October 29, 2014

 Max Bell is money holda, shot caller, blunt smoker, hot roller

“I don’t like Drake as a person. He’s just fake to me.” – Tyga

There is an alternate universe where Tyga is added to “No New Friends.” When Drake learns of the addition he runs home from the studio to comfort himself by drinking champagne and listening to saved phone messages from various Hooters waitresses. He then drunkenly demands to be paid and taken off the song via a near indecipherable, emoji-ridden text to DJ Khaled. Tyga suggests his “real genuine friend” Chris Brown as a replacement. In the music video that inevitably follows, shots of Drake as the softest iteration of Tony Montana are traded for a fur clad Tyga standing next to a digitally inserted tiger; whenever he’s not singing, Chris Brown dances like he’s auditioning for the next Step Up sequel; Wayne scraps the verse Drake wrote for him and raps like it’s ’07; Rick Ross falls asleep wearing a lobster bib and never actually raps; and DJ Khaled still counts his money because he internalized the tenets of The Secret in every universe. This is all a round about way saying that, no matter the cosmological sphere, Tyga and Drake were never going to make it work.

For those keeping count, the shots fired in Tyga’s Vibe interview last week shouldn’t have been a surprise. Drake wears owls around his neck; Tyga wears pharaohs. Drake reps Nike; Tyga reps L.A. Gear. Tyga probably believes vulnerability is something you contract from unprotected sex; Drake displays his supposed vulnerability like it was a trophy. Drake drops the bands he was going to give to a stripper outside of the club; Tyga has a baby with that stripper.

If you watch “The Motto” video today, you’ll see signs of the rift. During Tyga’s verse (undoubtedly written at the drop of Birdman hand rub), he and Drake awkwardly share the stage together. Not one handshake, arm around the shoulder, or pat on the back. Whether or not Drake had a possibly very serious case of mysophobia at the time (see the football gloves) was no excuse. After that, the only time both appeared on the same song was “Still Got It.” Purportedly recorded years prior to its release, the song was relegated to a bonus track on Tyga’s Careless World: Rise of the Last King for a reason.

Now, in the wake of the Vibe interview, most have interpreted Tyga’s latest single, “Make It Work,” as diss track. This is strange for a few reasons. First, the beat  sounds like it was made after Tyga and the still nameless producer listened to “0-100” and “Started From the Bottom” on repeat. Second, Tyga shamelessly adopts (read: bites) Drake’s monotone cadence. Without the aforementioned interview, this song almost sounds like a reverent homage.

Still, every blogger from L.A. to Toronto has singled out the line, “Nigga never was my homie, all these bitches know you corny,” as another dart. Yet, according to T-Raww’s Twitter account, the song “been recorded.” Thus, a subsequent quote from Tyga’s Vibe interview comes to mind: “I like [Drake’s] music.”

In this light, “Make It Work” becomes one the most confusing rap songs of the year. Is Tyga trying to prove he’s better at rapping in Drake’s style than Drake, or does he really like Drake’s music enough to (un)consciously copy him? There’s no definitive answer, but there is a clue:  “Sleeping with the enemy is like hanging on rope.” Here Tyga is either lamenting the fact that he and Drake share the same label, or he’s admitting to adopting Drake’s style, unsure of whether that rope will snap or land him safely on a pile of 40 million dollars.

As far as potentially subliminal disses go, there are a few others. The line, “Sphinx, I’m a pharaoh, ain’t a fairy,” much like the “corny” line could be aimed at the man who probably had a hand in stripping the original “Club Going Up on a Tueday” from YouTube. And, at the end of the track, Tyga says, “Your bitch with me all night, nigga.” For those brave cognoscenti following Tyga’s trials and tribulations, this could be a reference to their love triangle with Blac Chyna.

Then again, maybe I’ve wandered to deep into the pyramid.

All of the drama aside, “Make It Work” is unintentionally hilarious. After misinterpreting Jim Carey’s character from Liar Liar (“Jim Carey, I ain’t fucking with you liars”), Tyga attempts to rewrite rap history. When dozens of Slick Rick photos are one click away, calling yourself a “gold-chain buying pioneer” is the kind of delusion only afforded to those capable of thinking they could improve upon “Deep Cover.”

Personally, now that Drake has become the mascot for every team willing to let him air ball during warm-ups, I hope Tyga releases a legitimate diss track. If not, I’m sure he’ll continue to entertain us by calling himself a “pharaoh” without ever actually naming one.