Interview: Tyga Talks "Rack City" Haters, Starting Riots, and Features on His Album
By Ernest Baker | Jan 20, 2012 | 3:30 pm | Permalink
Do you like what Odd Future and Kendrick Lamar have done coming out of your city?
Yeah, it’s dope. Kendrick, man. I had his first mixtape when I was like 15 in high school. So coming from the same place, to see how much he’s grown as an artist is crazy. That dude is a really hard worker. I think it’s good. The other thing is that we’re all young.
How did you feel about those guys who tried to expose you as not really from Compton a couple years ago?
I mean, you’ve got niggas that showed pictures of me when I was in elementary. Like, alright, of course. Everybody went to elementary school. How does that expose me as a rapper? “Oh, look at him. He was in school when he was 10.” Everybody is in school when they’re 10. That’s just life. That’s part of being a celebrity and being in the public eye. People want credit for knowing you when you weren’t famous. Okay, big deal. If you used to fuck with me back then, I appreciate it. If you didn’t, I don’t care. I’m trying to be successful and better my situation and better my family and friends’ situations, and you’ve got motherfuckers getting on WorldStar and shit. If that’s what people live for, that’s cool. I be in the studio. I work. I just want to make music and put it out and shoot videos and go on tour. That’s all I want to do. I don’t care about all that other shit. I’m a creative person, and I’ve got a lot of ideas. People probably thought that my mentality was quick fame because I made “Rack City” and it blew up fast, but I have over 1,000 songs recorded. I don’t sit around the studio and bullshit. I make music. That’s what I Iove to do.
On the flip side, there’s also video of girls getting naked for you on stage. Has it always been that wild or is it starting to get crazier as you’ve gotten more popular?
I noticed that when I put out that [Fan of a Fan
] mixtape with Chris. That changed a lot of things and got a lot of females knowing who Tyga was. It always helps when you put out a mixtape with one of the top R&B stars. [Laughs.] Girls always want a reason to get crazy. I get the feeling that girls are crazy anyway, so they just want a reason to really get wild. Why not let it be to a Tyga song?
Is this Chyna Blac girl you’ve been photographed out with, like your girl?
Nah, just chilling, man. Like I said, you get a hit song and people are like hawks now. I’ve done way crazier stuff that people will probably never hear about, but it didn’t matter back then. I guess everything matters now.
Did you learn anything from going on tour with Diddy?
Regardless of how many years you’ve been doing it, and regardless of how much you’ve accomplished, those people in the crowds are the same. Your life may have changed a million times since you last went on tour, but those people in the crowds lives haven’t changed. It’s still the same people coming to see you. I’m like, “Damn, I want to be doing this until I’m old.” When I get to a certain level, I still want to be able to connect and relate to those people that have average jobs and are going through regular problems. Watching Diddy perform every night at those shows was a great experience. You just know what kind of goals you’ve got to set for yourself and beyond that.
Speaking of live shows, what happened in San Diego on January 6th? They say you started a riot.
Basically, a promoter at the second club that I went to paid me to host a party. He wanted me to walk through, chill, whatever. Eventually, I got drunk and ended up going onstage and having fun with the crowd. My contract was to go do two parties, 20 to 30 minutes. I guess something happened with the promoters where he dealt with some false people that said they booked me. He gave them money, and the guy said he lost about $30,000. So I went to the first event. It was an 18-and-under event. I got there, and it was like 2,000 kids in the street. The capacity of the club was 700 or 800. I didn’t know that until I got there. There were kids inside, and they were standing there waiting for me to perform. There was a stage set up, and I’m like, “A stage? I’m not performing.” I had put it on my Twitter like, “I’m chilling at this place tonight. I’m not performing.” I made that clear, because promoters don’t care.
That’s why I don’t even want to do parties. There’s no point in me doing parties, unless I know the event is 21 and older or I know the club or something like that. These were real loyal fans out here, and these kids were 18 and under, and they were waiting for me to perform, and my DJ wasn’t even with me, because I wasn’t performing. I wasn’t even prepared. So I get there. I’m like, “I’ll walk in, and we’ll just figure it out from there.” He’s like, “Can you do at least five songs?” I’m like, “Yo, you don’t do business like that, homie. That’s not how shit goes.” So I’m about to walk in, and the police shut it down. They were like, “Nope.” They said the kids started vandalizing shit in the place because they were waiting for me to come onstage, when I was never scheduled to perform.
So I had to leave that spot, and all those kids are pissed off, and everybody’s blaming me, of course. So I go to the second event, which is the 21-and-older event. I walk in and there’s no music playing. There was a stage set up and the guy’s onstage like, “You guys ready to see Tyga live? Make some noise!” And there’s no music playing. That’s not a party, that’s a performance. I’m like, “I can’t disappoint people like that.” I can go onstage and talk to them and shit, or I can not. What’s the point of going onstage and telling them, “Yo, I can’t perform for y’all” and “my DJ’s not here”? They’re not going to understand that. They just understand the $50 that they spent to get in this club to come see me perform or however it was advertised. So it is what it is with that situation. But to all those people that did spend their money, I don’t want people to think that I’m that type of artist, because I’m not. In all my performances, I go hard. Those fans have a good time. I’m going on tour next month and San Diego is scheduled, and I think it’s House of Blues or some theater, but what I’m trying to do is an outside venue or a way larger venue, and I’m going to do it for free. We’re really going to cause pandemonium. They can really get the news out there when I do that show.
Yeah, it’s possible that will get shut down, too.
Yup. They’re going to have to deal with it. They want to drag my name all on the news, like I’m some bad person, like I took people’s money. They said people were paying $50 for regular tickets to get in and then they were paying $150 to meet me. I’m like, “Yo, this is crazy.” That falls back on the promoter. I didn’t know nothing about that. It’s not right to do people like that.
How do you feel when you see Internet comments trashing you over that incident?
It’s crazy, but it’s nothing you can do. When I do my show out there and it’s crazy packed and I’m out there sweating and I put on a great show and people are happy, that’s all that matters to me. I really don’t care what they’re saying. It’s the action that I’m going to take when I perform. They can put that on the news.
Did you see that Charles Hamilton diss from the other day?
Nah, one of my homies told me. I didn’t click on it, though.
That doesn’t interest you?
Nah. It’s just like, “Alright.” [Laughs
.] I’m in the studio, talking to Birdman about trying to take over shit. I ain’t really tripping. When you’re focused, you have a whole other vision.
I’m sure you saw that grandma dancing to “Rack City” though.
Yeah, that was crazy. A bunch of people were tweeting it to me. Then I clicked it, and I was like, “Yo, this shit’s hilarious. Wow. This is funny.” I’m working on trying to do something with them now, maybe like, on the Ellen
show or something like that.
What was the deal with your arrest in Vegas?
I think the cop wanted a reason to pull me over. He said I was speeding. Ironically, he didn’t give me a speeding ticket. He just wanted to pull me over. Young dude, nice car. I was in a Ghost. I was in a Phantom, 2012. They didn’t put that on TMZ. It’s all good. I was chilling. No tint, just on some regular shit. The cop pulled me over, and you know how that shit goes. I think I had some unpaid tickets or something from a long time ago, from before I went on tour with Chris, like last summer or something like that. I didn’t know about them. So I spent a night at county.
How was that?
That shit was pretty wild. There was a lot of people coming up to me rapping and shit. I’m just trying to get booked and bail out really quick, and do what I’ve got to do to take care of it.
People were showing you love in there?
It was mainly a lot of drunks. There was a couple dudes in there, young dudes. They were rapping, asking me questions about Drake and Nicki and shit like that. It’s definitely a place I don’t want to be. I’m too creative, and I have to move around. I can’t sit in a place like that.
Does the idea of still being racially profiled fuck with you?
There’s always going to be that. Then you’ve got officers that ask me to take pictures with their daughters and their kids. So it’s a weird thing. As soon as they find out who you are, they want to treat you a certain way, but when they don’t, they just think you’re up to no good and they’re like, “I’m going to fuck with this person.” There’s stereotypes that you’re always going to have to deal with, so you’ve got to mind your own business and move how you move.
Like you say, “Bitch I’m the shit, I ain’t worried ‘bout shit.”
Yeah, I just be chilling, man. People are going to love this album, though. It’s been pushed back a million times, but when they get it, they’re going to love it.
How does it feel for it to finally be coming out?
I’m excited for it. I’ve got to put this tracklisting out. Then I’m working on shooting a video for “Faded” and this song I have with Nicki on the album. I want to get those shot.
What does getting to this point after all the setbacks say to you about perseverance?
You have to be dedicated. When you put out so much stuff, and you keep going, you’re going to gain fans. Everybody has fans. I don’t care what type of music they make. You’ve really got to travel and move around. You’ve got to stay consistent. That’s the main thing with people. Be consistent in dropping videos, and I’m not saying just do anything, but always be creative.
And what do you say to people who think your music is sexist or that you don’t have respect for women because you make songs like “Bouncing On My Dick”?
If you feel that way, then don’t listen to it. You can listen to songs like “Far Away” or “Deuces” where I speak about women in a different way. You don’t build your life on one type of emotion. Look at Tupac. He went through 19 different emotions. He would say, “Fuck everybody,” and then, “Love the world.” People wouldn’t understand, but it’s just the mind of a genius, man.