- 01:05 PM, May 02
With huge determination and a clear vision of what he wants, Tyga pursued his career as a rapper after an aisle debate with Travis McCoy of Gym Class Heroes. Born November 19, 1989, Michael Ray Nguyen-Stevenson is of Vietnamese and Jamaican descent. Living in the infamous Compton, CA, Tyga raised above the negativity by building social networks and recording mixtapes to enhance his career in music. The big break came through his cousin, McCoy.
Tyga bumped onto McCoy at popular Los Angeles sneakers store, Fight Club, one day. At first they talked about shoes and soon the conversation switched to the greatest rappers. "We started talking about music and I got enough courage to give him my little mixtape" Tyga said. "He was telling me all this stuff he was doing with his band and I thought he was just lying to seem cool. Then one day I saw him on MTV, then I started hitting him up on AIM non stop! Next thing you know I'm on tour with him going all over the world. It was crazy."
Impressed by what Tyga did, McCoy signed him to Bat Squad Records. "I can see myself at his age whenever I watch him perform," McCoy said. "It's an innocence and a sense of urgency a lot of artists today lack and it's an honor for me to welcome him to the inner circle." As part of Gym Class Heroes crew, Tyga earned his solo spotlight when he got the Fall Out Boy acquaintance.
Tyga was shoved into a big stage, the 2007 MTV Video Music Awards, when he was told to perform the remix of "Arms Race" with Fall Out Boy, McCoy and Lil Wayne. Despite the newcomer label, Tyga managed to conquer the gig and impressed Wayne altogether.
"At rehearsal I thought he was just a stand in, but when the cameras were rolling I realized he wasn't playing around," Wayne said. Tyga and the self-proclaimed "greatest rapper alive" became fast friends and they did a collaboration on the latter's "Tha Carter 3". Meanwhile, his solo career was launched with single "Coconut Juice", a S*A*M & Sluggo production that sampled Harry Nilsson's hit "Coconut".
"And Coconut Juice is," Tyga explained, "... [in the] summertime, people really don't wanna hear you talkin' about [sellin' drugs and killin' people]. People sometimes want to hear that, but right now you gotta make music