Lil Yachty has been one of those artists who perhaps not intentionally but most definitely exposed a generational divide within Hip Hop. Those unwritten rules, those unseen gatekeepers, those ways of doing things – were shook up when Yachty took to the scene. Whatever you think of Yachty, whenever you hear Yachty, it’s becoming clearer by the day that Yachty is no one-off novelty act, Yachty is here to stay.
Defining what is shaping up to be the future of hip hop for the next generation, Yachty is one of those artists who has somehow tapped into a sense of how things could go, how being different can work when you celebrate it not berate it. If you need any further proof of that, the cover reveal for ‘Teenage Emotions’ has in one image become a testament to that real spirit of going against the grain. If bigoted conservatives are having their moment around the world, trust that teenagers aren’t about to take that into their future as the status quo.
The spirit of Atlanta goes hand in hand with understanding the spirit of Lil Yachty, the freedom to experiment with his music, the freedom to say what he wants, the freedom to look how he wants – his brand is exactly what makes this kid, literally a kid at heart. Uncensored and unfiltered, Yachty’s not mature beyond his years – he is an artist of this age. Don’t assume he doesn’t understand Hip Hop’s legacy and those who came before him, but you can’t tell Yachty who he has to like. He may not be into Biggie like that, but he’s definitely into Flava Flav from Public Enemy – that in itself tells you what makes Yachty tick.
It might have taken the world a while to catch on, but from the opening track of his ‘Lil Boat’ mixtape with a sample of ‘Finding Nemo’, Lil Yachty was definitely intending to push his boat further and further out to weird and wonderful places and his teenage fans were quick to jump aboard. “That’s what’s going on with these kids now, they’re hungry for it, they go get it” Coach K tells DJ Semtex in the latest Hip Hop Raised Me Podcast “they don’t wanna be told, they wanna know, they wanna be the first, they wanna be the ones to say it’s cool too, it’s like we was”.
A little weird, is the way Yachty was first described to Coach K, the COO of Quality Control. To understand Yachty, you have to accept who Yachty is, what he represents and play along. To understand Yachty you have to understand his fans. Yachty speaks to a generation deep in their emotions, living in an age where their entire spirit is being tested unlike any generation before them.
Coach K calls him “an evangelist, you know what an evangelist is? It’s like he holds church and he talks to them teenagers, and sometimes it’s like…. it’s like they’re so into him that if he just got on stage and cracked jokes they would lose it.” And lose it in London they did when he arrived for his debut UK show – watch the video below;
Eccentric, weird or wonderful, Lil Yachty is an expression of every teenage hormone in the age of the internet. He’ll play with your emotions and that “pussy” on ‘Peek A Boo’ and while he’s at it – he’ll chew on soft ni**as like life savers on ‘Harley’.
If Lil Yachty isn’t for you – maybe he’s juts not meant for you – ‘Teenage Emotions’ is out 26th May, there will be no hiding from it so you better get ready to embrace the youth!
Yachty will play at the upcoming Quality Control Music shows at Brixton Academy in London on April 25th (Sold Out) and on the 26th alongside Migos.