By Maya Mabern
October was a great month for new music releases — a few of my favorites being Adrianne Lenker’s album “songs,” SZA’s single “Hit Different” and of course, Miss Ariana Grande’s magnum opus, “Positions” — but no album has lived rent free in my mind more than “Featuring Ty Dolla $ign” by, you guessed it, Ty Dolla $ign.
I’ll start with a disclaimer: this is in no way a piece of well-informed, fleshed-out music criticism. This is going to be a rambling of why I’m obsessed with this album, having never listened to — nor thought about — Ty Dolla $ign in my life. Is it objectively good? I think so, but that’s not entirely relevant here. All that matters (here and in general) is what I think.
Despite its humorously self-aware album title — because I’m sure a lot of us knew him as “that guy” — the album proves maybe the 38-year-old musician is good on his own, even though it does feature every other artist on Earth. The features include, but are not limited to, Future, Post Malone, Nicki Minaj, Skrillex (what year is it again?), Anderson Paak, Kanye West and Thundercat.
The last three are all featured on “Track 6,” which is inexplicably my favorite song on the album. I could say it’s because everything Anderson Paak touches turns to sexy liquid gold, but I honestly loved it even before his signature drums and bass kick in halfway through. It’s disappointing this song doesn’t seem to be getting anywhere near the amount of love that other, lesser tracks have gotten.
Then, of course, there’s “Ego Death,” the sinister catwalking banger at the end of the album. It has the most streams so I feel like I have to talk about it, but it does kind of deserve it. The booming bass line paired with the classic dance sample “You Used to Hold Me” by Ralphi Rosario — and yes, Kanye — make the track a standout.
The album is both lush and catchy in a way that makes me long to dance in a “TRON: Legacy”-style frat basement. That’s something I’ve never longed for in my life — and maybe I never will again — but that’s just the power Ty Dolla $ign has.