Throughout my teenage years, I never felt like I fit in. I was an awkward kid who wanted to fit in while also being shy. You know the movies about the loser kids who daydream they get the girl and become prom king? I’m positive one of those is a direct rip-off of my life at age 15. Teenagers have it rough, even though most of it is brought on by themselves. They’re experiencing life for the first time. Just think about the first time you were allowed to make your own decisions. Now look at that version of yourself from where you are today and I’m sure you’re scowling or embarrassed by a decision you made back then. Maybe someone you dated or something that people made fun of you for in school. Lil’ Yachty’s Teenage Emotions looks like it will address many of these issues, based on the album cover, but Yachty has become the prom king and most popular person in the school.
Like Young Thug before him, Lil’ Boat has become a polarizing name in Hip-Hop. He has a dedicated Generation Z fan base but anyone not in that demographic has harsh criticism for him. At 19, he has become a millionaire and made all of his dreams come true. He echoes this notion on the ‘Like A Star’ intro as he’s proud to boast that he can afford for his mom to “have a frozen wrist” while buying his sister whatever shoes she wants. Yachty shows sincerity and love for his family, an act of kindness that plays into his branding of being a “positive artist”.
It’s hard to take Teenage Emotions serious as its bloated playlist and overuse of shoddy lyrics become a constant nuisance. By now we’re all familiar with Yachty’s “my new b***h yellow/she blow that d**k like a cello” line but there are lyrics that mirror this same one and will make you scratch your head on other songs. When Yachty is trying to rap it comes off forced and almost like he doesn’t care. He thrives more on records where he’s using auto-tune to croon, such as ‘Moments In Time’ or ‘Made Of Glass’. These songs show a heartfelt kid who has experienced normal things that every human experiences: heartache and loneliness. When Yachty is relatable is when he sounds the best.
Teenage Emotions’ first week numbers aren’t terrible for an artist whose core following has the attention span of a fly (as of this review it sold 44K). Yachty addressed this in an Instagram post, saying he created the 21 track project for his core fans. I don’t know how true this is because most of the younger generation can barely sit through a TV show to pay attention, let alone an album that’s run time is close to that of an episode of Netflix’s Black Mirror. Many will consider Yachty’s debut album to be a flop but it’s more of a learning experience and ties into the struggle of fitting in as a teenager. While Yachty may be the prom king of his core fans, he has a long way to go if he wants to fit in with the music industry.
Repeatable: ‘All Around Me’ feat. YG & Kamaiyah, ‘Lady In Yellow’, ‘Moments In Time’
Skippable: ‘DN Freestyle’, ‘Harley’, ‘Dirty Mouth’, ‘Say My Name’, ‘X Men’ feat. Evander Griiim
By Joe Coad