Tyga: An Inside Look At The Rapper's Life And Career

Michael Ray Nguyen-Stevenson, best known by his fans as rapper Tyga, has been entertaining the masses from a very young age. He has amassed a huge fan following and is as famous for his talented skills in the world of music as he is for his very public relationship with ex-girlfriend Kylie Jenner. He has worked with some big names in the industry such as Drake, Kanye West, and Lil Wayne, and has been ever-present in the world of entertainment, according to Biography.

Tyga's talents span well beyond the realm of musical entertainment, and his millions of fans are as interested in his personal life as they are in his next music release. Those who are curious to know about what the famous rapper likes to eat, or what hobbies he dabbles in when he's off the stage, will be interested to learn he has owned an exotic animal and has a very interesting X-rated side hustle, according to Forbes.

The talented rapper has captured many of the most precious moments in his life by tattooing them on his body, but we also have a few secrets to share ...

His lowest-selling album was produced by Kanye West

Tyga independently released a number of his own songs before signing with influential labels Young Money Entertainment, Cash Money Records, and Republic Records. The release of "Careless World: Rise of the Last King" launched Tyga to mainstream success with singles "Rack City," "Faded," "Make It Nasty," "Still Got It," and "Far Away."

Tyga's career was seeing an upward trajectory until his fractured relationship with Young Money forced the talented artist to take a different approach. He joined forces with Kanye West, who executive produced "The Gold Album: 18th Dynasty." The album was independently released in June 2015, but according to Hot New Hip Hop, it saw a dismal 2,200 sales in the first week. The album was listed in the No. 1 spot of Rap Radar's Worst Album list and was widely criticized online. Tyga defended his failed album by citing label issues in a series of tweets. "Didn't plan on selling it Kuz of label problems. It's a dope album. Got a lot of great feedback and millions of streams," he tweeted July 1, 2015. He followed up with another tweet, writing, "Yall mfs is funny. I put my album out myself for free on spotify, soundcloud, YouTube to stream."

Tyga owned a tiger

Tyga is one of several celebrities that have dabbled in exotic pet ownership, but in spite of the initial appeal of owning the majestic animal, the rapper quickly realized the negative impact of this decision. According to Sun Sentinal, Tyga reportedly enlisted Nicholas Lee Bishop, also known as Nick the Wrangler, to purchase a tiger cub. It was reported that Bishop purchased the animal in Indiana and handled the arrangements to have it brought to his home town of Nevada, where Tyga allegedly picked up his new pet.

The rapper posed in a series of photos with his tiger named Maverick and routinely showcased himself with the animal on social media. The now-deleted pictures were prominently featured all over Tyga's accounts, and fans seemed impressed with the luxury lifestyle images of the animal photographed by his side next to a Rolls Royce among other high-end items. By April 2014, the musical artist was making the headlines in all the wrong ways. The authorities alleged he was illegally in possession of the wild animal and sources close to the situation revealed Tyga could face misdemeanor charges of possession of a prohibited species, which could have carried a six-month jail penalty, according to TMZ. The tiger was forcibly removed from Tyga's Ventura County home and the artist has been called out by a sanctuary called Lions, Tigers, and Bears for not taking steps to provide care for the animal after it was rescued, according to CBS8.

He ran four clothing lines

Tyga's 2016 interview with Us Weekly revealed some lesser-known details about the artist, including the fact that he is a multitalented individual that possesses skills outside of the musical realm. Tyga told the publication he was proudly running four clothing lines at the time of their conversation. He detailed that he was involved with Last Kings, Twelve Jewels, HWBP, and a line called Crisp Boxers.

Tyga's clothing lines are marketed as high-end urban chic, and according to Vibe, one particular fashion line called The Capsule Collection was an exclusive collaboration with designer Marcelo Burlon. It was made available exclusively on the Saks Fifth Avenue website. One of the hoodies from Tyga's fashion line was priced at $550. The artist described his expensive leisurewear and accessories as art, and he says that aspect of their design makes them worthy of their price tag, according to Tyga's 2016 interview with Refinery 29.

When he was asked why he felt his clothing items — such as the sweatpants released in The Capsule Collection — were so successful in spite of the high cost, Tyga expressed that his designs were a reflection of his own self-worth. "You're selling the dream. And it's like, 'What is someone willing to pay for this art?' I justify the price with what I feel my worth is," Tyga said, according to Refinery 29. He added, "It's like, 'Yo, do you love me that much? Do you understand my art that much that you're willing to pay?'"

Tyga's tattoos tell the tale of his life

Tyga is covered in tattoos, and he opened up during an interview with Yahoo! Lifestyle to reveal that they collaboratively tell a story about his life's journey. "My upper half of my body –- I've been getting tattoos since I was like 14," Tyga said. Since he was underage when he first started exploring tattoos and didn't have parental consent, Tyga got inked in some unconventional ways. "I was just like in the hood getting tattoos from homies," he admitted. "I wanted a tattoo on my neck, like, really bad, and I told my mom, kind of like to check her temperature." He added that she wasn't supportive of the idea. The artist proceeded in spite of that, and his mother's name is the tattoo prominently featured at the top of his neck in a meaningful way. "I knew like, this is forever," he said.

During Facebook's "Tattoo Tour With Tyga" he revealed that between the ages of 14-17, he was "tattoo crazy," saying, "I just went OD with it 'cause I was like so addicted." He told fans his first tattoo was on his upper arm and was of The Lord's Prayer. Other ink has an Asian influence as a nod to his mother's Vietnamese heritage, and there are a few Egyptian-themed tattoos as well. Others include references to his favorite movies. "I really don't have any favorite tattoos; it's crazy. Like when I look at 'em, it's kinda like a timeline of my life," Tyga said.

He has a child with Blac Chyna

Tyga was so famously linked to Kylie Jenner that many of his fans either forgot or failed to realize that he also shares a child with Black Chyna named King Cairo. When it comes to parenting, Tyga tries to keep his son away from personal drama. "I'm just not a messy person," he said, during a 2017 interview with Entertainment Tonight. Tyga went on to describe how adults can make their own decisions regarding their lives and can forge their own paths, but when it comes to his child, he wants to give him the very best childhood possible. "My main focus and goal is just to make sure that my son has the best upbringing," Tyga told Entertainment Tonight. "I kinda just, you know, stay focused and really just stay concerned about him," he said.

That focused approach to shielding King Cairo from negativity came in handy when he and Blac Chyna were at odds over child support, which she claims she does not receive from the talented rapper. Tyga took to Twitter in his own defense and clarified that he didn't pay child support because he was a primary caregiver for his son. "I pay 40k a year for my son school & he lives with me mon-sat. Why would I pay child support lol," he wrote in a tweet on The Shade Room's page, via People.

The rapper constantly repaints his cars

Tyga's obsession with cars is evident in the prominence of luxury and exotic vehicles on his social media pages and in his music videos. The rapper even released a single titled "Cars," and the music video seen on YouTube boasts several supercars, including a Bugatti and a couple of Lamborghini Aventadors, each of which comes with a high price tag. He also purchased what appears to be a Ferrari 482 Italia with an estimated value of $320,000 as a birthday gift for his then-girlfriend Kylie Jenner in 2015, according to People.

Car ownership is a big source of pride for car fanatics like Tyga, but aside from featuring his stunning vehicles in his videos and taking selfies with the cars on social media, Tyga has admitted that there's one other very important thing he does with his fleet of exotics. According to a 2016 interview with Us Weekly, Tyga actually does a color-change paint job on all of his vehicles ... annually! He told the publication that he proudly gives each of the cars he owns a fresh new look each time he starts a new year.

Tyga has dabbled in the adult film industry

Tyga's claim to fame lies primarily in his music, through streaming services and of course, his live performances, but some fans may be interested to learn that the famous rapper has also dabbled in adult movies. He made his debut in the adult entertainment industry in 2011 with the release of his pornographic film "Rack City XXX: The Movie," according to All Hip Hop. His efforts were rewarded by being recognized by what many perceive to be the "Oscars of Porn." His work was recognized by the Adult Video News, and the rapper was nominated for three awards. The AVN gave Tyga a nod in three different categories: Best Wall-to-Wall Release, Best Music Soundtrack, and Best Oral Sex Scene.

Tyga didn't just stop there. After seeing success in the porn industry, the artist branched out and began streaming sensitive content on OnlyFans. After reportedly earning several million dollars on the platform, Tyga then decided to take things one step further. He deleted his OnlyFans account and moved on to launch his very own adult content site called myystar, according to Forbes. He explained the reasoning behind his new business venture. "I pay attention to the culture," Tyga said. "I've always liked to be on the pulse and see what everybody's feeling. It was just curiosity."

His career took off with Young Money Entertainment

Tyga's career reportedly began to skyrocket after he signed on with the highly esteemed record label Young Money Entertainment, which is owned by none other than entertainment giant Lil Wayne. He gained mainstream success with the release of his Young Money-backed album "Careless World: Rise of the Last King" in 2012. The album reached No. 4 on the U.S. Billboard Top 200 and featured the familiar sounds of famous artists like T-Pain, Pharrell, Nas, J.Cole, and Robin Thicke, according to Billboard.

In spite of gaining worldwide notoriety and seeing huge success under the Young Money label, Tyga's relationship with the organization became fractured in 2018 when the artist claimed he was owed money. He proceeded to file a lawsuit against the label, claiming he made a deal with Young Money in 2009 to produce two albums under their label, but was the only one to keep up his end of the bargain. Tyga claimed he met his obligations with the release of "Careless World" and "Hotel California," according to TMZ. However, he says he was shorted a large sum of money, and the rapper sought assistance from the courts to secure his earnings. He filed a lawsuit for $10 million against Cash Money and Young Money for non-payment of the royalties he was owed. Tyga claimed that in spite of their agreement, he had not received his money, according to TMZ. He went on to sign a multi-million dollar deal with Columbia Records a short time later, according to XXL.

He's been sued for not paying for things

In spite of earning millions through his various income streams, Tyga has been sued for failing to pay for several of his purchases, including a $27,000 outstanding bill for furniture that he was accused of defaulting on, according to Radar Online. Showroom Interiors sued the rapper for breach of contract in 2021 after he allegedly hired them to furnish and decorate his 13,986 square foot estate in Los Angeles. He reportedly agreed to pay a grand total of $84,000 and made good on some but not all of his payments. He was sued for over $27,000, plus interest.

Tyga also faced litigation for unpaid merchandise in 2016 when Jeweler Jason Arasheben of Jason of Beverly Hills claimed the rapper failed to pay for jewelry he had taken from the store. Arasheben alleged Tyga purchased a $28,275 diamond pantheon watch in 2012 and borrowed a $63,000 diamond Cuban link chain later that year, neither of which were paid for, according to People. After several attempts to collect the balance owed, Arasheben sued Tyga for over $270,000 which covered the unpaid products, additional fees, interest, and damages, according to People.

There was also an arrest warrant issued for Tyga in 2016 when he failed to attend court in a legal battle with his landlord Gholamreza Rezai, per People. Rezai claimed Tyga failed to keep up with payments on his rental property in Malibu and left significant damages behind when he abandoned the home. Rezai sued Tyga for $480,285.

Tyga was accused of domestic violence

Tyga was accused of domestic violence in relation to a reported fight with his former girlfriend Camaryn Swanson in 2021. Swanson took to Instagram to reveal images of her face that showed apparent marks around one of her eyes, according to TMZ. She accused Tyga of physical and emotional abuse, and alleged that he prevented her from leaving his property. Tyga denied the allegations and slammed back, saying Swanson arrived to his home uninvited at 3 a.m. and was shouting. He claimed she refused to leave.

On October 12, 2021, the Los Angeles Police media relations division tweeted that Tyga had been taken into custody. "Hollywood Div booked Michael Stevenson for felony domestic violence (273.5 A PC). The incident occurred on 10/12/21 in Hollywood," they wrote on Twitter. Tyga released a statement to his now-deleted social media account after rumors suggested the rapper had been arrested and taken into custody by local police. "I want everyone to know that the allegations against me are false," he wrote on his Instagram Story, according to Complex. "I was not arrested. I took myself into the police station and cooperated. I have not been charged with any crime."

A representative for the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office confirmed Tyga wouldn't face criminal charges pertaining to this incident. "Michael Ray Stevenson, a.k.a. Tyga, will not be charged with any criminal charges for his domestic violence case as long as he stays out of trouble legally," they confirmed to Entertainment Tonight.

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support at their website.

The rapper directs his own music videos

Tyga shared some fun facts about his life during a 2016 interview with Us Weekly, at which point he revealed to his fans that he was the creative mastermind behind his own music videos. The talented rapper sings his own songs and also manages to direct his music videos from the back-end, making sure that every aspect of his projects meets his standards and contains his special touch. By the time fans tune in to watch Tyga's videos, they are fully immersed in an experience that he has holistically designed.

Tyga follows the same protocols for all videos he directs, inclusive of his adult content. When he launched his film "Rack City: The XXX Movie," Tyga's influence was ever-present, both in front of the camera and behind the scenes. He starred in the film and also co-directed with Justice Young. "I picked a lot of the girls that I was already familiar with and I feel like a lot of the people out there know. I wanted to have big names for my first project," he said to Complex. Tyga addressed his intense involvement by saying, "Doing this project it was important for me to put something out with my vision."

Tyga's eating habits may surprise you

Tyga is a foodie and loves to eat a variety of different foods throughout the day, but he reveals that none of it is actually cooked by him. He admits to eating lots of pre-packaged food and frequently dines in restaurants rather than preparing his own meals. A 2015 interview with Glamour revealed that Tyga's eating habits had a huge influence on the life of his then-girlfriend Kylie Jenner. "I've gained like 15 lbs since I started hanging out with you [Tyga]. Doughnut holes and Hot Cheetos, Cheetos puffs, popcorn," Kylie said. Tyga revealed that Chinese food was one of his favorite go-to's and said Mr. Chow was his top pick for Asian cuisine.

Tyga opened up about his food preferences during a special segment of "Everything Tyga Eats In A Day" with Harper's Bazaar. He detailed a wide array of candy that he routinely reaches for. "My favorite, Hot Cheetos -– man, I just couldn't stop Hot Cheetos to save my life if I wanted to," Tyga said. He told fans his favorite meal of the day is dinner. "I'm not a big cooker. I think the most things I will like cook or make are like cereal or popcorn." As for what he doesn't enjoy, Tyga says he actively avoids "anything with peanuts, shrimp, oh, sushi, I don't eat sushi at all," and he explained that he became very ill after eating sushi one day and hasn't been able to eat it since.