In January of this year, Lil Yachty, the Atlanta rapper, dropped his latest album, Let’s Start Here., which has been the topic of much discussion in the music world. The album sees Yachty turning away from his rap roots, instead embracing a live-band psych-rock sound with the help of members from bands like Chairlift and Unknown Mortal Orchestra. Despite some critics, like our own rap columnist Jayson Buford, who see the album as Lil Yachty’s misguided attempt to be taken seriously, the rapper insists that Let’s Start Here. represents the music he truly wants to make. He even went as far as to say, “Fuck any of the albums I dropped before this one” in a recent Billboard feature.
Since his debut in 2016 with Lil Boat, Lil Yachty has released eight major-label albums and mixtapes, some of which have been well received by fans and critics alike. However, Yachty himself has a different opinion, stating that he was not happy with where he was musically and knew he was capable of more. In his own words, “Because the shit I was making did not add up to the shit I listened to… I just wanted more. I want to be remembered. I want to be respected.”
Yachty cites Frank Ocean’s Blonde and Tame Impala’s Currents as two of the main influences on Let’s Start Here., as well as the Pink Floyd classic Dark Side Of The Moon, which he heard for the first time in 2017 and left a profound impact on him.
Prior to the album’s release, Lil Yachty played it for some of the biggest names in the rap world, including Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, Post Malone, Drake, Cardi B, Kid Cudi, A$AP Rocky, and Tyler, The Creator, who all gave positive feedback on the album. Lil Yachty says their reactions were a huge boost for him.
Despite the mixed reactions from critics, Let’s Start Here. shows that Lil Yachty is not afraid to take risks and explore new sounds. The album may not be what his fans are used to, but it represents a significant step forward in Lil Yachty’s artistic evolution and demonstrates his desire to push the boundaries of his creativity.