22
Oct

Tyga

Written by Kristie Bertucci, Photos by Michael Vincent | www.michaelvincent.com on 22 October 2012.

Tyga

Not everybody is lucky enough to possess the magical touch of success that’s known as the “Midas Touch.” The famous King Midas of Greek Mythology was blessed with (or possibly cursed with) the ability to turn anything he touched into gold. Such is the case with rising rap star Tyga. The young lyricist from Lil Wayne’s YMCMB posse has obtained the kind of success every aspiring rapper dreams of. But Tyga’s golden touch isn’t all about his career.

An admirer of gold, Tyga has extended his Midas Touch from his music and career to his ride and enlisted the help of Roadstarr Motorsports to provide their golden dressings to his Audi R8. “I told them I wanted it gold with black wheels, but I didn’t know exactly what it would look like,” the 22-year-old L.A. rapper says. “It looks crazy though, man. This sh*t look fake, like a toy or something. That sh*t is crazy!”

As Tyga’s personal street toy, the gold chrome ride isn’t just a way to stand out, but rather an extension of his personal style. “A car is the reflection of who the driver is. It says something about the style of the driver just like how your choice of beats or the way you dress says something for an artist,” he says when he first surveyed the recently painted ride at Roadstarr’s L.A. facility. “Gold is just something that’s powerful and solid when you see it. I’ve always been a fan of gold since I was younger because it represents who I am.” Even before his head-turning R8 went into the shop, Tyga already knew he wanted an R8 like no other, as referenced in his “Rack City” lyrics : I’m a motherf*cking star / Look at the paint on the car.

Everybody has a Lamborghini these days. I liked that not a lot of people (those who can afford it at least) own Audi R8s. They’re just as fast as a Lamborghini, but have more style. And mine being gold just takes it to another level.As a boy, Tyga (born Michael Ray Nguyen-Stevenson) dreamed about the days he’d be able to afford his own Lamborghini. But when he finally did start bringing in the cash, he dismissed his yearnings for his childhood dream car and opted for something more refined. “I didn’t want one now that I can afford it, which is weird. But my style overall has changed now that I’m older. I’m more into class and style and prefer to have something different from the pack. Everybody has a Lamborghini these days. I liked that not a lot of people (those who can afford it at least) own Audi R8s. They’re just as fast as a Lamborghini, but have more style. And mine being gold just takes it to another level.”

Tyga

Transforming Tyga’s gold R8 was no easy task, but Hussein and Hassan Iddrissu of Roadstarr Motorsports were able to deliver a one-of-a-kind masterpiece. “Tyga is a nice kid, and all us here at Roadstarr Motorsports wanted to make sure that we created the best marriage between this gold Audi R8 and this upcoming superstar, Tyga,” Hassan mentions. “We made sure everything about this gold Audi R8 represented this young man, his swag, his style and his love for life and youthfulness. We were all glad to be able to bring his dreams into reality.”

Although Roadstarr Motorsports has done elaborate paint jobs on vehicles before, they’ve never dressed one up in gold and wanted to make sure the color was as close to looking like 24k of gold. They actually had to do about 60 samples in order to get the richness of gold they wanted, mentions Hassan.

“The process of actually creating the gold effect is quite complicated and only a few in our industry are able to replicate this great quality in finish,” he adds. “We finished it off by adding a set of matte black Savini Forged wheels size 20” up front and 21” in the rear and wrapped them with Nitto Invo tires. The whole team and staff at Roadstarr Motorsports were all excited and astonished with the degree of craftsmanship and meticulous care in making this timeless piece for Tyga.”

Tyga

While the gold R8 satisfies Tyga’s inner speed demon, it’s his Rolls-Royce Drophead Phantom that manifests the luxurious lifestyle he’s now been afforded after signing with Lil Wayne and his YMCMB label. But it wasn’t always on his list of dream cars. “The Phantom was unplanned. A friend had one and I was able to drive it for a few days and realized how awesome it was. I was like, ‘Damn, this sh*t is crazy and I need to get me one these joints ’cause I’ve been working too hard.’ But I think I’m good for now, though. Don’t think you need to have too many cars when you only got one ass.”

More than satisfied with his car game (for now), he isn’t hating on those who have a love for fine rides and admits that Birdman’s garage is very enviable. “Hands down, the boss, number one stunna, has amazing cars,” he says in admiration. “I rolled in my first Bugatti with him. He got all the cars, any car you could think of. Cars I didn’t think they made. That Bugatti is a crazy fast car, too. Wayne has a lot of cars, too. He’s not as flashy about it, but has a sick car game.” Tyga mentioned that Young Money Entertainment President Mack Maine also just purchased a Rolls-Royce Ghost and loves his new ride just as much as Tyga.

Tyga’s hard work is paying off as the young rapper still continues to stay on the grind on his musical journey that has taken him from the streets of Los Angeles to the worldwide hip-hop stage. And he’s had lots of help from other hip-hop icons, something that continues to be motivation for his craft. “Seeing people around me be motivated to push their talents to the fullest inspires me to push harder. Being surrounded by a team of successful artists can sometimes have you caught up in their success. But that’s never happened to me, even being around Lil Wayne when I first was coming up. All I did was just take notes on everything he did and used it as my own.”

But it took a couple of years of note taking for Tyga to sign with Lil Wayne and the YMCMB team (they first hooked up at the MTV VMA’s back in 2006), something that he didn’t mind. “I wasn’t ready actually,” he confesses. “I had to still find out who Tyga was, so I’m glad everything worked out the way it did in the end. And I couldn’t have asked for a better place. They really support creative artists and let you do what you want to do, which is really important.” Now confident with his skills, Tyga is creating his own buzz and awareness with fans, the music industry and more thanks to his chart-topping party anthem, “Rack City” off of his recent sophomore release, Careless World: Rise of the Last King.

“I look at this album as my first album,” he reveals. “My first album, No Introduction, was more of, like, an independent thing where I first introduced myself to the game, but this album is where I’m jumping out in front of everybody. It says a lot and fans will go through every type of emotion on this joint ’cause I talk about everything from love to success and, of course, partying. There’s a song called ‘Black Crown’ on it that’s dedicated to my mom and it really describes where I’m at in my life right now and fans are going to hear that.”

The album also features notable collaborations with Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj, J. Cole, Robin Thicke and even Nas, which was something that almost didn’t happen. After sending him a track and never hearing back, Tyga wrote it off as a no go. But after the song ended up getting leaked, Nas hit him back up and gave him the green light on working on the project. “I really never expected him to do that and it really means a lot to me. The timing had to be right and everything happens for a reason, which is why I continue to always push myself every day.”

The rest of the country might recognize Tyga for his “Rack City” joint, but in L.A. it’s more about the “Lob City” remake for the L.A. Clippers. “I’m a big fan of Chris Paul, and he called me like, ‘Yo, the ‘Lob City’ joint is crazy.’ So I had to put it out. I recorded it and I dropped it. He called me that same day, so it was crazy. I did it for L.A. It’s fun. I go to the games and stuff.” But being from L.A., Tyga is well aware of the rivalry at the Staples Center and admits to being neutral. “I’m also a Kobe fan and love the Lakers, so it’s not like I go for one team or the other. I’m more a fan of the players than the team. But I really like the team the Clippers have right now.” The Compton-raised rapper does admit to trying to catch some basketball games for either team when in L.A.”

When he’s not making music, hitting games or on tour, he confesses he loves to shop. While some rappers have sneaker obsessions, Tyga looks for “style and swag,” something that his Last Kings clothing line embodies. “I grew up with trendsetters and Last Kings is about being trendsetters in our culture. People want to be a part of something like back when Rocawear and Sean John first dropped. That’s what I’m trying to do with Last Kings. I’m helping fans feel part of this culture I’m growing and feel like royalty.” The collection features tees, snapback hats, hoodies and even varsity jackets, including some women’s items. Another business venture for the young Tyga is running his own record label, also called Last Kings. He’s currently pushing his new female MC, Honey Cocaine, and looks to establish a label as successful as Young Money Cash Money.

The rising star from the YMCMB camp is finally reaping the benefits from years of the hustle and grind to get to this point in his career. And while he’s soaking it all in, he’s still grounded and humble. “I’m here, but I’m far from my peak,” he comments. “I’ve worked hard to get here and it’s been a great start. It’s what I wanted and how I pictured it. But I have a long road ahead of me.”

GALLERY

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