Liz Foster ’22
“I make positivity music!” claimed then-18-year-old Miles Parks McCol- lum, better known as Lil Yachty. Lil Yachty, or Lil Boat as he’s often called, emerged from the Atlanta rap scene in 2016 with his feature on D.R.A.M.’s hit “Broccoli.” His successful feature worked in tandem with a viral video featur- ing for Yachty’s own single, “One Night,” and the rap- per was set up for to dominate the industry. With his brightly colored hair, catchy lyrics, and highly distinguishable voice, Lil Yachty was an instant hit. Fast forward three years, and Lil Yachty will be gracing Trinity College with his presence for 2019’s Spring Weekend Concert. Starting at 8:30 with a DJ set, Yachty’s show is set to take place in the Koeppel Community Sports Center.
Lil Yachty burst onto the scene a mere two years after a 2014 start on Sound- cloud and immediately won the hearts of mainstream and underground audiences alike. Following the virality of “One Night,” Yachty was picked up by big names like Kanye West, who gave him the opportunity to walk in a runway show for West’s own brand, Yeezy. In 2016, The Fader Magazine called him “The Atlanta Rapper Born To Go Viral,” citing his inherent memory in forms such as the interpolated Rugrats theme song used as a backing beat for one of histracks where he flexes hisnew found fame and boasts about always keeping the chopper on him because his cohorts are “snakes.” Yachty’s youthful references put him in the same vein of artists like Ski Mask the Slump God, another notable fan of sampling early 2000’s children’s shows in his instrumentals. In a house of, supposedly, ten rotating friends, Yachty’s attitude is “I’ll pay for everything, just take out the trash.” He’s also spent over $2,000,000 on jewelry throughout his career. His tagline of “LIL BOAT” is short, sweet, and silly. Everything about Lil Yachty’s image mixes wholesomeness with rapper glory, a well branded mix of ago of ball and a highroller.
Lil Yachty’s name is often found alongside the other members of his Complex XXL Freshman Cypher Class: 21 Savage, Lil Uzi Vert, and Kodak Black are among others of the “Soundcloud” generation. Yachty’s sound jumps between bass heavy, skull pounding beats with quickflows and more laid back, trap flavored hits. Hecan deliver a club banger (“NBAYOUNGBOAT”) in the same breath as a melodic, autotune-riddenfaux crooner (“Everything Good, Everything Right.) Throughout his career, Yachty has shined in collaboration. On Lil Pump’s debut album, Lil Pump, Yachty delivered one of the most compelling verses of his career on the explosive, Mr. 2-17 produced “Back.” This deepcut featured the iconic lyric: “I’ma have a kid just to dress him up in Gucci.” The Atlanta rapper has his fair share of quirky, brag-esque bars on his own tracks: “That’s why your auntie is a groupie/Send me pictures of her coochie,” “Yes, I’m a dog with a Gucci collar/I get that brain like a Harvard scholar,” and the essentialist “It’s Yachty, bitch, can you tellme who’s flyer?”
The, colorful enigma that is Lil Yachty is a snowball gaining endless traction. His trajectory only aims upward. With both critical and popular success, he is a sports car with no brakes. Best of all, there’s no guilt in the world of Lil Yachty. When his colleague 21 Savage titled his own music “murder music,” Yachty noted his music being the polar opposite to that. He wants you to feel better Combining his positive attitude with the core of rap, nostalgic imagery, and an iconic voice, Lil Yachty’s career is positioned for years of smooth sailing.