Ty Dolla $ign

The Playlist: Ty Dolla $ign


The Californian singer/rapper on the songs that have inspired his career so far 

One of the most exciting new talents in hip-hop and R&B, Californian singer/rapper Ty Dolla $ign co-wrote Rihanna’s hit “FourFiveSeconds” with Kanye West and Paul McCartney, and enlisted genre titans such as R Kelly and Kendrick Lamar for his own 2015 debut album, Free TC. Ty’s outstanding musicality is surely a factor in his popularity among peers; the son of a funk session musician, he learned to play drums, guitar, bass and piano as a child. Here, the 31-year-old – who featured on Fifth Harmony’s recent top 10 single “Work From Home” – lists five songs that inspired him on the road to success. 

© FifthHarmonyVEVO // YouTube

Slum Village - “Fall in Love“ (from the album Fantastic Vol. 2)

“The first time I heard this Detroit hip-hop trio was on a local radio station, and it made me want to check out the rest of their music. Then I found out that the producer, J Dilla, had also worked on a lot of my favourite songs. Ever since, I’ve been his biggest fan – I have every track he ever put out [Dilla died in 2006, aged 32]. His beats are incredible. They’re not perfectly on grid, which gives them this unique swing and bounce.”

© Cabokef // YouTube

Jaco Pastorius - “Portrait of Tracy“ (from the Album Jaco Pastorius)

“He’s the best bass guitarist who ever lived, just for the fact that he came up with this bass solo piece. The sound is truly incredible; you can’t really tell what instrument you’re hearing. Pastorius uses natural harmonics where he barely touches the strings with his left hand, so he gets these high-pitched noises and crazy chords. It’s very hard to play; for eight years playing the bass I could not figure it out.”

© fopstra // YouTube

Parliament - “Mothership Connection (Star Child)“ (from the Album Mothership Connection)

“Growing up in Los Angeles and being a fan of the West Coast sound all my life, this song is sort of my bible. Parliament started the style in the ’70s with their spaced-out funk anthems, and every Californian hip-hop icon, from DJ Quik to Dr Dre to youngsters like DJ Mustard, has been hugely inspired by them. Also, Parliament’s frontman, George Clinton, is one of the greatest bandleaders of all time.”

© rossrec // YouTube

Prince - “Diamonds & Pearls“

“Most people love Prince’s hits from the ’80s, but, to me, this ballad from 1991 is one of 
the most beautiful songs ever written. Admittedly, some of the drum elements sound a little dated today, but the vocals are amazing. Also, Prince’s guitar playing on the track – man, it made me start playing the guitar myself when I was young. I listened to it hundreds of times until I had it down.”

© Hayden Clement // YouTube

The Doors - “People Are Strange“

“I only properly realised Jim Morrison’s genius a few years ago when I watched Oliver Stone’s film about The Doors while I was high on mushrooms. The next day, I bought all of the band’s albums. This song is my favourite. Morrison was a sensational poet and performer. He was drunk all the time and had sex with all the girls. He was a pure rock 
star and I admire him a lot for his ‘I don’t give a f–k’ attitude.”

© kekko 93 // YouTube

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08 2016 The Red Bulletin

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