‘Featuring Ty Dolla $ign’ | Album Review

Self-awareness is key to excel in an industry that isn’t as accurate as it seems. For an artist like Ty Dolla $ign, his greatest strength goes beyond his celebrity status.

For years now the Ty Dolla hook has been the most effective instrument in the industry. Responsible for hits that spans across genres, Ty became a prominent name in music, even when critics try to argue otherwise. From chart-toppers such as “Psycho” to sensual classics such as “Or Nah”, Ty has developed self-awareness and is finally reclaiming his voice.

On his new album, Featuring Ty Dolla $ign, the multifaceted musician is self-aware and utilizes that power to his advantage. To remind you exactly what he’s capable of, Ty introduces the album with a subtle message from Kanye West – “Dolla you too good to put your voice on that generic shit”, he quotes his frequent collaborator. With that, how does he follow such a bold statement? Well, he retraces his steps and finds himself in the drivers seat.

For his expedition to reclaim the spotlight, Ty enlists a wide range of collaborators who understand the vision, and enhances it, but don’t overshadow it. On “Temptations”, Ty and Cudi croon in this melodic journey that paces itself into a blast off straight to “serpentwithfeet’s interlude”. The first of many smooth like butter transitions provides an exhilarating experience to elevate this album filled with nothing but hits. But sometimes the transitions don’t exactly follow one another, as with “Spicy” with Post Malone, “Expensive” with Nicki Minaj, and “Burna Boy’s Interlude”, all follow a central theme with the production even when they’re not back-to-back on the tracklist.

Ty takes a cue from Kanye, and curates an opus that is built with the help from his collaborators. From “Track 6” to “Lift Me Up” and all the songs in-between, the sequencing ties together the thread where he and his collaborators don’t play tug and war, but instead, they help to lift Ty up to take center stage. Even on solo songs such as “Time Will Tell” and “Everywhere”, the rare moments prove he is just as good on his own, and the guests were just a bonus.

With the star-studded guest list, it’s easy to be distracted from the little details such as the lack of an extensive look into the identity of Ty himself. But, that’s what makes him so fascinating — even with all the hits, there’s still a mystery and he keeps on leaving listeners guessing.

Featuring Ty Dolla $ign is the benchmark moment for the star. Every hit that came before the album was just a glimpse into the world of Ty Dolla $ign, and with the guests who RSVP’d, this body of work is a celebration of the man who deserves his flowers, and is rightfully basking in them.

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