Tyga: What Kanye West Taught Me

“People either don’t like anything I’m about or they love me.”

by Michael Valencia

It's no accident that the dominant decorating note in Tyga’s North Hollywood studio is a collection of Egyptian death masks. Forget the purple lava lamp, the tropical fruit platter, the miniature black pyramid—it’s the two pharaonic busts that tie the room together, supplying eternally gilded vigilance over the rapper who made “Rack City.” We caught up with the rapper for our August/September issue. Check out some highlights and read the full interview in the issue:On Kanye West, who is executive producing Tyga’s fourth album, The Gold Album: 18th Dynasty, due this fall. “He hears certain melodies that I wouldn’t hear or even think about adding. He taught me that 808 drums and bass aren’t enough. You have to have that warmth.”On being a polarizing rapper: “People either don’t like anything I’m about or they love me. Someone just left a comment about a song posted to my Instagram saying, ‘This is dope; too bad I’m programmed to hate on Tyga.’”On his fascination with Egyptian style: “I saw The Mummy when I was little, and then Ben-Hur and Cleopatra. I was like, man, there’s something dope about it. Then I saw Michael Jackson’s [ancient-Egypt-centric] ‘Remember the Time’ video, and it started following me everywhere.”