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—by Kemet High
It seems as if the late-2010s have bred more R&B and hip-hop collaborative projects than ever before. And when dealing with two solid artists, our faith tends to run high. Still, it's never a matter of how good they are individually, but how good they can be together. But when Ty Dolla Sign and Jeremih announced that they would be dropping an album together, MihTy, we figured the songs had potential because we'd already seen (and heard) their solid track record. Late Night's "Impatient," Late Nights: Europe's "Paris (Who Taught You That)," and Beach House 3's "Dawsin's Breek" proved the duo's conviction as a unit, that they had not just the swagger but the execution to make a hit. After arriving less than a week ago (October 26), the first impressions off MihTy have come in the form of 5 takeaways. Read 'em below!
Ty Dolla $ign is the new Nate Dogg of hooks
Scientifically, when a catalyst is at play, reactions occur faster but require less energy. So, in music, something as small as a hook can take a track from ordinary to extraordinary in 30 seconds. We knew Ty was efficient with his guest appearances, but the hooks on this album of his own scream money, too. On "FYT," featuring French Montana, Ty sings, "We gon' give you anything, diamond rings I can bring, tuh / And I put you on the team, that should mean that I'm fuckin you tonight" and, if you know the sample—from the Notorious B.I.G. and R. Kelly's classic—this makes you feel both nostalgic and satisfied. Whether taking other splashes of influence from fellow artists, or singing off-the-top, Ty Dolla glides across these hooks like skates on hardwood. However, to be frank, he isn't saying anything we haven't heard before, nor is he revealing any impressive vocal tricks; instead, he shows (whether intentionally or unintentionally) that there's beauty in simplicity ("Take Your Time"). As we once saw with Nate Dogg, hooks are an art, and Ty's mastered it.
I thought y'all liked to (at least, melodically) rap?
Ty and Jeremih are singing-singing on this album. And because they can't simply be placed into the small box of "baby-making music" purveyors, the two haven't failed to include a rapped verse or two on their own previous projects (see: Sign Language's "Dead Presidents" or Late Nights: Europe's "Lebanon"). Still, the only rhyming on this joint effort comes from guests French Montana and Wiz Khalifa. The closest we get to Ty and 'Mih spitting is on "Surrounded"—which would have worked just as well if the two were trading bars. Because the LP lacks the grit and aggression fans often look for in rap, and because the men have already proven they can do both, a lot of these tracks boast the same viiibe and would've benefitted from an unexpected switch-up.
Hitmaka; that's exactly what he is.
As quick as they blended their names together, Ty and Jeremih should've added Hitmaka to the mix. (MihTy Maka, anyone?) His fluffy production on MihTy not only sounds like an enhanced version of Beach House 3 but, with its tropical keys and claps and looped drum kits, could easily serve as the soundtrack to a beach party or club scene. The production's consistency is appreciated, but its lack of diversity might be why some listeners stick to the radio singles.
Rated Not-So R
Yes, on MihTy, the men talk about sex ("Ride It"), but there's not a single track you couldn't play around your parents. The lyrics stay safe on the surface, or barely rise more than a few inches past it. What happened to, "Tell me who taught you how to make it clap on a handstand when I eat it?," Ty? They should've kept that same energy. This MihTy movie is clearly PG-13.
Legends in the making?
A clear sign of legendary status is longevity. And both Ty and 'Mih are nearing a decade of delivering hits and establishing their individual artistry. Jeremih's debut single, "Birthday Sex," came out in 2009, and Ty first appeared on YG's own first song, "Toot It & Boot It," the following year. 'Mih's symphonic vocals have been adding a flavor to tunes that no one else has been able to properly duplicate, and Ty Dolla has consistently expanded his sound beyond what is expected of a modern-day hip-hop artist. Their past proof and future promise shows on MihTy.
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