Ty Dolla $ign is a musician. Don’t get it twisted, while his name might suggest he’s just in it for financial gain Ty is amongst the last of a dying breed – aside from his abilities as a singer and lyricist, he’s a multi-instrumentalist and producer. On Free TC he definitely put all of this into action, with a diverse suite of contemporary R&B – from the lush, orchestral production on opener ‘L.A.’, to the DJ Mustard instant club-smash ‘Saved’ and acoustic guitar-led ‘Solid’. Sure he’s penned a number of hit singles and a bunch of acclaimed mixtapes, but this time Ty Dolla $ign has proven his ability to craft a cohesive album that will stand the test of time.
We’ll admit that when Charli XCX was shouting about ‘Drop That Kitty’ over his Tinashe-assisted second single we were worried that the label had gotten the better of him, and perhaps the debut album would be more boardroom than beach house. Yet, after several delays, hitting play on Free TC made us feel foolish for ever doubting. While the vices of the road can easily distract a rising star – particularly one who seems to sing about them fairly regularly – Ty, a disciple of Dilla, finds his motivation in perfecting his craft. “I could just be turning up with girls everyday and forgetting about music,” he admits. “But obviously I’m not the type that’s just here for the fame and the girls. I really make music and that’s my purpose. I’m not even going to be happy with myself if I’m not getting better at music everyday, so that’s what I’m on.”