That Tyga ranks as the fourth-best rapper on Lil Wayne's label is hardly a sign of weakness. The 22-year-old's first LP for Young Money lays bare its Top 40 aspirations with misty-eyed R&B ("Far Away") and clings mostly to an everyman rags-to-riches narrative; it also keeps a shrewd eye on the club with the dank champagne-room bounce of "Faded" and Top 10 hit "Rack City." Tyga's strength isn't in introspection, but curation. Pharrell Williams, Wale, Nas and J. Cole all guest, and those who don't are there in spirit: "Do It All" apes Kanye West's "Power," and "Black Crowns" ends with a voicemail message from Mom that would make even Drake squirm.
Listen to "Rack City":
• Photos: Random Notes