March 29th, 2012, 2:24 pm · · posted by DAVID HALL, FOR THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
Rising young rapper, Tyga, is probably best known for his most recent club banger, “Rack City” (off his second studio album, Careless World: Rise of the Last King, released last December), but he’s equally notorious for an unruly reputation.
Just last week, MTV.com reported that the rapper and his crew were allegedly involved in a shooting after a show near Omaha, Nebraska, resulting in a bullet grazing the arm of his in-house female guest rapper, 19-year-old Honey Cocaine. A couple of weeks earlier, Mediatakeout.com posted that the 22-year-old rapper was held at gunpoint in Winnepeg, Canada, then forced to dance to his own music, after allegedly mistreating concert promoters at a show earlier that evening. Tyga has since denied the incident in Canada via his official Twitter page.
Whether or not all that’s true, those events would certainly help explain why security was so uppity throughout his sold-out performance on Wednesday night the Observatory in Santa Ana. Despite that edgy vibe, the show was a success – probably the most enlivened hip-hop party that this revamped venue has hosted thus far.
It was likely also one of the biggest productions this locale has ever put on. Tyga erupted onto the stage – spurts of smoke shooting into the air, back-dropped by a massive DJ stand decked out with giant neon letters spelling out his name – with a few of his rowdier cuts, inciting huge chants on the Odd Future-esque “Bouncin’ on My D**k.”
Most of his material emanated that devil-may-care, party animal vibe, but a few songs – particularly “Kings and Queens,” which features Nas and Wale on its original recording – were permeated by uplifting, jazzy beats, their more positive lyrical messages translating into peace signs held high rather than middle fingers.
Tyga was a strong enough performer on his own, his vocal confidence on tracks such as “Muthaf**ka Up” and “Deuces” echoing influences from both gangsta rap veterans (Jay-Z especially) and R&B giants (a la R. Kelly and Chris Brown, who originally guested on the latter track).
Yet no one could deny that the evening’s energy reached new heights with the appearance of Honey Cocaine – one of the tiniest and likewise fiercest Asian hip-hop artists I’ve ever witnessed – on the hat-trick of “Heisman,” “Heisman Part 2” and “Too P***y To.”
Of course, the audience saved its most enthused reaction – buckwild booty dancing as far as the eye could see – for “Rack City.” Not a single fan seemed to mind when – after blasting through the spirited sing-along, “Far Away” – Tyga chose to close the show with a reprise of his biggest hit, waving around handfuls of discarded lingerie (thrown ceremoniously on stage) for extra emphasis.
Article and photos by David Hall, for OrangeCounty.com.
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