The tracklist says 13, but there are two songs on a few tracks. After some simple arithmetic, I’ll say the real number of songs is 18. That number might also be the answer to the question in the first paragraph.

The sound of the record is more expansive than its predecessor. Ty$ and his production crew D.R.U.G.$ handle most of the production here, and it’s clear they’ve progressed in the short time between the respective Beach House projects. For the best listen, play the tape on loudest and most expensive speakers at your disposal, and preferably near some sand and a large body of water.

Lyrically, the touchstones remain the same. Pussy, weed, ratchet pussy, weed—you get it. This tape is supposed to be fun, and it’s clear that Ty$ has no illusions about that. It’s only tiresome and misogynistic if you want it to be. Otherwise, it’s hilarious to hear Ty$ sing lines like, “I bet you can’t do that with a dick in it.”

There are obligatory appearance from Joe Moses, YG, and DJ Mustard. But this time around the features are much more high profile: Kevin Gates, Trey Songz, Kirko Bangz, Wiz Khalifa, Juicy J, Chris Brown, Game, Young Jeezy, and B.o.B.

Ever the vulnerable thug, Gates is at home on “These Hoes,” and delivers one of the best guest appearances in recent memory. He abandons his familiar and always welcome singsong cadence (for the most part), but that doesn’t detract from his ability to effortlessly string together the words monogamy, monotony, pornography, and photography. There is something in the Baton Rouge water.

The most fun on the tape comes on the DJ Mustard produced “Paranoid,” where Ty$ wonders whether two women he’s been intimate with are “trying to set [him] up.” It’s the ‘Ratchet&B’ equivalent of every sitcom episode where the protagonist invites two girls to the high school dance. The DJ Mustard beat formula—simple keys, 808s, skittering hi-hats, and ‘ay, ay’ chants—is as potent as it’s always been. Should an edited version of this song surface, it will be on Power 106 before the end of July.

My favorite track, “Get It How I Live,” is perhaps the greatest sonic departure from the rest of the album. Partially produced by electronic music blog staple XXYYXX, at times it sounds like someone doing his or her best trap rendition of a Nic Jaar song. There’s everything right about that.

Despite the mixtape’s merits, it does rehash some material. “Bitches Ain’t Shit” makes a chopped and screwed hook of the same sample YG used on his song of the same name feauring Tyga and Nipsey Hussle. Also, if you’re really listening for something markedly different on every track, you’re likely to be disappointed.

That said, remixes to “My Cabana” and “4 A Young” are either as good as or better than the originals. Jeezy doesn’t add much to “My Cabana,” but it’s not like there was much to add in the first place, and no one really expects much of him at this point anyway.

Music like Ty$’s and the rest of the Pushaz Ink family isn’t about one specific song. After numerous listens to any of their records, all songs bleed into one another. It’s really about a sound, an aesthetic: one that’s enjoyable to listen to time and again if you’re not thinking too hard. For now, Beach House 2 is the best synthesis of R&B and the ethos of trap rap available gratis. That should be good enough for anyone’s ocean-front property.

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