Music review: “Teenage Emotions” by Lil Yachty

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Lil Yachty

Lil Yachty

Anton Mak, flickr.com

Anton Mak, flickr.com

Lil Yachty

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Lil Yachty built up enormous anticipation for his new album, but has failed to properly deliver on this hype.

Lil Yachty is an Atlanta rapper who has made an incredible rise to stardom after his 2016 mixtape, “Lil Boat.” Yachty’s refreshing take on the melodic trap style made this tape a true breath of fresh air. Between his auto-tune soaked vocals and cheery beats, Yachty made a name for himself for making generally very happy music. However, his follow up tape, “Summer Songs 2” didn’t have the same charm as “Lil Boat.” Yachty went for a much more serious and less self-aware sound on this project, and it in general lacked the same quality as “Lil Boat.”

Despite this, Yachty was still making his way up the stardom ladder without a hitch. He was featured in some big-name sponsorships, such as his commercial for Sprite, and in a cover of the hit song “It Takes Two” that was sponsored by Target. Yachty has essentially become a superstar over the span of a year, which would inevitably build up some excitement for his debut album. On April 20, Yachty finally released the cover art and tracklist for his album, “Teenage Emotions.” The cover art alone sparked controversy for its overwhelming inclusiveness, as it features several people who could be considered “outsiders” in society, such as an albino man, a gay couple, and a woman with vitiligo: a condition in which skin pigment is missing in places. This controversy and Yachty’s rise to fame would make this an extremely anticipated record.

However, despite all this hype and excitement, Yachty does very little to deliver on this anticipation. The first downfall of this album would be its tracklisting, as it contains about 20 songs, and runs a shade over an hour. This isn’t inherently a bad thing, but Yachty ends up leaving a lot of filler on this album, instead of concise quality tracks. The next major problem with this record is the sound of it. The fun, cheery, and colorful sounds of “Lil Boat” are almost entirely missing here, or are replaced with some much more lackluster versions of this style. This can be seen on “Bring It Back,” as it features very bright, 80’s pop rock sound, and reverb drenched vocals, as opposed to the minimal, piano based sound Yachty usually works with. However, the vocal performance on this song is horrendous, as Yachty is barely on tempo, and doesn’t hold a note for nearly the entire song. There is also an extreme lack of foresight and writing on this album consistently. While Yachty isn’t exactly known for his lyricism and song structure, he was still able to make catchy, coherent songs. On “Teenage Emotions” though, it feels as though Yachty gave the making of these tracks absolutely zero thought. Besides the numerous freestyles across the record, the non-freestyles still don’t carry a lot of weight and thought with them, with either very sloppy hooks, or nonsensical verses. Possibly the largest flaw on this record is the quality of the tracks. Over these 21 tracks, there are few of any real meaning or worth. So many of the songs are just stale, and don’t hold any real memorability.

Lil Yachty had a chance to make himself permanently engraved into hip hop culture with this album, but didn’t seem to go into the making of it with that ambition in mind. “Teenage Emotions” gets a:

 

4/10!

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