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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released March 9, 2018 | Quality Control Music, LLC

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The 2017 album Teenage Emotions was anticipated enough to make a Top Five debut on the Billboard 200, but "Peek a Boo," thanks in part to the presence of Migos, was its lone single to leave a commercial impression. Possibly sensing that he'd need to switch it up to stay afloat, Yachty truly raps on the sequel to his first mixtape. Lil Boat 2 doesn't pick up where the source of "One Night" and "Minnesota" left off, characterized instead by antagonism that comes off as defensive -- and sometimes disgruntled -- rather than mischievous. Yachty makes for a satisfactorily skilled rapper in terms of technique, and even tends to hold his own with a supporting cast that includes Migos' Quavo and Offset, Tee Grizzley, and 2 Chainz. As a lyricist, however, he's unexceptional, rhyming "Bentley truck" with "bubble butt," ending a litany of lines with the same word, and frequently sounding ill at ease with his teenage years in the distance. There's an abundance of low-wattage boasts about financial and libidinal surpluses, most of which could have been composed by a generator. Softer and more melodic cuts are indicated with all-lowercase track titles. The PnB Rock collaboration "she ready" and "love me forever," the only two tracks in this vein, are as silly and bizarrely endearing as anything in Yachty's past. It's no coincidence that they're the moments during which the hip-hop police don't seem to be in his head. If Yachty can find a way to be his goofy self and elevate his writing, he can rebound. ~ Andy Kellman
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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released October 19, 2018 | Quality Control Music - Motown Records - Capitol Records

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Lil Yachty and his consortium of backers either didn't hear a single on Lil Boat 2 or held a losing vote in favor of issuing one. Despite being termed an album rather than a mixtape, the set had a strangely brief promotional cycle, and within four months of its March 2018 release was trailed by "Who Want the Smoke?," a single off the follow-up LP, Nuthin' 2 Prove, which was out that October. Technically the rhyming entertainer's third album, this is split between what he categorizes as "rap" and "melodic." The first half, supported with productions of austere booming menace, indeed continues with aggravated boasts and threats similar to those heard on Lil Boat 2. Yachty sounds like he's still figuring it out. Among the lowest points is "Riley from The Boondocks," where he favorably likens himself to an animated character who is eight years old and acts as a vehicle for harsh critiques of commercial rap and its effect on impressionable youngsters. (Yachty was eight when the sitcom version of The Boondocks debuted.) Speaking of 2005, Yachty's non sequitur rhymes, tending to lack in thought, appeal, and sometimes even sense, would have had him swiftly dismissed from the auditions of The Road to Stardom with Missy Elliott. Only with "Who Want the Smoke?" does the first half rise above the preceding album, yet Yachty's the third wheel, eclipsed by verses from Cardi B and Offset. He's more at ease on the lightheaded "melodic" tracks of the latter half, back to goofy-vulgar observations, musical crib-mobile melodies, and occasional openhearted moments that sound natural rather than forced. Corrective quality of the back half notwithstanding, a kind of bewilderment can be sensed throughout. "Gotta prove everyone wrong," Yachty chirps, on an album with a contradictory title. ~ Andy Kellman
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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released March 9, 2018 | Quality Control Music, LLC

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released May 26, 2017 | Quality Control Music, LLC

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released July 6, 2018 | Quality Control Music, LLC

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released May 26, 2017 | Quality Control Music, LLC

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released July 29, 2016 | Quality Control Music, LLC

As with Lil Boat, released only four months earlier, follow-up Summer Songs 2 consists almost strictly of tracks lobbed like half-baked pies at the face of a hip-hop purist. The bulk of these rhymes, as with those of the debut, are willfully juvenile -- Lil Yachty is only 18 -- delivered with an aloof irreverence paired with lethargic, hollow rhythms. Purpose-wise, provocation is second only to goofing off. There's even a track titled "DipSet," after the like-named divisive crew whose Juelz Santana, compared to Yachty, is long-winded. All of the affected carelessness seems pretty taxing. The youngster sounds more natural, like he's actually putting forth less effort, when he projects enough to signify alertness. In the central track, over a lumbering beat ornamented with a shrill jack-in-the-box melody, Yachty quizzically trills "Why do they hate on me?," holding the "a" in "hate" as a rascally child would scrape a fork across a bowl. He figures he's a target because he's paid. There might be more to it than that. Lacking anything as memorable as the breakthrough "One Night" and "Minnesota," this mixtape succeeds only at sustaining the rapper's 2016 visibility. ~ Andy Kellman
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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released March 9, 2018 | Quality Control Music, LLC

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released May 26, 2017 | Quality Control Music, LLC

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released October 22, 2018 | Quality Control Music - Motown Records - Capitol Records

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Film Soundtracks - Released June 1, 2018 | WaterTower Music

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released May 26, 2017 | Quality Control Music, LLC

His upward spiral accelerated with the platinum single "One Night," assists on the Top Five pop hits "Broccoli" and "iSpy," and widespread exposure through a prominent television ad, Lil Yachty goes all out with his first proper album. Much of Teenage Emotions contains the gleefully slapdash spirit that characterized the preceding EPs and commercial mixtapes, but there are -- for better and worse -- signs that the rapper might evade binary characterization as a delightful reveler or one-dimensional prankster. In some instances, Yachty puts forth as much effort as a fan who has been asked to explain the appeal of a primarily lackadaisical rapper who isn't into throat clearing or connecting coherent thoughts. The longest reaches occur on "Bring It Back," where a modulated, forlorn Yachty fronts what resembles a mid-'80s synth pop demo, and on "Better," a shot at optimistic tropical pop better left to Wyclef Jean. There's also a handful of pop ballads that are open-hearted and charmingly clumsy with lines like "Do you not want to be what we once talked about?" and "If I break your heart, then I'm a dumb dude." For all the stylistic broadening that occurs here, and all the positive chatter of Yachty the inclusive iconoclast elsewhere, the recurrent use of familiar derogatory terms, phrases, and similes regarding womanizing and all-around superiority is to the contrary. The album's 70-minute length allows enough space for a bounty of mostly nondescript trap productions that support these simplistic boasts. In these tracks, Yachty sounds like he's going through a phase more than refining his individualism. Maybe he deserves a little slack for the lack of focus and gross immaturity. This is, after all, only his first album, and he's still a teenager -- one his mother calls "the best thing that's ever happened to me," one who's not too proud to finish a verse of combative posturing with "You stinky and dirty like farts." ~ Andy Kellman
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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released April 14, 2017 | Quality Control Music, LLC