Hotel California marks a point of transition in Tyga's career - he explores the unknown vulnerability of his emotions while maintaining the braggadocio style that he's best known for.
The snare and synth-filled beats, the arrogance in the rhymes, and the claims to fame are all reasons why Tyga has gained so many followers, and this shines through on the first three tracks of Hotel California. It's this familiar, blanket sound that has garnered him the success he so rightfully brags about. But by the fourth track, "Diss Song", Tyga starts to demonstrate more maturity as an artist. Over a mellow beat, he shows his true prowess as an MC and does so without depicting his riches.
As for the rest of the fifteen-track album, Tyga raps alongside Chris Brown and Future on a series of four R&B tracks whose beats are silky smooth, slow and melodic. But just like the Rick Ross and Weezy features at the beginning of the album, they distract the listener from Tyga, which is a crime as his rhymes become somewhat lost in hype. The California native's message is partially overshadowed, as the hooks and beats tend to command the listeners' entire attention.
It's not until "Enemies", the thirteenth track, that we get to truly hear what Tyga is all about - though we did get a glimpse of it on "Diss Song." Tyga is at his best when he's vulnerable, when he reveals his feelings on a topic that affects him. On "Drive Fast, Live Young" and "Palm Trees", Tyga delves deep once again and lets the listener into his mind, a rarity in braggadocio rap. On these last three tracks, Tyga proves he is growing as an artist and leaving some of the boastful arrogance behind.
Rap is an artistic landscape that's constantly changing and always moving forward. In an era of mainstream raps about cars, weed, and women, progression can be refreshing, and there is evidence of this throughout Hotel California. Tyga has the potential to be a great rapper - we'd like to see him explore his vulnerability more and allow his true feelings to be expressed in the music. This project showcases his evolution as an artist and the lyrical crossroads he's come to. Braggadocio rap got Tyga to where he is today, but now that he's a dad, we may start to see a different side of him. Here's hoping.