Ty Dolla $ign has impressed me in the same way that The Weeknd has impressed me; both have a very versatile and diverse arsenal. The pair of artists have the ability to rap, sing and produce; which then leads to hit singles. I especially appreciated Ty’s knack for combining smooth and sleek R&B tunes with thoughtful lyrics, specifically on his debut album, Free TC. The utilization of powerhouses like Kendrick Lamar and Future was on point, with each bringing their own strengths and flare to the record.
With the announcement that Beach House 3 would count as an album rather than a mixtape, Dolla $ign was making sure that people knew this would be a more refined output from the skilled LA native.
Ty pulls out all the stops on his newest project. He takes the raw skill that he already has, and creates a portrait of an artist trying to deal with fame and all the ups and downs that come with it.
Even with 20 tracks, the frenetic pace keeps everything crisp, from the production to the straightforward lyricism. Although the songs are so short, each feature that hops on the record compliments the aesthetic to a tee.
Ty starts us of with a gorgeous acoustic single called “Famous,” (with John Mayer playing the guitar) and how musicians get caught up in the spotlight. He takes a few shots at his contemporaries with lines like, “They don’t wanna work all day,” and, “They ain’t worried about who they steppin’ on.” There’s a certain level of self-awareness with his approach to this type of theme, which is something that should be respected.
The smooth and almost effortless transition from the short “Famous Lies,” to the silky club banger, “Love U Better” is one of the highlights of the entire project. It was also a treat to see Lil Wayne back at it with his usual punchlines in his verse.
The production in general was quite glossy and glamorous filled with trap-induced beats like on the sexy “Droptop in the Rain,” and with more subtle instrumentation like on the insightful, “Message in a Bottle.” The latter especially is interesting considering Ty writes these dark and depressing lyrics over jubilant production. Honestly, Dolla is at his darkest on this track, singing about popping Xans and using weapons.
Although there were many memorable moments on Beach House 3, with 20 songs, there were bound to be weaker points. For example, “Dawsin’s Breek” and “Don’t Judge Me” are one-dimensional and lazy compared to many of the other singles. Ty doesn’t bring the same energy on these songs, and Future doesn’t sound good on the latter track. He sounds a little better on his second appearance with, “Don’t Sleep on Me” featuring 24hrs. Even here though, Ty is sticking with his topic on fame and the experiences he’s had with that.
Impressively, Dolla gets out of the dry spell in the middle with the Pharrell Williams- produced single, “Stare.” Williams has an infectious hook with a creative usage of a sample form Yo Gotti’s “Gangsta Party.” A$AP Rocky actually has writing credits here as well.
The hot streak continues with South American-inspired tracks, “So Am I” and “Lil’ Favorite.” Damian Marley brings the same intensity from Jay-Z’s 4:44, and applies it to the former song. Skrillex adds his famous base drop in the middle adding even more flare to an already fiery experience.
I feel like Ty would have been better off without the tiny interludes throughout the album. His message would have felt less confusing and loose if he left those out. They just sound like 30 second ideas that never fully developed. With respect to the rest of the record, it was annoying having those breaks thrown in there.
Other than that though, Ty comes out with his most focused and consistent record to date. Sure, the lyrics were mostly trite and candid, but his energy was so contagious, to the point that it didn’t matter. My fandom for his music will only grow from here.