ty-dolla-sign

Let us not mince words here: for whatever reason it took this long for us to get Ty Dolla $ign’s proper debut album, Free TC, we should be thankful. Here are some of the reasons why:

1. The joint with Babyface, “Solid,” is one of the most smooth, swinging records available, and even with that, it may still possibly be the fifth-best song on the entire album.

2. “LA,” the opener to Free TC features Brandy (!) and James Fauntleroy trading melodies with one another. Kendrick Lamar also appears to add to the proceedings, his verse discussing the ills that lay underneath the beauty of Los Angeles, California.

3. Stand in a room where “Blasé,” the synth-popping Future & Rae Sremmurd-assisted lead single comes on. Watch how people react to it. That’s all you need know about how fun “Blasé” is.

Hell, I’m curious as to how hard it was for Puff Daddy to keep a record like “You Could Be My Lover” from his MMM tape for himself because Ty absolutely floated on it. It’s basically like this, ladies and gentlemen – the ratchet R&B crown is currently occupied by Ty Dolla $ign and Free TC is evidence of it.

I came upon the bandwagon around the original Beach House mixtape, stayed the course for how raunchy Beach House 2 turned out to be, and unapologetically used the Beach House EP – complete with breakthrough single  “Paranoid” – for plenty of closed-eye-feel-the-breeze moments. What Ty Dolla does vocally is invoke the spirit of Nate Dogg and use it like a balloon. Where the original was a hook maven and rolled through tracks with a sullen, low-eyed demeanor about women, people he had to save Warren G from and more, the “second-coming” is a bit different. There’s small tinges of gospel and a lighter flutter that lay within Dolla $ign, and yet it’s impossible to ignore that he carries the same universal appeal that Nathaniel Hale did.

As star-studded as Free TC looked on paper, there’s an immediacy to it. It doesn’t matter what advice Ty got from the people he’s lounged around, out-smoked, or just vibed with recently. Whatever sessions held between all parties on Free TC, gave way to something bigger. If the album is meant to be an ode to his brother – whom the singer/rapper deemed more talented than him – then Ty Dolla $ign has done him more than a solid. He did a solid for everybody who bought into what he was giving us back when he was crushing hooks for Pac Div.