The Tao of Tyga

A man with his arms crossed on top of a chair with an orange backdrop.

The rap superstar behind this summer’s viral hit ‘Bored In The House’, who rakes in more than 40 million monthly Spotify streams, reflects on building his empire around good times

By Ernest Wilkins   Photography by Joshua Kissi    DOP: Michael Fernandez    Styling by Zoe Costello     Tuesday 4 August, 2020   Long read

As I write this, Tyga has more monthly listens on Spotify than the following artists: Kanye West, Rihanna, Beyoncé, Kendrick Lamar, Michael Jackson, Frank Ocean, Jay-Z, The Beatles, Whitney Houston, Nirvana, Elvis, Led Zeppelin, Elton John, and The Rolling Stones. 

Since debuting in 2008, the Compton-born artist has sold 12 million singles, achieved two platinum albums, and carved out a reputation as a formidable go-to feature rapper, collaborating with all the major players of pop, rap, and R&B. Whether you know it or not, you’ve likely heard his music during some of the best nights of your life, such is his prevalence. His song 'Bored In The House', for example, was arguably the viral hit of lockdown. Tyga hides in plain sight. 

There’s a reason it’s been said that nothing in this world is certain except for three things: death, taxes, and an infectious new Tyga song every summer. 

For those yet to be indoctrinated – though with more than 20 million Instagram followers and seven million TikTok followers, you may be the minority – I recommend starting with the song ‘Taste’ – Tyga’s 2018, chart-topping, triple-platinum single. You quickly figure out the rapper’s formula to success within seconds: don’t overthink it. Producer D.A. Got That Dope sets up a beat that sounds simple: an earworm sample over a bassline made for car speakers and the club. His rap