UP-AND-coming LA rapper Tyga may have titled his current album Hotel California – rings a bell, that one – but his stage set was themed around ancient Egypt, with pharaoh death masks, illuminated pyramids and sentry-like statues of Anubis arranged symmetrically on the stage with no obvious connection to his music beyond a shared love of bling.
There was a certain pop gloss to his presentation too, thanks to a distracting display of kaleidoscopic graphics on the big screen, providing stylised accompaniment as he jumped nimbly from track to track with a pretty consistent flow.
Titles such as Dope, Rack City and Badass Bitches suggest that Tyga is hardly trying to blow the doors off hip-hop’s tired lyrical preoccupations. At least Palm Trees provided some laidback funk respite from the barrage of bragging.
In lieu of any great musical excitement, his DJ fired off periodic klaxon blasts, and there were belated attempts to engage with the fans on a brief trip into the crowd where he was borne aloft on sturdy shoulders. A line of girls were invited onstage, presumably to gyrate, though most of them used their moment in the spotlight to film Tyga on their phones.
A tribute to the late Tupac Shakur was not a misty-eyed elegy, more a bid to posit himself as a successor. But Tyga didn’t quite have the charisma, abilities or – the aggressive hook of closing number Molly aside – the material to maintain energy and interest throughout his hour-long set.