When you record on the same label as Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj and Drake, it seems really hard to make a niche for yourself in the shade of such big, ever-present names. Compton rapper Tyga has had the good fortune of being put forward by Weezy, an immediate catapult for any artist hoping to make it commercially, from the moment that he started out (as well as after releasing his more-than-forgettable debut). But it is hard to say to at what point being the fourth on board the Young Money train can become more of an obstacle than a blessing. The weight of comparisons - and the feeling that he will always come in second within the label - might limit the projection of an album that (to tell the truth) achieves what was expected of him, although with noticeable dips in intensity and inspiration.
“Careless World: Rise Of The Last King” is the vigorous Cash Money debut of an MC of sparing lyric talent, who shows more artistic intelligence than one would have presumed for a multinational release of this scope. Aware of his lack of shine and punch with a pen, Tyga decides to make a premium production the star of the show, adapting it surprisingly well to the Californian’s needs and demands. The majority of the beats come from Jess Jackson and they do their job: they give the album variety, melodic presence, and substantial sound - keeping it from getting too bogged down in tedium and monotony. This is not entirely successful, as the end of the album out stays its welcome and feels redundant - it is easily fifteen minutes too long. Furthermore, the contrast between the hits and the filler is too explicit, leaving the flaws of the album too much out in the open. The moments when he is too hungry for singles and gets carried away in playing with pop-rap don’t do much for him either: “Far Away”, “Celebration” and “For The Fame” are overloaded with sugar, auto-tuning, and radio-formula choruses.
But when Tyga pulls through with his lyrical efforts and solves his problems well enough - when he moulds his flow to the needs of the song and backs it up with solid production - then the result comes close to the ideal of mainstream rap, circa 2012, that Young Money should promote. This is the case on “Lil Homie”, with production and falsetto by Pharrell Williams, a far-reaching neck-breaker; on “Muthafucka Up”, with Nicki Minaj once again acting as an unbeatable show stealer; on “Faded”, with his boss and Godfather, alongside a strange, contagious beat; or on “Rack City”, with another notably different production, dispensing with pop tricks and tools to give an experimental air to an eminently commercial album. Uneven and bipolar, equally inspired and forced, “Careless World: Rise Of The Last King” will not crown Tyga the new king of anything on the hip hop map - but it does make it clear that Lil Wayne knows how to choose his wingmen, the ones defending his cause from the rear.