Published Jul 27, 2016It's important to get one thing out of the way early: Lil Yachty is not a good rapper. Even in an age where it's perfectly acceptable to be a high charisma, low lyricism rapper, he's noticeably not good. There are a lot of forced, not-quite-rhymes. He doesn't seem to be able to count bars. His metaphors and punch lines range from basic to non-existent. He gets shown up by his guest stars, and his guest stars are Offset from Migos and Lil Herb.
Think about that.
That probably sounds like the start of a negative review, but it's not. In spite of Yachty's flaws as a rapper — or possibly because of them — Summer Songs 2 is a really fun listen.
Yachty's choruses are pretty great, even if they're driven more by pure stoked-ness than any talent at either singing or rapping: "King of the Teens" is a relentlessly catchy earworm; "Shoot Out the Roof" is the sort of rowdy chanted chorus that makes you start ripping apart your own basement just for fun. The production on Summer Songs 2 is also amazing, which helps paper over Yachty's struggling bars. It runs the gamut from chillwave to experimental keyboard soundscapes to something best described as what would happen you force fed trap music through an '80s soft rock band.
The highlight of the album is "Life Goes On," a half-sung, unblinkingly earnest mix of Yachty autobiography and life advice. It features the line "I know you're tired of the bus" — that's a real line. So is the anthemically sung "I kno-ow you just lost your jaw-ob."
It's not complex. It's the opposite of complex. But it's raw and honest, and that's part of what makes Yachty rise above his total lack of technical skills here. He seems to be unapologetically rapping the first thing that comes in his mind all of the time, and you want to know what's coming next.
Yachty is every person at a party drunkenly freestyling for their friends and thinking they can make it, except it actually happened for him. He's defied the odds based on a mix of likeability and being at the right place at the right time, and as such, he feels like he could be any of us. We are all Yachty — and really, who would root against themselves? (Quality Control)