As much as I try to keep up to date with the latest hip-hop/R&B news, from time to time a few projects manage to go right over my head. Most of those projects end up being straight garbage like Lil Uzi Vert’s Luv is Rage 2 (I didn’t review it and never will), but sometimes I’m pleasantly surprised. For example, Ty Dolla $ign’s Beach House 3 surprised me. I honestly totally forgot this album was coming out, but boy am I happy it did.
Listening to this new generation of R&B, it’s clear that the genre has changed a lot over the last 10 years. Depending on which side of the spectrum you fall on, you might find R&B has become too “hip-hop like” or you might be happy about the way it has now blended hip-hop to the point of practically falling under the same category of music. I personally believe the genre is simply lacking leadership.
I’ve been making the point for years now that we need a strong name in this new generation of artists who could take over the genre and force his or her competitors to evolve. This would give the genre a breath of fresh air and help it to redefine itself. After listening to Beach House 3, I now believe this artist could be Ty Dolla $ign.
Yes, the Ty Dolla $ign we are introduced to on this project is the same Ty Dolla $ign we’ve always known. He tackles the same subjects and themes, going from the pros and cons of fame (“Famous Lies”) to the pleasures of lust and love (“Dawsin’s Breek” ft. Jeremih). But all that aside, what makes Beach House 3 such a wonderful playlist is the way the artist decides to tackle those subjects by blending genres and styles, and bringing it all full circle through an overarching feel. This is no easy feat as some artists create an inconsistent sound in a failed attempt at sounding “versatile”. The mesmerizing beauty behind Beach House 3 is the fact that Ty Dolla $ign can be on a reggae track featuring Damian Marley and Skrillex one second, then sing about heartbreak with Lauren Jauregui the next, and wrap it up by bragging about his success with Future, all without making any of the joints feel like they don’t belong on the album.
On that same note, it’s worth mentioning that Ty Dolla $ign is an amazing collaborator who knows how to shine regardless of who he’s sharing the spotlight with. Indeed, Beach House 3 has some of the best features and collabs of the year, including Lil Wayne, YG, Tory Lanez and Pharrell Williams among many others. In the end, it all leads to an amazing experience that I can’t wait to go through again.