IN CONVERSATION WITH TYGA & YG
Tyga and YG, both influential figures in the global music industry, have consistently maintained their positions at the top of the game, and now collaborate on a highly-anticipated joint album set to release soon.
Tyga, known for his unique take on West Coast hip-hop, has amassed several billion streams across chart-topping singles and albums, making him one of the most streamed artists on various platforms. Beyond his solo success, the multi-platinum and Grammy-nominated artist and entrepreneur has collaborated with industry greats like Offset, Doja Cat, and J Balvin. His latest album is a joint project with YG, highlighting his increasing impact in the music industry.
YG, born in Compton, California, is renowned for his distinctive West Coast sound and lyrical prowess. He has accumulated over 10 billion global streams across a career spanning more than a decade. YG’s unapologetic style has resulted in numerous chart-topping hits and multi-platinum certifications. Collaborating with Tyga on their latest album represents another milestone in his career. YG is also active as a designer, actor, entrepreneur, and philanthropist, addressing issues related to race, violence, and inequality in his music and donating to causes close to his heart. His connection to his hometown is evident in his successful fashion and lifestyle brand, 4HUNNID, rooted in West Coast street culture.
We had a conversation with both artists, delving into their musical journeys, unique styles, the evolution of West Coast music, and much more. Additionally, we explored the creative inspiration driving their much awaited album.
Tyga, in 2008 you had your first major breakthrough and have become a multi-platinum, Grammy-nominated artist at the forefront of the music and entertainment industry. How do you reflect on your accomplishments?
Honestly, I just keep looking forward. I don’t really look at past stuff that I’ve done unless I’m looking for a reference or a nostalgic feel. I feel like I always want to try to keep evolving, but still reference what my sound is and what made people fall in love with me or what my core audience and fans like.
Where do you see yourself at this point in your career?
I still feel like there’s a lot more room to grow, such as fun visuals or fashion. Now it’s just becoming a little more intentional. I feel like now it’s becoming more fun and innovative.
Collaboration has been a big part of your career, with tracks featuring artists like Chris Brown, Offset and Doja Cat, but also artists from the Latin music scene, like J Balvin and Ozuna. How do you approach collaborations, what do you look for in artists you want to work with?
For one, I definitely have to love the song and love what the artist does and figure out how I can bring my aesthetic to either their world or bringing them to my world. I just have to be a fan of their sound. It just has to be right. As far as the blend, it has to be like, ‘Okay, this would be dope. My voice with this person’s voice blends well, or the video or performance would be great.
YG, your work in helping the community you grew up in is clearly very important to you. Can you tell us about any projects you are involved in at the moment and what it means to you to give back?
I recently contributed to some schools. These are schools that I either attended or had memorable moments or creative experiences with. I made a significant contribution a few weeks ago with my 4hunnid clothing brand by donating a large quantity of clothes to children in need. I have more initiatives lined up so I can continue giving back in the future. The communities we come from often require assistance, not everyone is fortunate enough to have everything figured out. Many people are struggling to make ends meet and find their way forward. Being able to give back and bring smiles to people’s faces carries great significance. Representing where I’m from is very important to me, so it feels like it’s my responsibility to contribute to the community.
You have your own clothing brand 4Hunnid. How would you describe your personal style and what motivated you to start your own brand?
My personal style is very much influenced by the West Coast gangster vibe, but it still maintains a sense of classiness. As for what motivated me to start my own brand, well, I’ve been shouting out “4hunnid” since I first started rapping. Over time, I noticed that it started to gain a lot of attention across different audiences. Growing up, I was always one of those kids at school who had a unique sense of style. Nipsey Hussle played a significant role in inspiring me. Our conversations often revolved around the importance of building brands that can endure long after we’re gone. At a certain point in my career, I felt ready to take on that challenge. I already had my own distinctive look and swag, so I thought, why not incorporate it into a brand? I believed it could be successful, so I went ahead and made it happen. March of 2026 will mark the 10-year anniversary of the 4Hunnid brand.
For both of you, your music often celebrates West Coast culture and lifestyle, evident in your recent music video for ‘West Coast Weekend’. How important is it for you to represent your roots in your music and how do you think California has influenced your sound and style?
Tyga: Doing a project with YG now, I really wanted to do that. When people talk about the top West Coast artists or top current West Coast artists, people never bring me into the conversation. I don’t think people look at me as like a super West Coast artist, just because of my unique sound and versatility. My sound is the roots of the West Coast in Bay Area, LA, but like you said, I do Latin features or I’ll do an EDM feature with somebody or R&B songs. So, I feel like a lot of people don’t look at me as West Coast, so I really wanted to lean in on that and really stand on that and be like, ‘I was born and raised here but at the same time still figuring out how to cater to a global audience.
California definitely influenced my style heavily, from the whole Vans culture, the skateboard culture, even like low rider culture, whether it’s khakis and Chucks or wifebeaters. That’s always going to be a part of the California style.
YG: California influenced my sound and style one hundred percent. Everything about what I do is connected to California and my hometown. It encompasses everything, from the beats and the tempos to the videos, the way I talk, walk, and dress. I embody the essence of California, representing the West Side, LA, the mountains, and more. My entire success is deeply rooted in California, it’s a full one hundred percent influence.
It is extremely important to represent my roots because I use my music to connect with people. You always need to revisit and embrace what defines you as an individual. Highlighting those aspects is important for building that connection with the people who come from similar backgrounds as me. If I were to solely rap about my own achievements and success, it wouldn’t resonate with the people because that’s not their reality. I have to always return to the roots in my music.
How has the West Coast sound developed over the years?
Tyga: I definitely think it’s developed and changed, but it’s still fun. If you look at what Snoop and Dr.Dre were doing, that’s one of the most iconic sounds in hip hop. When you think of West Coast music, that was fun party music and it had a pocket, it was laid back, West Coast is very laid back. It’s not very hype. But then you go to the Bay Area and then you got super hyped music. Now, you have artists like Kendrick that are just playing with the pockets, but still references back to Compton or where he grew up. You also got artists like Baby Keem, you got what Mustard is doing, me and YG. But then you have people like Tyler The Creator, you really wouldn’t consider a West Coast artist, but his roots are here when it comes to his fashion and style.
YG: The West Coast sound has developed over time. I feel like on the West Coast, the sound evolves as the producers grow. Once the track is completed and you rap on it, you go into the studio and bring in musicians to play instruments to help enhance the sound. I leave it all up to the producers. As they grow, the sound grows and changes.
And how has your sound developed across your careers?
Tyga: Just figuring out how to find new pockets and new melodies. I really love melody, but I know also what my voice sounds good on. So, I think just learning how to play with melody more with my voice.
YG: My sound has evolved throughout my career. I get better by the day; every day brings improvement and growth. From the way I rap, to my cadence and approach, everything has been elevated over time. This journey of growth will continue. As humans, it is in our nature to constantly strive for improvement. I am always going to become better over time.
You are collaborating together once again. What is the vision and inspiration behind your upcoming album together?
Tyga: We really kind of approached it like a mixtape, to be honest. We started working on it around Coachella. We had like two houses out there, and then we had a party vibe, and some days we would work, some days we wouldn’t work. So that started the vibe, and then we got in the studio and just started going. But we really approached it like a mixtape. We didn’t want to make it too conceptual or anything like that. We just were like, ‘Yo, let’s get some good beats. Let’s keep it fun, just like when people fell in love with us.’ It felt like the high school era. We wanted to give those vibes. The inspiration was to solidify artists from the same place in LA. Just being able to be in the game for over a decade and just figuring out like, ‘How come we never have done something together? Let’s do something.’ That was a lot of the inspiration. We needed to represent LA and do something together.
YG: The vision and the inspiration for this project was just to create something fun. We wanted to create more moments. You know, me and Tyga have a lot of records with each other that have been hits. We created a lot of moments in hip-hop. Being a part of rap and being from the same city, we just felt like it was finally time to do a bigger project together. We talked about it for years. We finally both had the time to really sit down and get it done, and it means a lot.
How is the energy between one another and what is your creative process like?
Tyga: The energy is crazy because we’re two different people, but we are very similar because of the LA roots. So, we understand each other in a lot of ways. I think that’s important whenever you’re working with somebody on multiple songs. You got to have that chemistry to be able to flow, and the pockets have to be right.
YG: The energy between me and T, we’re really brothers. We came up together and we made it out of the city together. We share the same sound and we rap on the same type of beats. He’s just a good person. There aren’t too many artists you come across as genuine as him. Tyga is a great person in the industry to work with because he’s real. I tell all my friends, ‘he’s a real one’.
Tell us about the creative process from Coachella to now.
YG: Coachella was dope. Tyga had a house out there, I think he still has it. I rented a house right next door to his and we were out there for like a month, working and attending the Coachella parties. It was just fun. We had houses on the lake and even hopped on a boat. It was just good vibes out there. Our goal is to bring West Coast music back to what it was before COVID. Everything we do is intentional.
You’ve recently released tracks teasing the album, such as ‘West Coast Weekend’ and ‘PARTy T1M3’. Speaking of the overall project, which is your favourite song of the album and why?
Tyga: My favourite songs on the album are ‘Thumping’ and ‘Time for That.’ ‘Thumping’ just feels like a freestyle, and it reminds me of high school. It’s very fun. I like the beat; I like the rapping back and forth. And then, ‘Time for That’ is the only record on the project where I’m doing melody and singing a little bit. So, I thought that was cool to bring in YG and some of the vibes that I’ve been working on with my album. That song is just a good vibe.
YG: It’s kind of hard to give you just one, so I’ll give you two. One of my favorite songs on the project is ‘Rubber Band Man,’ and the other one is ‘Time for That.’ ‘Rubber Band Man’ sounds like what’s been missing out here on the West Coast. It sounds like what they want from us. It’s a great party song for the clubs and party scene. Then ‘Time for That’ is a vibe for the females. It’s just a beautiful melodic song. The song reminds me of taking a ride with your girl, with the windows down on the highway, just vibing and having a good time together.
Beyond these forthcoming projects, what are you both working on, musical or non-musical?
Tyga: My album is about 85 percent complete. So, I’m trying to release it this side of the year or maybe towards the end of the year. My album is definitely different than the project with me and YG. That’s why I really wanted to do the project with YG. Of course, I still have great songs on my album, but it’s more melodic; it is just a different vibe, even from some of the features that I have on it. I really wanted to make sure that this project with YG had that LA West Coast feel, like, boom, we’re going to give you the party vibes and some good performance stuff. And as for my album, I still have a little bit of that, but it is way more versatile as far as evolving the sound.
YG: I got a TV show in the works that I’m working on called “Don’t Come To LA.” It’s a great script, and I’ve already sold it to a network. I’m not going to tell you which network it is yet, you’ll know about that very soon. I’ve been working on myself and taking care of my daughter. She plays tennis, so I turned into a tennis coach, but she doesn’t like listening to me. As far as music, we’re always recording all the time. I also have my 4Hunnid brand, and I’m always working on that.
Speaking of 4Hunnid, YG, do you have any merchandise collabs coming out?
YG: I got an Essentials line that is about to drop. I’m also expanding into different lanes of business. I am going into the health and wellness space with my brand 4Hunnid, with all-natural pills and supplements coming out soon.
talents TYGA & YG @tyga @yg
photography RO.LEXX @ro.lexx
styling DOMINIC WEST @ DTL Agency & Mui-Hai Chu @dominicjwest @dtl.agency @muihai
lighting BYRON NICKLEBERRY @bnickleberry
styling assistants AMBER DOSTAL @ DTL Agency, DAVID GOMEZ & RYAN PHUNG @amberjamesdostal @dtl.agency @davidxgomez @ry_phung
editor TIMOTEJ LETONJA @timiletonja
cover design ARTHUR ROELOFFZEN @arthurroeloffzen
interview THORE DAMWERTH & PATRICK BOYLE @thoredmw @patrickboyl