New SOTBMusic: @lilyachty - Teenage Emotions


I tried, y'all. I tried to listen to Teenage Emotions with an open mind and all that sort of stuff, since I'm always open to dope vibes--wherever they may come from. I tried to give it a chance to prove its musical worth to me.

Spoiler alert: it didn't.

Perhaps it's because Yachty doesn't make music for late-20 somethings to vibe with. I mean, the brother did say that Biggie was overrated. Perhaps it's all, right now, focused on those awkward teenage years. Perhaps I just "don't get it" and I should go back to listening to Illmatic and Ready to Die while pouring a glass of scotch for dramatic effect.

Then I think of folks like Nas who dropped classic albums in their teens. Because of this, I don't feel that using age as a barometer of talent is really all that smart. Some people just have "it," some people don't. Now, Lil' Boat does have a way with beats that's almost mystifying. But, instead of being "great" in the traditional sense, his mystification comes in that Tommy Wiseau sort of way--at least to me.


It's like a combination of non sequitur Wayne mixed with Lil' B. That is to say Yachty goes off on tangents in a lot of the songs he's put out and then goes off-beat to get his message across. On the new album, he tries to take that approach and put it to use on some guntalk/tough talk tracks. I'm not sure if that was to tell the "old heads" that he could do that or what. Whatever the case may be, those sorts of tracks are not Yachty's strong suit; he ends up falling flat when he attempts to do so. Granted, there are those who feel that rap as a whole is Yachty's weak suit. But, he especially falls flat when he tries to follow traditional rap tropes. For instance, it's rather unsettling to hear him on stuff like "DN Freestyle" and even parts of "X Men," to name a few tracks.

Where Yachty does shine, if you can call it that, is when he decides to let his spirit fly and just not give any sort of damn about tradition. His heavily Auto-Tuned vocals on "Lady in Yellow" and "Forever Young" are oddly mesmerizing. They're not necessarily good or "real rap" or whatever, but they can entrance someone if they're looking for that. Otherwise, I feel that Yachty would be better suited to use his positive energy in something other than rap. Hell, even when he tries to emote typical teenage emotions (love, lust, trying to fit in, finding oneself, etc.), it feels very cliched and I can name several projects where it's done better (for instance, Danny Swain's first projects).

I hate being the guy who sounds like an old man with my music tastes. And maybe it is that I "just don't get it." But, Teenage Emotions isn't really that great of an album. Even among his contemporaries, I find myself gravitating more to them than Yachty--and that's saying something. He's not the worst thing to happen to hip-hop, but he's not going to gain me as a fan if he continues with the way he's going--positivity or not.

Do Yachty and his fans care if they can't convert a young old rap fan? Probably not. But, I'd be hardpressed to say that even his day ones are saying that this is the greatest thing since sliced bread. Keep in mind, though, that this is just my opinion. So, take it how you want.

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