The sun was shining and the party scene at the pool was popping on the set of Tyga’s first video, for “Coconut Juice.” Joining Tyga, and the loads of bikini-clad young ladies sipping from coconuts, was Fall Out Boy’s Pete Wentz and Tyga’s older cousin, Gym Class Heroes MC Travis McCoy.
McCoy was the one who brought his younger cousin’s music to Wentz. “I liked Tyga’s voice a lot and his flow,” Wentz told MTV News. “First of all, I couldn’t believe he was related to Travis, because Travis is pretty geeky.” Months later, Wentz signed Tyga to the Bat Squad imprint on his Decaydance label.
The theme of the video is a pool party run amok. McCoy, the owner of a million-dollar home, takes off on tour and leaves his pad in the hands of Tyga and his boys. Instead of taking care of the place, they decide to throw a banging party, only to have McCoy come home early, initially quite unhappy at what he sees.
In real life, though, McCoy said it’s the exact opposite. “Just to see him here today almost brought me to tears,” McCoy said proudly of his cousin. On set, the close relationship between the relatives is quite evident. You can tell that 18-year-old Tyga looks up to his older cousin and is ecstatic to have him there, a feeling McCoy reciprocates. At one point, McCoy had his arm around Tyga as they looked out over the hills of Southern California. “You see, one day all this could be yours, even the Badlands,” McCoy said.
Even at his young age, Tyga is well on his way to making that happen, and he’s trying to do it his own way. “I just didn’t want to be like everybody else,” Tyga said. “You have to be different. Like me, I’m from L.A. They just expect you to be gangster rap, being that I’m from Compton. Like, ‘Oh, N.W.A!’ That’s all they know. I’m just trying to say something new, you know what I mean? I’m just trying to bring back the feeling Jay-Z gave me a long time ago — just good music, no stereotypes. I’m just here doing what I’m doing. I’m a young kid, and I’m having fun.”
And though he might be young and just having fun, he is still garnering attention from some of the top dogs in the game. Lil Wayne worked with Tyga on a track for Tyga’s debut album, No Introduction, set for release in June. “I was like, ‘Man, I like your style,’ ” Tyga recalled of meeting Weezy. “[Lil Wayne] sent some songs to my Web site, I listened to them, and he was down from there. I love that dude already. He never heard me say that.”
Insider buzz, a new album and a video in the can are just part of the recording artist’s world, but having graduated high school only a little more than a year ago, Tyga is still getting used to the idea of being a hip-hop star. “I’m blessed,” Tyga said. “I don’t even believe that all this is happening. There’s still a lot to soak in.”