Longtime readers of this blog (hi, Mum!*) will know I have a bit of an obsession with Lil Yachty. I honestly think he’s a fascinating figure who has the sufficient lack of self-awareness and disregard for the supposed former statesman and accepted tropes of his genre that he could potentially create something very special. His sound is obnoxious, flagrantly disrespectful and nonchalantly artless. But then, I’m a depressingly old white idiot: the sound of 2018 should sound borderline offensive to me! Lil Yachty is 21 years old, he’s already released one stone cold classic song (fight me) and a patchy and imperfect debut album that nonetheless showed flashes of the buoyant/obnoxious/genius/overjoyed style that is all his own and that could see him take over the world before too long, to the fabulous irritation of old farts everywhere. Whether you like it or not, this was evolution and it was frickin’ exciting!
(*My Mum has far too much self-respect to read my blog. Only people with a base level of pitiful self-respect would ever waste time reading this shit. Yeah, I’m talking about you. Aunty Cheryl, however, loves it! She is, however, a shameless crack cocaine addict and, if I’m being completely honest, has been dead for 12 years next April)
Unfortunately, ‘Teenage Emotion’ sold, on last count, forty two copies. I mean, even I didn’t buy it. Lil Yachty has 4.9 million Instagram followers, and the fact that so few of them saw fit to combine their obvious appreciation for his wardrobe with actually buying his music obviously hit Mr Yachty hard.
Obviously believing that the lack of record sales had something to do with the constant complaints from the rap purists about his talent and lack of ‘legitimacy’, that somehow people were put off buying his album because Joe Budden doesn’t like him, Lil Yachty quickly developed a thin skin and became overly conscious about his place in hip-hop. This inspired the release of ‘Lil Boat 2’, a mixtape where Yachty obviously decided to jettison all of his unique stylings (cheesiness, irritating computer games samples, unashamed happiness) to record a record as indistinguishable from the herd as possible. To show he’s nothing special and deserves the same treatment as every single other wannabe rapper? It was like ‘Never Mind the Bollocks’ failing to sell and the Sex Pistols releasing a double LP of eight minute guitar solos, just to prove that actually they were very good musicians, as if that were ever the point. Lil Yachty is an absolutely fine rapper, but the biggest problem with him asking to be judged on his ability alone is that he was actually requesting more attention to be paid to his lyrics (“That pussy pretty, but I still got to sniff it”), which is like Luis Suarez announcing that, rather than his football, he’d really rather everyone concentrated on his race relations. Phew, fucking bang up the elephant simile game, no??
Yeah, I just compared Lil Yachty to the Sex Pistols again. Fight me.
After that album’s utter artistic failure, or perhaps complete success in releasing a forgettable and insignificant rap album, the attempted reboot ‘Nuthin’ 2 Prove’ arrives in the same year. Even by calling the album ‘Nuthin’ 2 Prove’ you worry that Yachty may be protesting too much, like when Liam Gallagher called his solo album ‘I’ve Never Even Heard of the Beatles’ or Sonny Bono’s 1975 record ‘Actually, Some Women Are Really Strong’.
‘Nuthin’ 2 Prove’ will be looked back on by future music historians as Lil Yachty’s great identity crisis album. There are still far too many insipid attempts at generic trap rapping, like he still can’t quite lose that chip on his shoulder about matching up to less exceptional artists, but there are enough examples of the type of silly bubblegum rap that should be his forte to suggest his head is in the right direction.
I’ve heard Lil Yachty described as a ‘troll’, which I don’t believe is accurate. A troll is someone who causes deliberate offence by acting intentionally provocative, whereas I believe when Yachty says things like “Dropped out of school, that shit was for the pussies” he is actually that obnoxious naturally. And he should never shy away from that.
It’s perhaps a bad idea to have Cardi B guest on one track, as her charisma, talent and proper, authentic star power kind of shines an unflattering light on Yachty. Cardi B’s album was actually considered for NE2018, and is probably a much better album than N2P… No, scratch that- it’s absolutely a much better album than N2P. However, it was so good that it’s actually a lot less interesting than Yachty’s latest effort, and I’m always going to prefer the interesting semi-failures than dull competence. Also, N2P seems to get just that little bit better every time I hear it. However…
Yachty really drops the ball on the lyrics to We Outta Here! and leaves a nasty taste in the mouth that discolours any positive feelings about the album.
‘Your boyfriend’s a maggot/Probably a [BLEEP]’
Now, I don’t want to jump to conclusions. That second word is bleeped out so there’s no way of knowing for sure what Yachty was going for, and it might not be what I fear. Boyfriend is a jacket? Doesn’t really rhyme, and doesn’t really make sense. Boyfriend is a rabbit? Hmmm, maybe, and that would follow on the carnal theme. Boyfriend is a Jagat?? According to Urban Dictionary, a ‘jagat is someone who’s “Awesome,Good Looking and Amazing in bed”. Possible, but that wouldn’t really fit in with the theme of the song.
No. He’s saying ‘faggot’. In 2018, an artist who received so much good publicity by putting two men kissing on the cover of his debut album is calling someone a ‘faggot’ as a derogatory slur. And then bleeping it out because that means it’s not offensive! Fucking disgusting, and an example of the kind of identity crisis Yachty is going through, where he’s wondering if a lot of the hate he’s got was because he liked homosexuals too much, and slagging off ‘faggots’ might win back enough machismo points to boost his album sales a bit. Fucking pathetic, Yachty, and I expect better in the future.
Lil Boat 2
Actually never outstays it’s welcome, and breezes past in such a way it feels a lot shorter than stef chura’s 33 minutes. However, Stef never calls anyone a ‘faggot’… Fuck that’s really turned me off this album..