Appreciating Lil Yachty Beyond the Music.
Initially, I would give a death stare if I heard someone say “Lil Yachty is the best rapper” at the beginning of 2016. In March, Coach K stopped by the Arbiters of A&R podcast to discuss Quality Control, home to the ATLiens of Migos, OG Maco, &; Jose Gupo; he described how he and Miles Parks McCollum met. Miles’ stars aligned when he was a youngster; Coach K was long time friends with his father and his mother was the cheerleader for the basketball team he played for when they attended school together. Miles’ dad approached Coach K for guidance about his son’s rap career which turned out to be the Lil Yachty K was searching for. This was a sure sign the boat was sailing in the right direction.
After being enrolled at Alabama State University for only two months, “1 Night” produced by his best friend Burberry Perry, was Lil Yachty’s first hit single reaching 12 million hits on soundcloud. Still, I wasn’t convinced this was the IT guy. White noise in my daily routine, I sensed the melodies were infectious, but I shrugged it off. Over the next few months, Lil Yachty continued appearing on my radar. Then, XXL drops their 2016 Freshmen list and congratulations are in order as Lil Yachty and cohorts are the newest members of the Freshman Class. Twitter threads and discussions are trending on why or why not these artists should be praised on a major platform. Keeping up with these new music phases became a chore and not a passion that at one point I considered bowing out gracefully. Yet, part of me was reaching to understand the deeper meaning behind the hype of these artists similar like Lil Uzi Vert, 21 Savage, or Denzel Curry.
Suddenly, the light bulb switches on. Music is an art form where lyrics tells the stories of joy, pain, and suffering, but the best method to assuage someone who isn’t quite sure yet are docu-interviews. They can change your whole perception of a person filling in the missing pieces. My music sponge doesn’t absorb music the same way as it did when I was in high school or even college, but as I grow, I connect better when I know the artist beyond the music; understanding the artist on a personal, imitate level.
“Growing up I kinda always had dreams of walking red carpets and flashing lights. Just being a super star. I wanted to be famous, I wanted to be known, I wanted to be remembered. I know I wasn’t gon work at no job. And I know I couldn’t get a job with this hair. I knew I was different.”
“I started developing Sailing Team. I had rappers, I had producers. I was creating this group. Nobody was like a nobody. That’s why I feel like we got it bro. We got shine. We too good. We got too many stars, hidden talents. I just don’t want them to ever think I’m not thinking about them. Im thinking about all my friends at all times.”
After being summoned to watch the Keep Sailing documentary presented by Fader my appreciation for Lil Yachty strikes. I admire his willingness to be honest with himself and the world. I might not enjoy his entire catalog of music, but I will respect his integrity of why he makes music. He’s admitted his intentions isn’t to be the GOAT or in your Top 5, but to make fun music. That’s commendable. At 18, he is conscience of his demographic and is willing to pass the torch to the next generation when he decides to move into other career endeavors as he ages.
Interview after interview, Yachty is just a kid with goals and ambitions who wants to have fun. Most young adults are now discovering their foothold in this world leaving them stressed and tortured. Unlike his peers, Lil Yachty became the captain of his journey within four months. He transformed from college dropout, due to being the unpopular popular kid, to turning his weirdness to boldness. Instead of dying his hair to blend in and please the rural southern white students on his campus, he stuck to being true to himself while bringing his friends along on the cruise. Lil Yachty isn’t afraid to admit to himself he wants to be famous. He strives for success and that’s where the magic happens.