Lil’ Yachty – Teenage Emotions

Label:
Quality Control/Capitol/Motown
Release Date:
5/26/2017

In the world of the music industry, there exist boundaries and other defining lines. There have, at many times, been definitions of the line between artistry and entertainment. Within these definitions, there has definitely been a fair amount of crossing and meshing that finds us struggling to preserve the separation.

An artist like Lil’ Yachty has been registered by many as a resident of the entertainment world. He is regarded as one who will find what works for sales and attention, and lacks the respect of the “real hip hop” purveyors (Joe Budden included), and even has heard chuckles from fans of his contemporaries, regardless of level of relevance.

On his major label debut, Lil’ Yachty parts his trademark beaded braids to view the public in the eye on his testimonial Teenage Emotions.

What I Expected

I didn’t enter this looking for a variance of “emotions” or sounds. I fully expected endless boasts of financial standing and sexual conquests, along with the occasional dart at his critics.

What I Heard

Well, a lot of what I expected was in there.

I can say that this album was more varied than I expected. The album began with a welcome that references his lack of drinking, losing friends, money and desire to a star. The brags and desire continue on “DN Freestyle” and “Peekaboo”, his collaboration with Migos. On the former, his flow starts hard, but fizzles quickly as he steps away from the beat’s pace. This is an issue that I have found at other times with him, including his recent collaboration with Tee Grizzly. This continues over the next couple of songs, as he continues the same script of questioning haters, and previously mentioned topics.

Kamiyah steals the show on the collaboration “All Around Me”, which also features YG.

The turn of emotions comes from the block of songs that begin with “All You Had to Say” and “Better”, which actually shows pain from being let down and desires for a true love. Yachty attempts singing more, which isn’t so bad. This emotional turn continues on “Running with a Ghost” as he returns to rapping, and leaves the singing to Grace.

Lil Yachty’s rapping is most stable over “Priorities”, which feature a wavering back and forth of his morals. There is not enough of him being focused and measured with his lines on this album, which makes a 69-minute listen a bit difficult.

The production for the album overall is handled by multiple personnel including Digital Nas, The Stereotypes, and Earl. Ricky Racks, who produced “Peekaboo”, has no other selections amongst the 21 tracks. Sounds range from slow moving trap beats on “All You Had to Say”, to the steel drummed, island vibe of “Better”, and the 80s electronic drumming for “Bring it Back”, a yacht rock attempt from Yachty.

Highlights

  • Catchy tracks towards the middle of the album that are mostly singing, where he really gets to the core of his emotions (“Bring it Back”, “Made of Glass”, and “Running with a Ghost” all seem to be about heartbreak)
  • The risks on production work most of the time (dance hall vibe of “Bring it Back”, stripped down, bass heavy track “No More”)
  • He understands catchy hooks, but pacing is lacking at times
  • On “Made of Glass”, the need to settle down with the object of his desire sounds very genuine
  • “Bring it Back”, “Forever Young”, and “Moments in Time” are good attempts at leveling out the emotions after the first few tracks
  • “No More” and “Priorities” are his strongest moments at flowing. “Other Shit” is strong as well, but is only 50 seconds long

Wishlist

  • More subject variety next album
  • That the autotune is put away or used less

Summary:

While there a lot of moments where he steps above the stream of commonness, it is not enough to hold this entry high. There is potential found when he truly finds the words for his emotions, but is quickly drowned out when he either steps to the background behind his collaborators, or repeats overused themes.

Creativity
45%
Production
60%
Track Separation
50%
Decent Percentage
50%
Overall
51%

Ladies Fourth – A History of Female MCs (1999-2017)

The fourth and final one where Jean and Marcus celebrate Women’s History Month by filing through the history of female rappers, from the megastars to the extremely obscure. This time, we cover artists from 1999 to 2017.

Covered in this episode:
Ms. Toi
Charli Baltimore
Lady Luck
Solé
Shawnna
Mercedes
Trina
Free
Rasheeda
Remy Ma(rtin)
Princess Superstar
Angie Martinez
Khia
Ms. Jade
Jean Grae
Lady May
Rayna Shine
Jacki-O
Nicki Minaj
Lil’ Mama
Rapsody
Iggy Azalea
Azealia Banks
Dreezy
Young MA

Ladies Third – A (Supplemental) History of Female MCs

The third one where Jean and Marcus celebrate Women’s History Month by filing through the history of female rappers, from the megastars to the extremely obscure. This time, we cover artists we missed in the previous two installments.

Covered in this episode:
Anquette
Choice
Shazzy
Tam Tam
The Honeys (Lil’ Honeys)
Gamilah Shabazz
Simplē E
Shorty No Mas
Nefertiti
Paula Perry
Mother Superia
Newsense
Da 5 Footaz
Jane Doe
Jane Blaze
Apani (B. Fly Emcee)
Sylk-E-Fine
Ghetto Twins

Ladies Second – A History of Female MCs (1993-1998)

The second one where Jean and Marcus celebrate Women’s History Month by filing through the history of female rappers, from the megastars to the extremely obscure. This time, we cover artists from 1993 to 1998.

If we missed any names in this episode, there’s a 97.35% chance we’ll cover them in the final installments.

Covered in this episode:
Isis
Queen Mother Rage
Icey Jaye
Tam Rock
Sister Souljah
Sweet Tee
LA Star
The Poetess
Overweight Pooch
Finesse & Synquis
Boss
Conscious Daughters
LeShaun
Suga T
Da Brat
Lady of Rage
Bahamadia
Lauryn Hill
Champ MC
Lil’ Kim
Foxy Brown
Mia X
Nonchalant
Missy Elliot
Rah Digga
Eve
Amil
Gangsta Boo
Queen Pen
Shaunta

Ladies First – A History of Female MCs (1979-1992)

The one (of three) where Jean and Marcus celebrate Women’s History Month by filing through the history of female rappers, from the megastars to the extremely obscure. This episode covers MCs from 1979 to 1992. Just in time for April!

If we missed any names in this episode, there’s a 92.71% chance we’ll cover them in part two or three. Stay tuned.

Covered in this episode:
The Sequence
Lady B
Deborah Harry
Teena Marie
Roxanne Shanté
The Real Roxanne
Sparky D
Salt-N-Pepa
MC Lyte
Antoinette
JJ Fad
Queen Latifah
Monie Love
Yo-Yo
Nikki D
Left Eye
Ladybug Mecca
Oaktown’s 357
HWA
BWP
Ice Cream Tee
MC Trouble
MC Peaches
Ms. Melodie
Harmony
Heather B
Tairrie B
Icy Blu

2017 Rap Albums Thus Far

The one where Jean and Marcus give their opinions on January and February 2017’s rap releases. Includes albums by Substantial, The Koreatown Oddity, Prodigy, Mozzy, Migos, Iamsu!, Big Sean, Lupe Fiasco, Quelle Chris, Remy Ma & Fat Joe, Future, Jidenna, Jonwayne, Roc Marciano, and Oddisee.

Note:

Apologies for the snap, crackle, and pop audio glitches.