Hotel California (Tyga album)

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Hotel California
Tyga Hotel California1.jpg
Studio album by Tyga
Released April 9, 2013
Recorded 2012–13
Genre Hip hop
Length 57:28
Producer Ronald "Slim Tha Don" Williams (exec.), Bryan "Baby Birdman" Williams (exec.), Dwayne "The President" Carter (exec.), DJ Mustard, Cool & Dre, David D.A. Doman, Detail, Dez Dynamic, Dupri, FKi, Jess Jackson, Laze & Royal, Lil' C, Mars, The Olympicks, Ron Sizzle, Ryan Hunt, SAP
Tyga chronology
Careless World: Rise of the Last King
Hotel California
Fan of a Fan: The Album
Alternate cover
MP3 exclusive cover
Singles from Hotel California
  1. "Dope"
    Released: January 15, 2013
  2. "For the Road"
    Released: April 4, 2013
  3. "Show You"
    Released: August 27, 2013

Hotel California is the third studio album by American rapper Tyga. The album was released on April 9, 2013, by Young Money Entertainment, Cash Money Records and distributed by Republic Records. The album features guest appearances from Lil Wayne, Future, 2 Chainz, Rick Ross, Chris Brown, Game, Wiz Khalifa, and Jadakiss. Three official singles were released from the album - "Dope" which features Rick Ross, "For the Road" featuring Chris Brown, and "Show You" featuring Future, along with the promotional single "Molly". Along with production by DJ Mustard, Detail, Cool & Dre, David D.A. Doman, Mars of 1500 or Nothin', The Olympicks, SAP, and Ryan Hunt produced on this album.

The album was supported by three official singles — "Dope" which features Rick Ross, "For the Road" featuring Chris Brown, and "Show You" featuring Future, along with the promotional single "Molly". The album was met with generally mixed reviews from music critics. It also was less successful than his second studio album commercially, debuting at number seven on the U.S. Billboard 200 with first-week sales of 54,000 copies.[1]


On August 20, 2012, Tyga announced that his third studio album would be called Hotel California.[2][3] Tyga explained he made the album in a very short time so all the material would sound the same and go well together. He also compared it to a really good mixtape saying you wouldn't see much music dedicated to the commercial fans.[4] When speaking of the recording Tyga said, "I did the album in about a month to a month and a half, mixing and everything. I wanted it to be all one theme and then move on to the next project."[5] The title is a dedication to his home state of California.[6] Most of the album's sound is based on 1990s West Coast hip hop and sampling.[7]

Recording and production[edit]

CEO of Young Money, Lil Wayne appeared on the song "500 Degrees", and served as one of the album's executive producers.

On November 24 in his tour vlog Tyga would announce that Rick Ross, Nicki Minaj, Chris Brown, Wiz Khalifa and Lil Wayne would be featured on his upcoming album.[8] The album was named number 28 on XXL's Most Anticipated Albums of 2013 list.[9] On February 7, 2013 Tyga said he was almost finished with the album.[6] He would also confirm he worked with ASAP Rocky on the album, who would be left off of it.[10] Musician JMSN confirmed his multiple collaborations to the album during an interview with Complex.[11]

The tracklisting revealed features from 2 Chainz, Future, Game, Jadakiss and Tupac Shakur.[12] The Tupac feature was one of the most talked about announcements, with the song sharing the same title as Tupac's 1996 diss record, "Hit Em Up". Tyga would later clarify that the song was not a remake of Tupac's classic record, instead he had got his hands on unreleased Tupac vocals. He originally had intended on Nicki Minaj featured on the song but later decided to have Jadakiss on it before adding the Tupac vocals.[13] However, Tupac ended up not being on the final album version, due to inability to clear the vocal samples.[14] Production on the album was handled by mostly lesser known producers along with, Cool & Dre, DJ Mustard, David D.A. Doman, Lil' C, SAP and Mars of 1500 or Nothin'.[15]

Release and promotion[edit]

In August 2012 Tyga released the mixtape Well Done 3 in promotion for the album. It featured guest appearances from The Game, Honey Cocaine, 2 Chainz, Future, Kirko Bangz, D-Lo, and Joe Moses and the single "Do My Dance".[16] Tyga later announced that before the first single releases he will release a nine track mixtape under the name 187.[17] The mixtape was released on November 30, 2012. It features remixes to songs such as; 2 Chainz's "I'm Different", ASAP Rocky's "Fuckin' Problems" and GOOD Music's "Clique", among others and new material.[18] In January 2013 Tyga announced a Fan of a Fan 2 mixtape with Chris Brown would be finished when the latter was done touring overseas.[19]

In November 2012 in a red carpet interview at the AMA's announced the album would be released in March 2013.[20] On January 22, 2013 Tyga took to Twitter to announce that Hotel California would be released on March 26, 2013.[21] He would then push it back to April 9, 2013 to avoid clashing with the release of Lil Wayne's I Am Not a Human Being II and to clear some of the samples he plans to use on the album.[7] The release date was revealed by DJ Khaled at the end of "Outro" off the Cash Money Records mixtape "Rich Gang: All Stars".[22]

On March 6, 2013 Tyga released the album cover along with a trailer for the album. On the cover art it features Tyga in a white fur coat and hat at a lavish mansion, while a real-life tiger sits at his feet.[23][24] However it was rumored that he used photoshop instead of a live tiger.[25] Tyga later admitted in an interview with MTV that he jumped the gun by releasing the original cover saying, "Actually that wasn't the official cover, it was never done. I had just tweeted it out like let me see what people think."[26] He also explained why he opted to take himself off the cover saying, "I got like four or five other covers too, but I just officially felt like the one that I put out with the tiger on the front and the tiger on the back, it felt classic to me, The tiger is self-explanatory, but I just felt like it was real classic and it said a lot about California and that image. From the palm trees to the just the relaxation, to what California brings."[26] However the originally released cover would turn out to be the in store retail cover.[27] In August 2013, Complex would name the album cover one of "The 30 Worst Hip-Hop Album Covers of All Time".[28]

Beginning the first week of April Tyga began a world tour in promotion of the album. The tour consists of a month in the United States and a month overseas.[6]


Rapper Rick Ross made a guest appearance on the album's first single "Dope".

In November it was announced the first single was to be a song titled "Dope" and would feature rapper Rick Ross.[29] The song was premiered on December 20, 2012 on Power 106. The song features a sample of Dr. Dre's "Deep Cover".[30] The single was released for digital download on January 15, 2013.[31] With the music video being released January 18, 2013.[32] The single has peaked at #68 on the Billboard Hot 100.

On March 15, 2013 Tyga released the previously leaked, "Molly" featuring Wiz Khalifa, Mally Mall and Cedric Gervais as the first promotional single off the album.[33] On March 21, 2013 Tyga shot the music video for "Molly" with Wiz Khalifa and Mally Mall. It was shot in downtown Los Angeles and was directed by Colin Tilley. He described the video as I, Robot meets Alice in Wonderland.[34] On April 7, 2013, the music video was released.[35] "Molly" has since peaked at #66 on the Billboard Hot 100.

In February, 2013 Tyga announced during an interview that the second official single from the album would be titled "For the Road", which features Chris Brown.[6] Tyga said the song has the same feeling as their hit "Deuces".[7] The song is produced by Cordale "Lil' C" Quinn and was premiered on March 25. The song was then released for digital download on April 4, 2013 along with the pre-order for the album.[36] A music video was filmed in late April, directed by Colin Tilley.[37] The music video for "For the Road" was released on May 19, 2013.[38]

On July 23, 2013, the music video for "Show You" featuring Future premiered on 106 & Park.[39] "Show You" was released to Rhythmic contemporary radio, as the album's third official single on August 27, 2013.[40] Upon the release of the album "500 Degrees" featuring Lil Wayne, "Hijack" featuring 2 Chainz and "Get Loose" debuted at 38, 39 and 46 respectfully on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.[41] On September 12, 2013, the music video for "Don’t Hate The Playa" was released.[42] On September 20, 2013, the music video for "Hijack" featuring 2 Chainz was released.[43]

Critical response[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3/5 stars[44]
Exclaim! 3/10[45]
HipHopDX 2.5/5 stars[46]
Now 2/5 stars[47]
PopMatters (5/10)[48]
RapReviews (5/10)[49]
Spin (3/10)[50]
XXL 2/5 stars (M)[51]

Hotel California was met with generally mixed reviews from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album has received an average score of 50, based on 7 reviews, indicating "mixed reviews".[52] David Jeffries AllMusic gave the album three out of five stars, saying "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."[44] Dave William of XXL gave the album an M, saying "Despite the emphatic cover-art, impressive production, and some superstar guest appearances, Hotel California still doesn’t feel like Tyga’s “swing for the fences” album. It takes fewer risks than Careless World and as a result there are less payoffs. Tyga still thrives in his comfort zone and there are songs that will find success on this album. It’s a desire for more than that that’s missing here.[51] Edwin Ortiz of HipHopDX gave the album two and a half stars out of five, saying "In similar fashion to Weezy’s I Am Not a Human Being II, the production, features and overall material on Hotel California displays a regressive sense of originality from Tyga. His sexual callousness wears off quickly, and what listeners are left with is a release better fit for a Ramada Inn than a Four Seasons. Hopefully the reservation is refundable."[46] Jeff Weiss of Spin gave the album a three out of ten, saying "Hotel California is inexcusable. It may be the least creative major-label rap album in recent memory. It's like it was A&R'd by the people who green-lit Battleship, the movie."[50]

Steve Juon of RapReviews gave the album a five out of ten, saying "In general it speaks to a lack of artistic vision and creativity that Tyga has to fall back on so many classics instead of trying to create his own. Tyga, leave that Molly alone and get serious about your rap. "Hotel California" fails to deliver on any of the hype it had leading up to its release. Everybody involved is capable of doing better."[49] Julia LeConte of Now gave the album two out of five stars, saying "Sometimes all it takes is a single brilliant sample on one song to take a hip-hop album from bad to good. First single Dope has that by way of Dr. Dre’s Deep Cover, but it fails to push the balance of the album beyond mediocrity."[47] David Amidon of PopMatters gave the album a five out of ten, saying "When it comes to Hotel California as an album, then, we arrive at the classic dilemma of a hip-hop reviewer in the 2010s. On the one hand, the album does very little of what Tyga’s best at and even when it does, Hotel California makes the strange move of bowing to Tyga’s biting prowess rather than original, ratchet works. On the other, everything here is done perfectly well and enjoyably; unless you’re focused on Tyga’s bars, taking him purely as a presence on some nice beats is not excruciating. But it’s important to know the best you can hope for coming into Hotel California is that Tyga will drift out of your focus, becoming just a noise among noises. His approach to music is certainly not that – he’d clearly love to be a star – so it’s not a cynic’s way to look at Hotel California. I have to admit I’ve had a fine time with this one, assuming I’m not paying too much attention to the bland words. I’d never tell you to buy this album, but a Spotify perusal may bear a fruit or two. At least for an afternoon."[48]

Commercial performance[edit]

The album debuted at number 7 on the U.S. Billboard 200 with first-week sales of 54,000 copies in the United States.[1] In its second week the album sold 19,000 more copies.[53] In its third week the album sold 12,000 more copies bringing its total to 84,000.[54]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s)[15] Length
1. "500 Degrees" (featuring Lil Wayne) Michael Stevenson, Dwayne Carter, Jr., Ryan Hunt, Jess Jackson Ryan Hunt 3:45
2. "Dope" (featuring Rick Ross) Stevenson, William Roberts II, M. Roberts, Andre Young, J. Jackson, Calvin Broadus, C. Wolfe FKi, Jess Jackson 3:43
3. "Get Loose"   Stevenson, R. Smith Ron Sizzle 2:47
4. "Diss Song"   Stevenson, J. King, A. Lyon, M. Valenzano, J. Jackson, F. Hultin, O. Lindefelt SAP, Cool & Dre, Jess Jackson 4:50
5. "Hit 'Em Up" (featuring Jadakiss) Stevenson, D. McFarlane, Jason Phillips, J. Jackson DJ Mustard 3:57
6. "Molly" (featuring Cedric Gervais, Wiz Khalifa and Mally Mall) Stevenson, Cameron Thomaz, J. Jackson, Jamal Rashid, D. Mapp, C. Depasquale Dez Dynamic 3:38
7. "For the Road" (featuring Chris Brown) Stevenson, Christopher Brown, Cordale Quinn, Lamar "Mars" Edwards, J. Jackson, B. Alexander Morgan, J. Pastorius Lil' C, Mars of 1500 or Nothin' 4:03
8. "Show You" (featuring Future) Stevenson, Nayvadius Wilburn, N. Cash, J. Jackson, N. Fisher, B. Soko Detail 4:29
9. "It Neva Rains" (featuring Game) Stevenson, Jayceon Taylor, J. Jackson, A. Lyon, M. Valenzano, Timothy Riley, Raphael Saadiq Cool & Dre 4:07
10. "M.O.E." (featuring Wiz Khalifa) Stevenson, C. Thomaz, M. Roberts, J. Jackson FKi 3:48
11. "Hijack" (featuring 2 Chainz) Stevenson, Tauheed Epps, Regis Bell, J. Jackson, Dupri 3:05
12. "Get Rich"   Stevenson, R. Bell, J. Jackson Dupri 2:59
13. "Enemies"   Stevenson, J. King, J. Jackson, Corinne Bailey Rae, M. Leslie Hill SAP 3:50
14. "Drive Fast, Live Young"   Stevenson, D. Doman, J. Jackson, Christian Berishaj David D.A. Doman, Jess Jackson 5:35
15. "Palm Trees"   Stevenson, J. Cole, B. Parker, D. Stokes, B. Wicker, A. Reid, J. Jackson, J. James The Olympicks 2:52
  • "Drive Fast, Live Young" contains uncredited vocals by JMSN.


Release history[edit]

Regions Dates Label(s)
Worldwide April 7, 2013 Young Money Entertainment, Cash Money Records, Republic Records


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