Mixtape Review-Lil Boat by Lil Yachty
The second most tiresome argument in hip hop (intrinsically connected to the first-the street authenticity argument) is definitely the “___ is not hip hop!” argument. The hip hop v. rap argument is a subset of this. While it is logically unnerving like driving a friend around in your Kia while they maintain that this is not a car…a corvette is a car; it does yield benefits. This bubbling hostility attached to almost every new popular artist keeps them hungry and fresh. Drake made so much money last year why should he even try anymore? Well, he can’t escape the criticism of him singing too much or not writing his lyrics. The only way to win against these prevailing winds is to hammer away with more success. Amongst the names you’ll hear filling the space of “___ is not hip hop!” Lil Yachty is #1 in 2016.
At this point, most heads have accepted that whatever Young Thug is doing he’s good at it. What is Yachty even doing? On Lil Boat he creates 2 personalities: the sunny warm and autotune drenched Yachty and the tough talking hard-nosed Lil Boat. The two personas hand songs over to one another over fourteen tracks of weirdo producers’ weirdest beats. I tried to play this in the car and my wife’s first reaction was “I can’t do this much auto-tune for too long.” If I only got one song I made sure it was 1 Night. At the end of it I told my wife about Yachty being a divisive figure and asked her what she thought…after a pause she said “I’m split. This is disgusting but…I love this chorus.” I think that’s a pretty good introduction to Lil Boat.
The hooks are amongst the best you’ll find in music; Wanna Be Us has nothing I remember other than the chorus. 1 Night has verses but they aren’t anything I’d be excited to quote to anyone luckily it is equipped with a chorus you will never shake. Yachty is so weird. He can do a really muted, pretty song like I’m Sorry and a big snarling posse track like the Minnesota remix (with Young Thug, Quavo, & Skippa Da Flippa).
As finger snappin’ fresh and pop friendly as Out Late is the real hip hop head has a sound argument that no quotables exist here, not even a lot of recognizable verses. Make no bones about it, this is hip hop. The mixtape is about living recklessly and never switching up, the thing is it doesn’t sound like what you remember hip hop to be…but isn’t that what we want? I thought we were tired of copycat rappers trying to sound like the greats? Yachty is just Yachty and now he can’t be hip hop cause bars aren’t his strong suit…fine with me. The divisive artist usually wins so I’m not worried. We had this argument before with Kid Cudi and hip hop has changed. Burberry Perry has the most repeat production credits on Lil Boat and truly gets the off kilter exquisiteness of Yachty’s bleeding voice, I hope they push it further. I hope the next mixtape is some elaborately off key Ziggy Stardust hip hop adventure, hopefully even weirder…something it will take us years to figure out.
stream or download Lil Boat below: