TYGA | Water Signs, Star Signs, Cash Signs

by Matthew Bedard

VALENTINO   coat,   BURBERRY   pants available at  Barneys New York , and   1017 ALYX 9SM   shoes.

VALENTINO coat, BURBERRY pants available at Barneys New York, and 1017 ALYX 9SM shoes.

Consider California rap star Tyga in outer space. What’s that look like? Is he stealing glances at Earth, knowing he’s conquered her from corner to corner, pole to pole, and so absconded to wider orbit in search of new music likelihoods? Or has Earth been failed by one and many, ourselves and Tyga, and is thus compelled to send selective superstars out into the Great Unknown to scope for new black holes of culture that stand to save our species, to abandon all that once was, and beyond? Either way, whatever’s looming, Tyga looks great.

Considering our brief (and not the first) high-five with the star, in the midst of his smoking summer record, Legendary, and tour stop inside the “Flutter Experience” exhibition on La Brea in Hollywood, Flaunt took liberties to consult one of the numerous astrologists we have in our pretty pockets for a birth chart reading the day of our shoot. The hip-hopper is, after all, on the brink of age 30, a veritable end of days in this postcode, and therefore grounds for a serious reckoning. The results speak to a complex identity at the intersection of contemporary music. They’re also interesting, to some extent, though a bit feebly stated as fact.

Alas, Flaunt is not interested in quasi-spiritual cheap tricks to wholly evaluate ourselves or others, in between these pages or in between the sheets. We love cheap tricks, but with spirit to hand, we don’t fuck around. So, we tossed a silly salad with each of Tyga’s astrological readings’ platitudes and came out with:

A) a philosophical marriage with each respective track from Legendary

B) a coincidence and/or refutal contingent on A, made possible with memorable lines from the prescient 1985 epic film, Legend, starring the delightful Tom Cruise.

The results might look something like this:

One of Tyga’s favorite foods is macaroni and cheese.

It’s clear that while Tyga might love Mac n’ Cheese, he can’t stand cheesy shit, especially when it comes to people. Those who are close to him need to understand he’s special.

Consider “Faded”, his track with Lil’ Wayne on the Legendary record:

FENDI   jacket,   ERMENEGILDO ZEGNA XXX   sweater, and   FAIRFAX OPTICAL LAB     sunglasses.

FENDI jacket, ERMENEGILDO ZEGNA XXX sweater, and FAIRFAX OPTICAL LAB sunglasses.

 

This ain’t freeze tag, you play, I’m gon’ react

My hoes work, bitches know I put ‘em on the map¹

 

And while it might seem a bit frosty of him [afterall, Tyga is enjoying some ice these days], Tyga is only firm in his convictions because of the higher pursuits. “What am I addicted to?” he asks me, in between fashion changes. “I would say success and love. Just the feeling and the rush you get from things that you’ve worked hard for and that breed success. And definitely love. That’s the burning fuel for everything.”²

1. Flaunt’s astro-reading of Tyga observes his moon in Leo, which would make sense of this “map” of which he speaks, for Leo moons are dramatic, proud, expressive, and idealistic. But be gentle with this Tyga, for he requires a lot of love.

2. Burning fuel? You bet your ass. Consider Tim Curry’s Darkness’ declaration at the climax of the unequivocal masterpiece, Legend, which strangely, similarly poeticizes the artist journey as Tyga does on Legendary—“Oh, Mother Night! Fold your dark arms about me. Protect me in your black embrace. I sit alone, an impotent exile, whilst this form, this presence, returns to torment me!” It’s evident here that while Tyga’s birth chart reading would suggest him a dramatic temperament, particularly as it concerns “the map” (read: the universe), but impotent exile is an underlying fear in anyone lucky enough to set foot on this here periling planet, right? It ain’t truly easy for anyone.

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LOUIS VUITTON   shirt and pants and   NIKE   shoes.  LAIA CABRERA AND ISABELLE DUVERGER. “ILLUSION” (2019). COURTESY OF THE ARTIST AND FLUTTER EXPERIENCE.

LOUIS VUITTON shirt and pants and NIKE shoes.

LAIA CABRERA AND ISABELLE DUVERGER. “ILLUSION” (2019). COURTESY OF THE ARTIST AND FLUTTER EXPERIENCE.

Legendary is Tyga’s seventh studio release and was certified gold upon release by the Recording Industry Association of America given the success of summer smashing single, “Taste.” It’s feats like this that might support the generally understood fact that both Tyga’s parents have tattoos of his name somewhere on their bodies.

This is nice and cool, as far as we’re concerned. But it’s not surprising. Consider “Werkkkk”, off Legendary, which makes no issue of Tyga’s lasting legacy into the decades of tomorrow.

 

You know I’m a big dawg, n****s know my pedigree

I’ma stunt hard ‘til I’m old in my seventies³

 

Meeting Tyga, who today is surrounded by security braun and management alike, all of whom crowd into the gallery’s numerous immersive cells, can make it hard to stunt yourself. But it’s quickly apparent, and imperative, that stunting is an imperative if you’re expected to keep up. “What inspires me?” the artist asks, admiring a full-length regal Dior silk suited number as he leans into a floral wall etching, “It could be anything.⁴ It could be a piece of clothing. It could be another artist. It could be the weather. It could be good food.” Stunting, as it’s evidenced, has little to do with huff and puff bravado, but rather a lust for life. And a life that scales from jetset whirlwind to smelling and stopping, and lots of roses.


3. Flaunt’s astro-reading of Tyga observes his Scorpio in Mars would suggest he has fantastic sexual stamina, as well as a fervent desire to stunt. We like that!

4. This recalls of course Darkness’ attempting to seduce Lily in the spine tingling endeavor, Legend, starring Tom Cruise. “The dreams of youth are the regrets of maturity. Dreams are my speciality. Through dreams, I influence mankind.” We are always after what can’t be, aren’t we? And always chasing our dreams, our youth, our past. Tyga makes it clear, in meeting him, and throughout Legendary, that he might feel otherwise. Instead, he’s weaving dreams like Darkness—the moment is paramount, that which seizes of the flesh, and our true source power is our soul foremost, and then in its surrounds, the blades of grass, the swirls of smoke, those juicy torsos, that Monday night matchup, that Swiss frost.

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DIOR   coat, suit, shirt, and shoes.  JILLIAN MAYER. “CHIME TIME” (2019). COURTESY OF THE ARTIST AND FLUTTER EXPERIENCE.

DIOR coat, suit, shirt, and shoes.

JILLIAN MAYER. “CHIME TIME” (2019). COURTESY OF THE ARTIST AND FLUTTER EXPERIENCE.

Yes, Tyga likes to keep shit grounded and play his cards smoothly, but he’s not afraid to concede himself to a higher power. In fact, TYGA is known in some circles to stand for Thank You God Always.

Considering his love of sensuality and his appreciation for a higher power—as expressed in the decadent environs he frequents and the decadent moves he makes—his song, “Maykherkhum,” is almost anthemic. And clearly in an effort to destigmatize vaginal squirting, he allows it to flow, and he to bow. Let me say what I’m feeling, Tyga:

 

Emoji with the peach, use my face as a seat⁵

Squeegee with the leak as she stand on top of me

 

I ask Tyga about late nights and popping bottles, and being wanted from here to forever. The artist slyly remarks when I ask where he’s headed: “I don’t think I’ve tapped into my full potential yet. Just growing as a person, traveling, being able to be more free with music, it’s really no telling. Right now I’m just having fun with life⁶ and really focusing on myself and things that I need in order to be successful.”

5. Flaunt’s astro-reading of Tyga observes that his Neptune is in Capricorn. This reminds me about a dream I recently had with Tyga in it. There, too, were other globally famous people with Neptunes in Capricorn, including Tennis champion Maria Sharapova, convicted murderer and former Paralympic Oscar Pistorius whom I had the pleasure to interview before his murder conviction, Olympic superstar and 420 fan Michael Phelps, that LGBTQ first responder, Oscar Wilde, Jamaican sprinter, Usain Bolt, not to mention the exceedingly charming Louis Vuitton. We were all having pizza and Tyga turned out such a funny that Phelps spit Diet Squirt out of his nose onto Bolt’s new Louis Vuitton dinner jacket. The fight was messy and I understand expensive in the hospitals. Nonetheless, these Neptunes are known to dream big, and to love the art of illusion.

6. Darkness would not exist without light, Karl Jung would have us to believe, and it makes no difference in the case of Legend, when Oona mocks the fickle conditions of our species’ desires to fulfill out hearts, foolishly, instead flaunting the airs an artist puts on, gleefully: “What care I for human hearts? Soft and spiritless as porridge! A faerie’s heart beats fierce and free!” While I’d deign to refer to Tyga as a faerie, I would call him a beacon of light, and I’d also say that sometimes he’s kinda hard. I can see him agreeing that some human hearts are soft and spiritless as porridge, but not all human hearts. As he remarks on what might be missing from people that makes their journey more center-less: “Passion. You need passion. I’m addicted to passion.” Indeed, Mr. Tyga.

MCM   coat.  KATIE STOUT. “A SPHINX FOR MY GARDEN” WALL COVERING IN COLLABORATION WITH FLAVOR PAPER (2019). COURTESY OF THE ARTIST AND FLUTTER EXPERIENCE.

MCM coat.

KATIE STOUT. “A SPHINX FOR MY GARDEN” WALL COVERING IN COLLABORATION WITH FLAVOR PAPER (2019). COURTESY OF THE ARTIST AND FLUTTER EXPERIENCE.

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Tyga, like anyone with taste, loves The Hoop. In fact, he collects arcade basketball games. I’d be surprised if he didn’t constantly play Shawn Kemp on NBA Jam because he’s got the same swagger as the former Seattle Supersonics forward, and you can imagine him dunking with his arm cocked behind his head and his legs spread in sassy points. Like any superstar, stage performances can be like athletic bouts, and I want to ask Tyga about staying strong on stage, and the general stamina needed to nail a full concert. But instead of bothering him with what I now know he’ll snicker at and shrug off, I elect to consult again the lyrics, this time from hit single, “Taste,” featuring Migos’ affable Offset:

 

Three million cash, call me Rain Man⁷

Money like a shower, that’s my rain dance

 

Not only is Tyga not afraid to liken himself to an autistic gambler played by Dustin Hoffman decades ago, he’s also not afraid to summon his powers and subvert a native tradition and spiritual quest into a purely pleasurable profit. One would think such defiance would lead to scattered thoughts and a general sense of purposelessness, but Tyga contrarily contends that his biggest concern is an absence, or a depletion, of his core self. “My fear is like not having feelings,” he says, staring into the distance across a hazy, bubbling La Brea, as the high heat settles overhead and we mellow in the air conditioning, “Once you just get to a point where you’re just going, you kind of don’t think about reality, you know what I’m saying? You eat feeling, you need feeling for everything.⁸ That’s how we determine things. And as an artist, you’re always in your feelings cause you’re always thinking.”

7. Flaunt’s astro-reading of Tyga observes the artist is likely fearful of not having feelings because of his Aquarius rising and Scorpio Mars. It’s also got to feel pretty fucking awesome to have three million in cash, and one would perhaps have feelings ‘til there were no feelings about it, but maybe not. Our astrologist further remarked that fashion, of which Tyga rocks pretty seamlessly, is an important measure of a rising Aquarius. Our astrologist, whom we’ll share drives a mint green Mitsubishi, but not disclose their name, said of Tyga: “Your look is a visual shock to others. You defy trends, but paradoxically, start them, with your unusual aesthetic sense. You can be remote, emotionally distant and preoccupied. And yet, you’re an air sign that is known for its friendliness, when you’re in the mood to socialize. You’re at home with a variety of opinions, ages, cultures, and races.” If you’ve ever experienced a Tyga show, the proof is in the multi-culty pudding, kids.

MCM   coat.  KATIE STOUT. “A SPHINX FOR MY GARDEN” WALL COVERING IN COLLABORATION WITH FLAVOR PAPER (2019). COURTESY OF THE ARTIST AND FLUTTER EXPERIENCE.

MCM coat.

KATIE STOUT. “A SPHINX FOR MY GARDEN” WALL COVERING IN COLLABORATION WITH FLAVOR PAPER (2019). COURTESY OF THE ARTIST AND FLUTTER EXPERIENCE.

8. And, man, what a range of feelings to be found on Tyga’s Legendary, which we’d recommend letting soundtrack the 1985 epic, Legend. Consider this harrowing statement from Darkness, as he considers mankind’s true gifts. “There is only one lure for such disgusting goodness. One bait that never fails: innocence.” Poor Darkness, right? The only reason we dream is to not feel old. And there are plenty of lures for disgusting goodness. Peep one of Tyga’s music videos, and then remember Nietzsche, as we do at any time when considering what’s beyond innocence, the next act: “Remorse—Never yield to remorse, but at once tell yourself: remorse would simply mean adding to the first act of stupidity a second.” We recited this hummer to Tyga and he just laughed and laughed, and looked at his cell phone.

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Tyga loves a good time. In fact, we all reminisced about the time he installed a water slide from his bedroom window to his backyard pool on Season 1 of Kingin’ with Tyga. Now, a water slide from your bedroom to your pool might sound like a good time, but I didn’t so much like the people climbing up the slide to get in my bed, even if the metaphor was apt. They were all wet and it got weird fast. And staff infections aren’t cute. Nonetheless, Tyga has a crew at all times helping to avoid such things from happening, and he smiles fondly at his waterslide adventures. This reveals, of course, the underlying sentiments on track “On Me” (featuring Lil’ Wayne), that Tyga is not only looking to create mischief and a good time for all, he’s also flexing bigger than the ones that came before, or at those out there trying to get a piece.

 

You n****s subpar and I just raised the bar (Yeah)⁹

You got Rollies on your wrist (Hah), this is Chopard (Ice)

 

We get the whole frost thing. We love frost. But raising the bar is much more fascinating, because it’s symbolic, right? It means creating new standards, and Tyga chews on this concept like a slice of bologna. “When you’re creative,” he shares, “something gives you a feeling to inspire you to want to talk about this or want to go to this place.¹⁰” We know that place. It’s called glory, it’s called jetset. And it’s persons like Tyga, whom we’ve seen around for over a decade, that have popularized this glory to such a matriculated reality it’s hard to understand where the lines blur, and where this is just the new now. Like, whoa.


FENDI   jacket and boots,   ERMENEGILDO ZEGNA XXX   sweater,   MCM   pants, and   FAIRFAX OPTICAL LAB   sunglasses.

FENDI jacket and boots, ERMENEGILDO ZEGNA XXX sweater, MCM pants, and FAIRFAX OPTICAL LAB sunglasses.

9. Flaunt’s astro-reading with Tyga was not met with great enthusiasm—by the mystic, weirdly. It seemed that Tyga had come up a few times before in readings, and our consultant wasn’t sure if we had the time, patience, or pocketbook for them to truly unload about this wily character who consorted with names as varied as J. Balvin and Swae Lee for Legendary. Nevertheless, when it came spilling out, it was wild. Stores of secrets and fables from the rappers’ sparkly life, the likes of which, if shared, would get us into all manner of trouble. And trouble? We’re bored of trouble. We wanted to know the flip-side of trouble, and when framed within Tyga’s astrological reading, that means fame and hustle, two topics that Tyga could write a book on. Instead he cut a record.

10. As the sun sets and Tyga’s crew exit the gallery, I can’t help but press the reverb pedal on a memorable line from Legend, whereby Darkness goes all eponymous. “I require the solace of the shadows and the dark of the night. Sunshine is my destroyer.” It’s funny, this one, because night is setting, yeah, and not all the freaks and frequenters out here in the Big Orange actually like the sun, and Tyga and his team have a flight to London to catch, a place stricken of the sun, but because it’s a real thing out here, particularly as the oceans warm and we lose things we love. For many, the sun is disgusting. A sign of active rot. A harshness where dark and calm might better reside. For Tyga, there’s always darkness—he’s not a fool, that’s the human condition—but he lives for the light, and as the team disappears into an alley where they’ve stowed a pair of Bentleys, light is flexing on a finished Flaunt cover, an amazing and witty new Flaunt editor friend and conspirator, a handful of top 10 Billboard singles off your latest, and frost in the pane that if swallowed would orb with success down the X-Ray, the MRI, the I-405, the I-110 S, whatever way you’re looking.


Photographed by: Lowfield

Flaunt Film directed by Jason Bergh

Styled by Zoe Costello

Groomer: Dion XU

Music by Hugh Masekela

Sound Mix by Keith White

Coloring by [H]ouman Atvelem

Location: Flutter Experience, Los Angeles