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Happy Birthday

Tyga

Hip-Hop/Rap - Released November 20, 2015 | Cash Money Records - Motown Records

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CDkr198.79

Rise Of An Empire

Young Money

Hip-Hop/Rap - Released March 11, 2014 | Cash Money Records - Motown Records

Following in the footsteps of 2009's set We Are Young Money, Rise of an Empire mixes Cash Money veterans with some newcomers to Birdman's hip-hop label. It's a smooth move, introducing new artists alongside Weezy and such, but here, it's an uneven and maybe even expected case of crazy-sexy-cool beating extra-anxious. When it comes to the former, there's Drake stomping over Hit-Boy's Viking-worthy beat on "Trophies," a two-headed monster of a track that pits verses-filled Southern rap victory against an emo-rap chorus ("I'm just tryin' to stay alive and take care of my people/And they ain't got no award for that"). "Senile," with Tyga, Nicki Minaj, and Lil Wayne, is a snarky, robotic keeper, plus a great example of how quirky futuristic thug music is something Cash Money excels at. Then there's Nicki on her own, channeling her vicious Roman Zolanski character on the creeping "Lookin A**," a number that combines her raw mixtape past with her star-studded present, and then adds some underground and experimental touches just to show this diva can do most anything. Wayne's solo "Moment" makes massive song number four as it starts off slurring and slow, then seems to awaken and stir itself into a Carter-worthy declaration of independence, but the young bucks only put two kicks through the highlight goalpost: "One Time" (some twerpy and weird cloud rap from Lil Twist) and "Hittin' Like" (brassy singer Shanell combining Beyoncé's power and old-school recess cool for a track that's a true jump-roper's delight). Other Freshman cuts like Euro's "Induction Speech" are bold enough and big enough for inclusion even if they can't reach the towering heights that the senior class provide. Call it a wobbly when it comes to quality, or a showcase for the young that's stolen by the old, but it's best to consider it a simple roster-promoting label compilation that just happens to come with an EP or so worth of fire. © David Jeffries /TiVo
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Hookah

Tyga

Hip-Hop/Rap - Released January 1, 2014 | Cash Money Records - Motown Records

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CDkr198.79

Hotel California

Tyga

Hip-Hop/Rap - Released January 1, 2013 | Cash Money Records - Motown Records

Booklet
Rapper Tyga debuted as a Gym Class Heroes-styled alt-rapper, but when his simple and somewhat nasty single "Rack City" took off, he became the kind of cocky thug who would drop a mixtape titled 187. Hotel California, his third official release, goes the full nasty, jamming its songs with lyrics chock-full of sex, drugs, violence, bling, and ultra-swagger, so much so that sometimes, the hook is a second thought. Supposedly, it's a concept album with the state of California its topic, but the advice-filled "Drive Fast, Stay Young" strictly deals with what's in Tyga's left coast mirror ("I'm dope man, you so plain") while the sore winner dubbed "Diss Song" ("Ignorance is bliss so I can't blame your ignorance/It's irrelevant/I'm relevant/It's a big event so go ahead and vent") is California only in that it's summery and pleasant, shuffling along to a near-bossa nova beat from Pioneer Crew member Sap. "Dope" is the almost worthy "Rack City" successor with Rick Ross on the shot callers cut, but the big surprise has to be "It Neva Rains" where the previously day-glo or nu-daisy age Tyga tours the gutter with Game by his side and matches the raspy gangster growl for growl. It could have been the porno he directed since the last album (Rack City: XXX), that makes this rapper's evolution into platinum pimp believable in fits and starts, and yet Hotel California refuses to sort his over-the-top bangers into anything sensible, and without a "Rack City" to make it crossover worthy, this is a full-length to leave for the fans. Casual listeners should check the singles, even the Trinidad James-biting "Molly" which comes with Wiz Khalifa and Tyga's own variation of the "Whoop!" shout. © David Jeffries /TiVo
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Wait For A Minute

Tyga

Hip-Hop/Rap - Released January 1, 2013 | Cash Money Records - Motown Records

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CDkr177.59

New Orleans

PJ Morton

R&B - Released April 14, 2013 | Cash Money Records - Motown Records

Booklet
PJ Morton arrives as a new artist on his hometown Cash Money label, but the New Orleans native is known in the gospel world as the son of Bishop Paul S. Morton, and as the writer of the Dove-winning "Let Go" (commonly referred to as "Let Go, Let God"), released by DeWayne Woods in 2006. R&B fans serious enough to scan credits have seen the name linked to albums from India.Arie, Anthony David, Jagged Edge, and Monica. Since 2010, he's performed keyboards and background vocals for Maroon 5. From several angles, Morton has toed the mainstream. He's poised for a splash, but he's rather unique with his affable, down-to-earth personality, lack of artifice, and persistently positive mix of R&B, rock, and pop. With over a decade in the industry and a handful of independent albums to his credit, Morton sounds undeniably seasoned on New Orleans, supported by a shifting lineup of musicians, appearances from obvious hero Stevie Wonder, Busta Rhymes, and Maroon 5's Adam Levine, and a couple assists from fellow genre-crossing producer Warryn Campbell (Mary Mary). The album is his most polished work, largely made of relatable songs that deal in devotion, working through conflict, and walking away. It's agreeably middle of the road with a few standouts. "Only One," which features a Stevie harmonica solo and sounds as if it could have been written by Ne-Yo, is a joyous highlight, while "Work It Out" and "Trade It All" are among the year's better adult R&B ballads. The less memorable material is saved by Morton's likability and warmth. © Andy Kellman /TiVo
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Careless World: Rise Of The Last King

Tyga

Hip-Hop/Rap - Released January 1, 2012 | Cash Money Records - Motown Records

Booklet
Benefitting fully from the creative renaissance the street-born Cash Money label experienced after the first Tha Carter, Careless World: Rise of the Last King is a glittery teenage dream that can slice off a little of the Lil B demographic while still being completely sellable to radio thanks to its Drake-level polish and its Watch the Throne-sized ego. That's a lot to pull off, but the aptly titled album does it, and effortlessly, although with names like Pharrell, Tha Bizness, and Cool & Dre behind the boards, the 22-year-old Tyga's got a better shot than most. He won't be mistaken for Kanye, Jay-Z, or his label boss Weezy, but while borrowing some of that Pilot Talk dreaminess from Currensy (the boast and float "I'm Gone") and allowing T-Pain, Robin Thicke, and J. Cole to bring their distinctive sounds and dominate their respective tracks, he does retain an identifiable love of the wisecrack and a chameleon-like skill that lets him go from melancholy to mean without a hitch. On top of that, Cash Money does well with those who were born on third and thought they hit a triple, and when the ego-fueled artist adds a handful of truly inspired numbers, the sky's the limit. Cool ruler Tyga surprises with the slow and royal "Black Crowns," a majestically soaring number that lasts over five minutes, one of which is given to a heartfelt answering machine message from mom. With 808s rumbling as Tyga and Nicki Minaj go hard, "Muthaf**ka Up" is an excellent pre-game anthem for defense tackles, and then there's the awfully horny, awfully dumb, and awfully infectious "Rack City" ("Rack city bitch/Rack, rack city bitch"), which will forever be required ammo for strip-club DJs. "Faded" repeats the infectious "Rack City" thing with extra filth (including a nasty Ben Wallace reference), while desirable names like Nas, Wale, and Lil Wayne are saved for the album's fourth quarter, capping off a quite long, and touch overstuffed, track list. Growth since his previous effort is obvious, both for the good (writing skills) and an arguable definition of bad (Penthouse Forum might even balk at some of the aggressive sex talk here), meaning Careless World is a case of happening label meeting able artist, so just let the expensive tape roll and leave it to the audience to sort out. In this case, it's well worth it. © David Jeffries /TiVo
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Do My Dance

Tyga

Hip-Hop/Rap - Released January 1, 2012 | Cash Money Records - Motown Records

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Celebrate

Mack Maine

Hip-Hop/Rap - Released January 1, 2012 | Cash Money Records - Motown Records

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Lover

PJ Morton

R&B - Released January 1, 2012 | Cash Money Records - Motown Records

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Rack City

Tyga

Hip-Hop/Rap - Released January 1, 2011 | Cash Money Records - Motown Records

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Turn't Up

Lil Twist

Hip-Hop/Rap - Released January 1, 2011 | Cash Money Records - Motown Records

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So Good

Shanell

R&B - Released January 1, 2011 | Cash Money Records - Motown Records

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New Money

Lil Twist

Hip-Hop/Rap - Released January 1, 2011 | Cash Money Records - Motown Records

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My Button

Shanell

R&B - Released January 1, 2011 | Cash Money Records - Motown Records

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My Button

Shanell

R&B - Released January 1, 2011 | Cash Money Records - Motown Records

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Love Affair

Lil Twist

Hip-Hop/Rap - Released January 1, 2011 | Cash Money Records - Motown Records

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Little Secret

Lil Twist

Hip-Hop/Rap - Released January 1, 2010 | Cash Money Records - Motown Records

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I'm On It

Tyga

Hip-Hop/Rap - Released January 1, 2010 | Cash Money Records - Motown Records

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CDkr177.59

We Are Young Money

Young Money

Hip-Hop/Rap - Released January 1, 2009 | Cash Money Records - Motown Records

On their underground mixtapes, Young Money sounded more like a crew than a group, with each member taking solo tracks and occasionally trading rhymes with team leader/labelhead, Lil Wayne. On their aboveground debut, We Are Young Money, each cut is a revolving door with members Drake, Nicki Minaj, Mack Maine, Gudda Gudda, Jae Millz, and Tyga dropping in and out of this almost group. Think Ludacris’ Disturbing tha Peace releases, but with forward-thinking Cash Money beats. Add plenty of weird, Wayne-inspired punch lines from the crew and you’ve got a guaranteed recommendation for the Cash Money faithful, a fervent group who will also appreciate how some tracks are more freeform than usual (“Ms. Parker”) while others sound unedited with extended outros (“Pass the Dutch”). At worst, these cuts are risk-taking misses that remain interesting -- the best example being the rock & roll-meets-sci-fi “Play in My Band” which showcases member Shannell. At best, they are either groundbreaking monsters like the neo-classical “New S***” or neon-bright party numbers like “Every Girl in the World” or “Bedrock,” with special guest Lloyd. Much of the material is in between, and if you’re wondering why teen sensation Tyga is in short supply, it is because many of the songs are just too filthy for his image. Don’t bother unless you can stand a healthy helping of sleaze, because this flashy party is for adult fan club members, the ones who don’t mind Wayne the show-off or Wayne the trashy smart-aleck. © David Jeffries /TiVo