It's a sad day when Lil Yachty hitches his wagon to the subgenre known as "trap rap." Judging by the dyspeptic grunts and sinisterly robotic beats on new album, Lil Boat 2, Yachty is dying to be taken seriously, even feared.
The only problem: he's not some black-hearted rogue. He's a kind-natured, fleshy-dimpled 20-year-old whose lack of street cred couldn't be more apparent from such ditties as "1 Night" and "Intro (Just Keep Swimming)." In playing dramatically against type, Yachty risks becoming the bête noire of his own fans.
To put it bluntly, Lil Boat 2 militates against everything Yachty once stood for; the album is so riven by corporate overtures that it bears no resemblance to its prequel. The industry has long insisted on herding legions of young people into the business of trap rap, but until now, Yachty had managed to retain his sense of self. While sometimes amateurish, Yachty's older music was at least true to his lived experiences. Today, he's just another dreadlocked cipher mouthing predigested banalities.
Among others, Tee Grizzley and Youngboy Never Broke Again were drafted to help shape the contours of Lil Boat 2. Yachty faces an uphill battle to command the respect that those two take for granted. Try as this album might to rehabilitate Yachty, he has never dealt drugs or otherwise run afoul of the law, so his mumblings to the contrary are risible. (Quality Control)