2018 has been one of the most entertaining years in recent hip-hop memory with more storylines than one can count, but Ty Dolla $ign being the stand-alone favorite for Sixth Man of the Year was one I didn’t see coming.
Born Tyrone William Griffin Jr., Ty Dolla’s run comes off as surprising, when you dig deeper you find that Ty has been the go-to for features for almost three years running.
Because the Cali-native is a true musician skilled multiple instruments with both an ear and understanding of chords, layering, and harmonizations, it makes him able to collaborate with literally everyone.
You can refer to his work on 2 Chainz’s traphouse love ballad “Lil Baby,” the pop mashup with Nick Jonas on “Bacon,” Wizkid’s “One For Me”, LeCrae’s gospel “Blessings,” or the minimal slap of Fifth Harmony’s “Work From Home,” just to name a few he’s done over the past.
In 2018 alone he dominated as the highlight feature of most of the summer’s blockbuster album releases.
Ty Dolla laid background vocals or verses on three out of seven tracks of Kanye West’s Ye, not to mention his involvement with other label releases. He even managed to snag multiple placements on one singular Drake album — a feat that has never been done by a non-label mate of Drizzy.
His addition may be a full-length verse, like on Teyana’s “3Way” or subtle vocal reinforcements like on Drake’s “Jaded,” either way, it’s clear that the cat’s out the bag on Ty’s talent and his endless utility.
In an interview with The FADER earlier this year he spoke on his demand and how he handles it:
“At first I was just being the homie and every time somebody would ask me, I was like, ‘Yeah’. Then [my publicist] started complaining and other people at [Ty’s label] Atlantic like, ‘Yo, we need to save some of this shit for your shit.’”
With all the artist that see Ty Dolla’s worth one would expect that he’d be a much bigger artist, but to this day he’s yet to make that mainstream leap.
His 2017 album, Beach House 3, was slept on big time. It featured the Dream-assisted single “Love U Better,” which peaked at No. 20 on the Billboard 200.
Beach House 3 itself peaked at No. 11. Much like the album before it, Free TC, it received critical praise and has garnered Ty a cult following as a result. Whether Ty will ever reach that superstar status, or that he wants to, is left for the future to unfold.
Until then I’ve compiled my 10 favorites of Ty’s very prolific summer.