Ty Dolla $ign

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About Ty Dolla $ign

When charting the intertwined evolutions of R&B and hip-hop over the 2010s, there’s a simple rule: Follow the money, or, rather, the Dolla $ign. Born in L.A. in 1982, Tyrone Griffin Jr.—a.k.a. Ty Dolla $ign—was blessed early on with an eclectic skill set that made him more than just another aspiring MC. As the son of a musician (his father played with ’80s funk legends Lakeside of “Fantastic Voyage” fame), Ty was already a seasoned multi-instrumentalist and producer when he scored his first success providing the throwback-soul hook and dusty-vinyl groove to YG’s 2010 hit “Toot It and Boot It.” Alongside the L.A. rapper, Ty began drifting toward the more minimalist sound of the West Coast’s burgeoning ratchet movement; he recorded his 2014 solo debut, Beach House, with the genre’s architect, DJ Mustard, who delivered his signature synth spikes and ice-picked drum-machine beats on cool club jams like “Paranoid” and “Oh Nah.” But while Ty can adopt the staccato flow and salacious storytelling of a rugged MC, there is a sensitivity and smoothness to his delivery that keeps him rooted in R&B. “I feel like there’s not one Ty Dolla $ign song that you could name where I’m just doing a full-on rap,” he told Apple Music. “I don’t rap—I sing.” Fitting for an artist who’s equally at home trading bars with Nicki Minaj, guesting with Nick Jonas, and crafting choruses for blink-182’s Travis Barker, Ty Dolla $ign would land his first No. 1 single by teaming up with the veritable poster boy for post-internet genre fluidity: Post Malone. On their 2018 chill-hop smash, “Psycho,” Ty sings, “This ain’t happen overnight/No, these diamonds real bright”—a victory-lap address from an artist who spent a decade putting in the work and is now reaping the rewards.

Los Angeles, CA, United States
April 13, 1985
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