Lil Yachty shines a joyfully lighter side on trap music with ‘Lil Boat’

Vincent Nguyen, Reporter

From his red dreads with beads in them, to his nasally cartoonish voice, to the unique mixtape cover art, Lil Yachty is different. The 18-year-old from Atlanta is a part of a new wave of Internet-generated, Internet-hyped, oddball, “weirdo” rappers, along with the likes of Young Thug, Lil Uzi Vert, and Playboi Carti. He has garnered a lot of buzz, especially after modeling at Kanye West’s Yeezy Season 3 fashion show/album premiere at Madison Square Garden in February.

What separates Yachty, a.k.a. “Lil Boat,” is he takes a lighter approach to modern day trap music, which he sells as “bubblegum trap.”

Using over ethereal, light-hearted beats, Lil Yachty raps and sings with childlike amusement throughout on his first mixtape “Lil Boat The Mixtape” released on March 9. The mixtape has reached the attention of different media outlets such as XXL Magazine, Complex Magazine, Pitchfork, as well as others.

The 14-song, 45-minute mixtape is introduced with a sample from the movie “Finding Nemo” on the first track “Intro (Just Keep Swimming).” The song has Lil Yachty rapping from two perspectives to portray his two different personalities.

The Lil Boat personality is the more aggressive, more rap orientated side of him. Over a heavy bass-laced Burberry Perry-produced instrumental, Lil Boat raps about his upbringing and how he has risen so fast in the rap game. With a jerky, twitching flow, he raps, “I remember I didn’t have not a fan / Now I step out and Lil Boat is the man.” As it transitions to the second part of the song, it introduces the singing, “nicer” Lil Yachty personality. Yachty starts to harmonize and croon as his voice is completely drowned in auto-tune.

His voice has many comparable traits to another Internet-bred rapper, iLoveMakonnen. This is evident on songs like “Minnesota (Remix),” “Good Day” and “Never Switch Up.” The original “Minnesota” was played during OVO Sound Radio’s earlier shows in 2016. The mixtape version features guest verses from Skippa Da Flippa, Quavo of Migos and the aforementioned Young Thug. With one of the most unique and interesting instrumentals you will ever hear from a trap song, it leads to a fun, catchy anthem.

“Good Day” is another fun, bubbly, quirky song. Nothing can bring down the spirits of Yachty because…well, he’s rich.

“Man today’s a good day ‘cause I’m rich, rich, rich, rich / Walking down the street and I just copped a big booty b—-,” he joyfully warbles.

Of all the songs in Lil Yachty’s short career, no song has become bigger than his hit “One Night (Extended).” Some of the song’s exposure was being a part of a viral skit and. as of right now, it has over 20 million plays on Soundcloud. In the song, he paints the picture of only wanting to have a one night stand with this girl and that’s it. The girl, on the other hand, wants to be in a relationship and ultimately become his wife, but he refuses.

To cap off the mixtape, the uplifting and positively depicted song, “We Did it (Positivity Song),” is three minutes and 26 seconds of Yachty dismissing the haters and proving them wrong over a fast paced, spacy instrumental. The overall inspirational and positive message is very Lil B-esque.

Although the amount of auto-tune can be annoying and overbearing at times along with some very repetitive lyrics, Lil Yachty has a place in a very saturated trap genre. His sound sticks out like a sore thumb, but in this case, that is a good thing. If you are looking for a lyrical, sophisticated project to listen to, then this is not for you. But hey, put this mixtape on during a hot summer evening, crack open a beer and well, just have fun.

Final Grade – 8/10

Favorite Tracks – Intro (Just Keep Swimming), Wanna Be Us, Not My Bro, Good Day, Run Running, Never Switch Up, One Night (Extended)

Least Favorite Tracks – Up Next 2, F***ed Over, I’m Sorry

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