Micheal Ray Stevenson[1] (born November 19, 1989), known by his stage name Tyga (a backronym for Thank you God always),[2] is an American rapper. In 2011, Tyga signed a recording contract with Young Money Entertainment, Cash Money Records and Republic Records (formerly Universal Republic Records). His major label debut Careless World: Rise of the Last King, includes the singles "Rack City", "Faded" featuring fellow Young Money artist Lil Wayne, "Far Away" featuring Chris Richardson, "Still Got It" featuring Drake, and "Make It Nasty". He released his third album Hotel California, on April 9, 2013, and includes the singles "Dope" featuring Rick Ross, "For The Road" featuring Chris Brown, and "Show You" featuring Future.

Early life

Micheal Ray Stevenson was born in Compton, California, on November 19, 1989,[3] and raised there until he "was about 11, 12," before moving to Gardena, California.[4] He is of Vietnamese and Jamaican descent.[5] He is the cousin of Travis McCoy of Gym Class Heroes. He grew up listening to Fabolous, Lil Wayne, Cam'ron and Eminem among others.[6]

On December 3, 2012, debate arose concerning Tyga's upbringing. Tyga claimed to have been brought up in the low socioeconomic area of Compton, but in leaked footage from the unaired television show Bustas he claimed he grew up in a "well-to-do" home in the Valley, where his parents drove a Range Rover. He also claimed that he attained his nickname from his mother calling him Tiger Woods.[7] There has been speculation that his claims on the show were satirical and not to be taken seriously. Tyga responded to the video's leak on Twitter: "When u 14 an ambitious u don't give a fuk about anything. Scripted tv isn't that what we all live for.Hahahaha" [sic][8]


2007–10: No Introduction and mixtapes

No Introduction, released on Decaydance Records on June 10, 2008, was Tyga's first independent album.[9] One of the songs from this album, "Diamond Life", was used in the video games Need for Speed: Undercover and Madden NFL 2009, as well as in the 2009 movie Fighting.

Tyga released many mixtapes. His 2007 debut mixtape, Young On Probation, garnered him enough attention to sign a record deal with Young Money Entertainment. He created Fan of a Fan with Chris Brown and producers DJ Ill Will and DJ Rockstar. It features other artists such as Bow Wow, Lil Wayne, and Kevin McCall featured in several tracks. Four tracks ("Holla at Me", "G Shit", "No Bullshit" and "Deuces") are also accompanied by music videos. The track "Deuces" was released as the debut single of the mixtape and reached #14 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 1 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs by August 26, 2010. The track has also been nominated for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration at the 53rd Grammy Awards.[10][11] The track, among others, was on the track list of Chris Brown's fourth studio album, F.A.M.E.. Tyga also told MTV in an interview that the mixtape's production took just short of a week.[12]

2011–12: Careless World: Rise of the Last King

Careless World: Rise of the Last King was his second studio album. The album was released on February 21, 2012 on Young Money Entertainment, Cash Money Records, and Universal Republic Records. Careless World: Rise of the Last King is a move to the rapping style he featured in the collaboration album We Are Young Money rather me than the poppy dance element shown on No Introduction.[13] Tyga stated that the album shows he has grown up but still relates to the kids. Tyga released a new mixtape #BitchImTheShit in preparation for the album.

The first official single, "Far Away", was released on May 17, 2011 and peaked at 86 on the Billboard Hot 100. The second official single, "Still Got It", was released on October 4, 2011 and peaked at 89 on the Billboard Hot 100. The third official single, "Rack City", was released on December 6, 2011. It was originally listed on Tyga's Well Done 2 mixtape, and was added to the album after it gained commercial success. It debuted at number 94 on the Billboard Hot 100, and has peaked at number 8 since then. The fourth official single, "Faded", was released on January 13, 2012. It peaked on the Hot 100 at #33.

Tyga's sixth single, "Do My Dance" which features 2 Chainz was released on October 2, 2012 and peaked at #79 on the Billboard Hot 100. He has released various mixtapes such as well-acclaimed #BitchImTheShit and Well Done 3.

That year Tyga also produced and co-directed (with Justice Young) a multi-AVN award-nominated crossover adult film, Rack City: The XXX Movie, which starred Skin Diamond, Jada Fire, Ice La Fox, Sophie Dee, Lexington Steele, Kristina Rose, London Keyes and Daisy Marie.[14][15] He also signed the soundtrack, which includes the hits "Rack City" and "Faded" together with several original songs, and he appeared in the film in a non-sex role.[14][16][17][18][19][20][21]

2012–13: Hotel California

Tyga in 2013

Tyga's third studio album, Hotel California, was released on April 9, 2013. The first single, "Dope", was released on December 25. The song has a notable feature from rapper Rick Ross.[22] Before the single dropped Tyga released a nine-track mixtape under the name 187.[23] 187 the mixtape was released on November 30, 2012. It features remixes to songs such as 2 Chainz's "I'm Different", Meek Mill's "Young & Gettin' It" and GOOD Music's "Clique", among others and new material.[24] Tyga will also release a second Fan of a Fan mixtape with singer Chris Brown.[22] On episode three of Tyga's tour vlog Tyga confirmed four features on the upcoming album, including Rick Ross, Nicki Minaj, Chris Brown, and Wiz Khalifa.[25] Tyga performed at Harvard University's Yardfest in the Spring of 2013, despite opposition from critics who've signed a petition seeking to keep him away over what they call his "violently misogynistic lyrics."[26] At this time, Tyga collaborated with singer Sabi on her song "Cali Love".[27]

Hotel California was released on April 9, 2013. The album featured guest appearances from Lil Wayne, Chris Brown, Rick Ross, 2 Chainz, Game, Wiz Khalifa, Future and Jadakiss. Along with production by Cool & Dre, David D.A. Doman, DJ Mustard, Detail, Mars of 1500 or Nothin', The Olympicks, and SAP among others. 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.[28] It also was less successful than his debut album commercially, debuting at number seven on the U.S. Billboard 200 with first-week sales of 54,000 copies in the United States.[29]

2013–2015: The Gold Album: 18th Dynasty

On August 27, 2013, Tyga released a new single with DJ Mustard, "Throw It Up". It was also revealed that he was working on two new mixtapes, Black Thought 3 and Well Done 4, as well as The Gold Album.[30] On October 21, 2013, Tyga premiered "Wait for a Minute" featuring Justin Bieber. It was released to iTunes the following day.[31] He then confirmed that an album would be released in early 2014. He also explained that the album would, be more "way less commercial." He also said "I felt like Hotel California was more commercial and I made more radio-type records. This album is straight rap."[32] Then on April 9, 2014 Tyga released a song called "Hookah" which features the rapper Young Thug.[33]

On May 1, 2014 Tyga made a tweet referring to Kanye West, Mike Dean, and his own producer Jess Jackson with a hash-tag The Gold Album. Kanye West is serving as the executive producer for the album, which is due for release on November 18, 2014.[34][35] Tyga was also featured on Chris Brown's single "Loyal", he was featured on the video version, the song since then peaked at number nine on the US Billboard Hot 100.[36] On May 28, 2014, Tyga released a new song entitled "Real Deal" via SoundCloud.[37] "Real Deal" was later released on iTunes on August 1, 2014.[38] On September 12, 2014 Tyga Announced via his instagram that his new single titled "40 Mill" which will be produced by Kanye West, Mike Dean, Dupri and his own producer Jess Jackson, artwork, The release date was not revealed though.[39] The album was set to have features from Justin Bieber, Young Thug, Kanye West, Chris Brown, and Drake. Tyga criticized Drake in an October 2014 interview, calling Drake "fake" and said that he did not like Nicki Minaj.[40] Tyga released the Kanye West produced 40 Mill on October 14, 2014; the media gave it positive feedback.

On October 21, 2014, Tyga lashed out on his record label Young Money Entertainment, reporting that his album was completed, but that his music was being "held hostage" by the label, who would not allow him to release it, and stated that he was considering leaking the album.[41] On December 4, 2014, Tyga made a tweet declaring his project, The Gold Album: 18th Dynasty would be released independently due to not being on good terms with label Cash Money Records.[42] On June 23, 2015, Tyga released The Gold Album for streaming exclusively on Spotify then later on Apple Music.

His reality show Kingin' with Tyga premiered on July 24, 2015, on MTV2.[43]

2016-present: Signing to GOOD Music/Def Jam Records

On September 7, 2016, Kanye West announced that he had signed Tyga to his GOOD Music imprint, under the aegis of Def Jam Recordings.[44]

Personal life

Tyga met Blac Chyna on October 5, 2011, at The F.A.M.E Tour After Party with Chris Brown at King of Diamonds in Miami.[45][46] Blac Chyna became Tyga's leading lady in his "Rack City" music video.[47] They became an official couple on November 9, 2011 and posed for the cover of Urban Ink magazine in March 2012.[48] On October 16, 2012, their son, King Cairo Stevenson, was born;[49] and Tyga purchased a $6.5 million mansion in Calabasas, California for his new family.[50] Both parents sport tattoos of their son's name.[51] In December 2012, Blac Chyna confirmed that she and Tyga were engaged.[52] The couple later split in 2014.[53]

After months of speculation, Tyga finally confirmed his relationship with reality star Kylie Jenner. However, this relationship sparked controversy in the tabloids, because of the age difference, and they were reportedly dating since Jenner was 16. The legal age of consent in the state of California is 18.[54][55] Photos of him and Jenner first seen holding hands in Mexico went viral a few days after her 18th birthday.[56] The couple split in May 2016.[57]

In 2015, a nude photo of Tyga was leaked online. The photo was allegedly sent to transsexual pornographic actress Mia Isabella.[58]


In June 2008, Tyga was robbed of his jewelry by unknown assailants. A pair of diamond chains would end up in the hands of local rapper 40 Glocc, who showed them off in an online video.[59][60] Tyga would eventually admit to the robbery, but said 40 Glocc wasn't behind it. "Some niggas seen me and ran up on me with a little burner... I guess 40 Glocc's peoples robbed the peoples that got me, and then hopped on YouTube, talking about they robbed me."[61]

Legal issues

In late 2012 Tyga was sued by two women who appeared in the "Make It Nasty" video for $10 million each; they claimed he had shown their nipples without their consent. They were assured that this would be edited out and the unedited version would not be released, but Tyga proceeded to release a fully unedited version.[62] On September 21, 2013, another woman from the video sued Tyga for sexual battery, fraud, invasion of privacy, and infliction of emotional distress. She claims, like the two other women who have filed suit against him, that she was convinced to dance topless and assured her breasts would be edited out.[63]

On September 4, 2013, it was reported Tyga had been sued by Beverly Hills-based jeweler Jason for allegedly not paying for roughly $91,000 worth of jewelry. Jason claims that Tyga agreed to pay $28,275 for the jeweler's diamond pantheon watch in August 2012 and that he borrowed a $63,000 diamond Cuban link chain in December 2012 and never returned the item, so he sued Tyga for the cost of both pieces, plus late fees, which totaled up to $185,306.50 in damages, double the original total cost.[64] Tyga fell ill before the interrogation of this debt and was considered not able to proceed. He also did not bring the documents he was supposed to, however he paid $100,000 of the $200,000 owed to his client.[65]

In June 2015, a judge ordered Tyga to pay an $80,000 settlement to a former landlord, who rented a home to the rapper in the city of Calabasas, California.[66] It was the second ruling in the case, following a judgement in May 2015, in which he was ordered to pay $90,000, though the debt was never paid.[67] In September 2015, the state of California placed a tax lien on Tyga for $19,000 in unpaid taxes.[68] On his birthday, he was given a lawsuit in 2016.[69]



Opening act


Awards and nominations

Year Awards Category Recipient Result
2011 Grammy Awards Best Rap/Sung Collaboration "Deuces" (with Chris Brown and Kevin McCall) Nominated
BET Awards Best Collaboration
2012 BET Awards Best Collaboration "The Motto" (with Drake and Lil Wayne)
Coca-Cola Viewers' Choice
BET Hip Hop Awards Reese's Perfect Combo Award
Best Club Banger
MuchMusic Video Awards MuchVIBE Hip-Hop Video of the Year Won
MTV Europe Music Awards Best US Act Himself Nominated
American Music Awards Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Artist
2014 World Music Awards World's Best Male Artist
World's Best Live Act
World's Best Entertainer of the Year
World's Best Song "Bubble Butt" (with Major Lazer, Bruno Mars and Mystic)
World's Best Video
World's Best Song "Wait for a Minute" (with Justin Bieber)
World's Best Video
World's Best Album Hotel California
World's Best Song "Loyal" (with Chris Brown and Lil Wayne)
World's Best Video


  1. Jump up^ Micheal Ray Stevenson at California Birth Index via FamilySearch.org. Retrieved on November 25, 2015.
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  59. Jump up^ "CHAIN SNATCHED BY ZOOLIFE G-UNIT VILLAGE BOO". YouTube. June 8, 2008.
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