|Label:||Last Kings Music|
|Next Project:||No Introduction (June 10)|
|Twitter:||Tyga on Twitter|
When an artist is flanked by the attribute, “no introduction necessary,” it often implies that their successful resume speaks for itself. With the launch of rapper Tyga’s new summertime single, “Coconut Juice,” the first track off his forthcoming debut, “No Introduction,” the 18-year-old rapper has made this overture clear.
Inked to a record deal with Pete Wentz’s (of the pop-punk band, Fall Out Boy) Decaydance Records (courtesy of Travis McCoy’s Bat Squad), and aligned with Lil’ Wayne’s Young Money Entertainment, Tyga has no shortage of A-list support. That is further evidenced by the Compton native’s inclusion on a recently wrapped Spring Campus Tour with fellow rising stars, the Gym Class Heroes and Kidz In The Hall.
In an exclusive interview with DJBooth‘s DJ “Z,” Tyga steps inside the booth to talk about how growing up in California makes it difficult to obtain a record deal, which college campus has the most beautiful co-eds, and why he truly needs “No Introduction.”
Listen to the Interview
Tyga Interview Transcription
DJ Booth: What’s goin’ on ya’ll? It’s your boy “Z,” doin’ it real big, and joining me inside the DJ Booth is an up-and coming rapper, aligned with Lil’ Wayne’s Young Money Entertainment, who wants you all to put that lime in the coconut and twist it all up. Please welcome Tyga – how you doin’?
Tyga: What’s up, what’s up, Z? I’m chillin’, man.
DJ Booth: You’ve been a busy, busy man.
Tyga: Yeah, that’s how you become successful, man – you gotta stay busy.
DJ Booth: Exactly. So the stage name’s “Tyga.” Are you as ferocious as the animal?
Tyga: I’m a beast when it comes to anything. I believe in givin’ one-hundred-ten percent, anything I do.
DJ Booth: On June 10th, you’re going to be releasing your debut album, No Introduction. I just gave you an introduction – was that necessary, or are you the type of artist that just speaks for himself?
Tyga: I just let the music speak, ‘cause in the end that’s what it’s all about. Some people might feel like, No Introduction, that’s cocky. But what some people might not understand is before the single, I’d already been on TV, I’d had radio play, you know what I’m saying? I had so many things leading up to this point right now, even before I had a deal. That’s why I decided to name the album No Introduction.
DJ Booth: On the phone with me now, though, for anybody who up to this point has not heard your new song, or is unfamiliar with where you’ve been in your career up to this point, give ‘em a little introduction – who is Tyga?
Tyga: An artist who’s just tryin’ to do something different, and basically not caring about everybody’s opinions and wanting to follow what everybody else is doing. At the same time, I know when to be serious, but I know when to joke. And Coconut Juice is… [in the] summertime, people really don’t wanna hear you talkin’ about [sellin’ drugs and killin’ people]. People sometimes want to hear that, but right now you gotta make music for everybody. It’s summertime, it’s hot, people are havin’ fun, and once you get to a certain level where I’m at, you’re not just making music for your personal use no more, just making music for your homies around you; you’re making music for people around the world. Kids in Alaska – like, you’re making music for everybody. When I make music, I just think on a larger scale.
DJ Booth: At eighteen years old, you get it, which is something a lot of artists at twenty-eight in this industry do not understand. You mentioned it’s a fun single, something that anyone can enjoy, no matter where they’re listening. It seemed like you had a lot of fun shooting that video; that seemed like a great time.
Tyga: Oh, yeah, definitely – it was crazy.
DJ Booth: I saw in the video, the police are called ‘cause the party you throw is just absolutely insane, and Lil’ Wayne picks up.
Tyga: Pete is playing the next-door neighbor, and he calls Wayne. Actually, supposedly he thinks he’s callin’ the police, but he calls Wayne, and Wayne’s like, “What are you talkin’ about?” He’s just lookin’ at him like, “What the hell?”
DJ Booth: Let’s say Weezy is really a cop. Would you feel safe with him serving and protecting our community?
Tyga: [laughter] That’s a funny question. I have no comment on that – that’s funny.
DJ Booth: Let’s talk about some material other than Coconut Juice. I heard a track with you and Wayne, it’s entitled California Love. I know that you hail from Compton, so what are some things that you love most about your birth state? What does California mean to you?
Tyga: Cali, man, we set trends. Cali is it. It’s really like, “You gotta get with it or get lost,” out here. There’s so many people out here in LA and Cali that say they’re doin’ this, and people wanna make it, people move out here to make it. We have that opportunity, and we have that advantage over a lot of other states. But for the people that actually live here, it’s crazy, because [they] don’t make it, you know what I mean? People come from elsewhere, leave their life that they have over there and come to Cali and make it. Me, growin’ up in Cali, LA all my life, and makin’ it, that’s very huge – nobody really makes it out here like that.
DJ Booth: Being that you are relatively young, you did not have to wait utill you were maybe in your mid-thirties to make it. But let’s say you didn’t get on this early, and you had to grind for many more years – how frustrating would it be knowing that you hail from a state so many artists come to, to find that one chance, and they’re gettin’ it, but you lived there and you’re not?
Tyga: Not frustrating. I respect anybody that’s doin’ their thing, and doin’ better than I’m doin, or at least tryin’. I really don’t need to hate on the next person. We’re all just tryin’ to get one thing at the end of the day, everybody’s tryin’ to get money and be successful, and just enjoy what they do. And doin’ music, musicians and artists, we have the advantage of doin’ something that is our passion. At the same time it’s fun, and it’s like a dream to other people, and live off it, feed yourself off of it. ‘Cause it’s hard, you know what I”m sayin’? You really gotta grind and you really gotta love and enjoy what you do, if you’re gonna make it. ‘Cause if you don’t believe in yourself, if you don’t got people believin’ in you, people aren’t gonna buy it.
DJ Booth: Thats no joke, especially now more than ever with this music industry. Another song I want to talk about is AIM. You spit the line, “She don’t know my name; she know me by my AIM.” Now, I don’t know about you, but I’ve had one too many unintentionally uncomfortable conversations with ladies on AIM. I didn’t expect it to go that way, and it went that way. So I wanna know from you: what is the craziest conversation that you have had on AIM with someone you didn’t know before that conversation started?
Tyga: AIM is crazy, ‘cause its just so, like – I dunno! I don’t even know the craziest conversation I had on AIM with somebody. People will just get your AIM, [they] could just be lookin’ at somebody’s sidekick [goin’ through everybody listed], like, “Who’s this?” ‘Cause you’ve got the thing where people can customize your name, so they could put “Tyga.” It wouldn’t just be my screen name. And people see that, they’re like, “Oh!” And then you get all type of random AIMs, and you got haters, but then you also got stalker-type girls. You get all type of stuff. That’s basically why I wrote the song, “She don’t know me by my name; she know me by my AIM,” ‘cause it’s like everybody’s on the AIM thing right now.
DJ Booth: So are you trying to convince me that this song was not the derivative of one specific crazy stalker chick who got your screen name. Come on, let me get the story; tell me the real story.
Tyga: I don’t know… it’s really, ‘cause I get a lot of that. It isn’t just one story right now, off the top of my head. That’s why I put this song out for people, and I actually said, if you listen to the song, I tell people my AIM in the song. I don’t really sign on there all the time, but I sign on sometimes and people AIM me.
DJ Booth: It’s the gift and curse of success, my friend.
Tyga: Definitely. But I was prepared for it, and I’m ready, you know what I’m sayin’? I knew that’s what I wanted to do since day one, and I’m not going to let anything discourage me from that.
DJ Booth: Speaking of crazy stalker chicks, I know there are plenty of them on college campuses across the country, and you, my friend, just wrapped up a month-long college tour. So, of all the stops you made, which college or university had the best-looking coeds?
Tyga: The best?
DJ Booth: You set foot on campus and you said, “Oh my God…”
Tyga: [to someone in background] What college do you think had the best-looking females, that we just went on tour with?
Voice in background: Ah, Ithaca…
Tyga: Yeah, upstate New York, Ithaca. Places that you would not expect, you know what I mean? Places like Oklahoma City – oh my God! I didn’t even believe I was in Oklahoma; I thought I was in LA or Miami! So, Oklahoma had a lot, and upstate New York had a lot, too. I think the funnest, though, were the girls that were just ready to do anything to get on the bus. Like, it had to be Detroit – they’ll all do anything to get on the bus. I’m like, “It’s just a bus!” It’s embarrassing; we’re just chillin’!
DJ Booth: I’ll tell you what a part of that is, being from Chicago, and I know all about it – not because girls wanna get on my tour bus, but because I’ve seen girls try to get on artists’ tour buses: that’s because it’s freezing in the Midwest, so they wanna get on your tour bus to get out of the cold!
Tyga: Oh, yeah, that’s another thing: it be cold outside. They would just wanna get on that bus, take some pictures for their Facebook, MySpace, say they hung out with you and stuff.
DJ Booth: Exactly – next thing you know, you’re their best friend. So you already told me which colleges had the best-looking coeds, I need to know, out of all the schools you visited, which university is going to hold to distinction of having the worst-looking coeds?
Tyga: The worst-looking?
DJ Booth: Yeah, just nasty.
Tyga: I don’t wanna put nobody’s city or nothing down like that…
DJ Booth: So just put the college down; you don’t even have to mention the city.
Tyga: I think all the colleges were cool, you know? All the girls look good in college; I mean they’re young, they’re ready, they’re single, they just wanna have fun.
DJ Booth: Well, you were lucky enough to see them out at night, when they were all dolled up with makeup and their short skirt on. Most of them don’t put any makeup on and wear sweatpants to class during the day, so be thankful you didn’t perform at 11:00 AM.
Tyga: Oh, yeah, definitely.
DJ Booth: The name of your label, Tyga, is G.E.D. Inc, which stands for “Gettin’ Every Dollar.” I know you know this, but back in the day, an artist could simply drop an album, release three singles, and tour, and they could make all the money in the world. Now, it’s a little bit more difficult to make that moolah. You need to diversify that artistic portfolio. So, other than your music, what other ways do you see yourself gettin’ that money, man?
Tyga: Oh, man… right now, we got the drink we’re workin’ on, Coconut Juice. Gettin’ into movies, video games, everything, man, just takin’ over everything, [not just] doin’ music. That’s one thing: when you start to become famous, you can hop into any kind of field just because of the name you have and the credentials you have. Basically, that G.E.D. label, that’s what it stands for, because we got artists that’s comin’ up: me, Gata, School Boy Q, artists out here from LA, and we got a girl artist from Houston, A.r.k. My buzz ain’t gonna die down. I’m sayin’, “Okay, I did what I did, I sold this amount of records, my album’s done – who’s next? Q. Okay, who’s next? Gata,” you know what I mean? It’s gonna be continuous, so we gonna keep people hot at all times, we gonna keep feedin’ ‘em good product.
DJ Booth: As we both know, G.E.D. also stands for “General Education Degree.” Are you in school right now, did you finish it?
Tyga: I finished, I graduated last year, got my diploma. “General education,” yeah, that’s crazy, ‘cause actually you got “Gettin’ Every Dollar,” we got, “Grindin’ Every Day,” and it also means “Gettin’ Educated Daily.” We [felt] like we had to throw that in there, too.
DJ Booth: Do you feel like, if you had not decided to pursue the rap career full-force, one hundred percent of your time, energy, and effort, if you did go to college, you’d be interested in studying something that had nothing to do with music?
Tyga: Bein’ a musician and bein’ at the standpoint that I’m at right now, I really wouldn’t know how to answer that question, ‘cause I can’t think outside of [bein’ an artist]. That’s how deep I am into this, and so focused that I really can’t think, like, if I wasn’t an artist, what I’d be doin’ in school. I’m pretty sure I’d be doin’ it – if I didn’t go into music, I’d be working, have a regular job or something probably, and goin’ to school like everybody else and all my other peers around my age.
DJ Booth: Let’s say, up to this point, someone’s listening to our interview, and they have not sipped on Tyga’s Coconut Juice just yet. Tell ‘em why they need to be up on your juice, so that on June 10th, when No Introduction drops, they’re the first person in their town or city to pick up a copy.
Tyga: Man, the single, I’m bringin’ something new, man. I’m bringin’ something different. I’m young; it’s not the same old washed-up, “He’s the next…” People don’t even know who to compare me to. People compare me to certain people as far as career-wise, “Oh, yeah, he’s gonna be here for a minute,” and stuff like that, but the music is basically different. I know what people want. I know what everybody wants – I know what the streets want, I know what the suburbs want, I know what corporate people want. I know what-all type of music these people listen to. And that’s basically what the album, No Introduction is: it’s a variety of stuff, it’s a little taste of everything for everybody to be happy.
DJ Booth: Tyga, give everyone a website or a MySpace page so they can find out more about what you got goin’ on.
DJ Booth: I thank you for taking the time to join me inside the booth, and the best of luck with your upstart career, my friend.
Tyga: Definitely. I appreciate it, man.