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What Went Wrong With… Teenage Emotions by Lil Yachty?

A review of Lil Yachty's album Teenage Emotions by What Went Wrong Or Right With...? for whatwentwrongwith.com

Mark today in your calendars, for today is the day that Mumble Rap super-twat Lil Yachty releases his début studio album, and with all the furore and fanboying that surrounds him, surely this album will satisfy the fans and silence the haters once and for all. Well, not exactly, although I’m sure all the dick-riders are pleased with this poor excuse for an album, just today I came across a few reviews for ‘Teenage Emotions’ and one of them (from The Guardian) gave this LP a staggering 4 stars out of 5!

Consequence Of Sound had to preface their review with this little caveat; “Before you listen to Lil Yachty, throw out any preconceived notions about what being a “rapper” means or how a rap album should sound. As he has stated in numerous articles and interviews, Yachty is not a rapper. To call him such would be an insult to both the genre itself as well as Lil Boat as an artist. He is one who cannot be boxed in with labels and stereotypes”. What the fuck! So basically don’t use your ears, don’t use your gut, listen to this only after lowering your expectations, listen to it only after you’ve convinced yourself he’s an artist and not a charlatan, if you find yourself thinking “this isn’t good Hip-Hop”, well that’s because it’s not Hip-Hop, apparently.

This is an excuse I’ve heard many times before, Lil Yachty is not a rapper. Well I have one question in that case, why the fuck is he rapping in almost every song? Rapping by definition makes him a rapper, a shit one at that, are we saying “don’t call him a rapper” because if we start comparing Yachty to someone like Kendrick Lamar it would become obvious how tragically shite his songs are? I don’t even rate Lamar that highly but when you hear utter, utter garbage like this you can see why the masses are lapping up an album like ‘Damn.’. Compared to ‘Teenage Emotions’ it’s like listening to ‘Purple Rain‘. And speaking of ‘Purple Rain’ I’ve even read R’N’B singer Tank (nope, never heard of him either) say that people knocking Yachty’s music is wrong, he wrote on an Instagram post that “I’m utterly disgusted!! I’ve never seen so many grown black men speak out against young black kids fighting to earn a living in this already difficult world! Yes they’re different but so was MJ and Prince! Y’all still celebrate those men highly with no thought to their differences.” What a fucking joke, Yachty and the rest of these Mumble Rap clowns are somehow in the same league as Michael Jackson and Prince? Get the fuck outta here! Nobody complained about Jackson and Prince because they both had talent and skill, whether you liked R’N’B, Rock, or Hip-Hop you respected those two because they wrote original lyrics, original music, they could sing, dance, and play instruments, what the fuck does Yachty and the rest of these lames do? Rap off-beat with a clichéd Trap flow and say “woo, hey, ahh” every time they can’t come up with a lyric?

On a side note, it really pisses me off that in today’s society we’re told that any kind of criticism is “hate”, say something is shit and you’re labelled a “hater”, when it comes to criticising Lil Yachty you’re also called an “old hater”. Well that’s some bullshit, it’s stereotyping at best and it’s divisive at worst, express your opinion and get scorn from music journalists, what a great world we live in. Okay, so I’m sick of all the Joe Buddens out there who are mad at Yachty for trivial reasons, I’m not on his side, but I’m not on the hipster-elite music critic’s side either. In fact if I hear one more clichéd, uninformed defence of this fucking moron, I’m gonna smack the headphones off the next hipster I come across.

Back in the 90s many people said Master P was trash, I was one of them, never once did I hear a wannabe journalist say “your opinion isn’t valid, that’s what an old hater would say”. Hell, Yachty isn’t even a Master P, he’s more like Black Lace or Bewitched, and when people were saying those two groups were mediocre garbage never did someone counter their opinion with dismissive labels. Lil Yachty’s below-average music has more in common with novelty songs, they’re throwaway, disposable junk Hip-Pop. And by the way, being ironically crap doesn’t make it any less crap. Fuck bending to the media, any time I hear a Trinidad James, a T-Wayne, or a Lil Yachty I’m gonna say what I think and in the case of Yachty and his début album I can unequivocally say that it’s utter shite.

‘Teenage Emotions’ is an album that sounds like Amateur Night at some Hip-Pop club, if that’s something that ever existed, which it doesn’t, but if it did, this is what it’d sound like. Almost every song is forgettable, almost every lyric is corny, almost every rhyme is badly constructed, it is crap of the highest (or lowest) calibre. Take the opening song ‘Like A Star’ for instance, Yachty opens by saying “Where do I start?” – well maybe at the fucking beginning like most other albums. This is then followed by some autotuned lyrics concerning how he “did a lot last year”. So you say okay, what amazing, awe-inspiring shit did you do Lil Boat? Well he “fuck[ed] bitches” and had “sex with six different whores”. Wowee, compelling stuff. With a rapid snare drum and talk of “bitches” even at the first song you begin to think to yourself, isn’t this the dude who the media is touting as an avant-garde, genre-defying non-rapper? Well why the fuck is he using rap beats from the 00s and corny, out-of-date topics like “fucking bitches”? What’s new and un-Hip-Hop about all that shit? With the echoing lines “I’m a live life like a star-arrr!”, “Look momma you made a star”, and “I’m a star!” all I hear is self-satisfied, conceited, narcissism.

‘Teenage Emotions’ is not an album that needs to be deconstructed lyric-by-lyric and song-by-song, by the end of the album all the tracks pretty much melt into one big, red-haired, gold-toothed, gelatinous, Pop mess. What I will say is that almost all the lyrics are out-of-style; bragging about his monetary gain by saying he “made my first million” in ‘DN Freestyle’, that he “iced out my wrist” in ‘FYI’ and that his “wrist bling” in ‘Say My Name’ – this isn’t the pinnacle of creativity in my book. There’s also bragging about women he’s fucked, he says “I keep good bitches around me” in ‘All Around Me’ for instance, so with all these amazingly varied topics it makes me wonder a. how is any of this original and therefore worthy of praise? and b. these topics have been Hip-Hop staples since the 90s so how is Lil Yachty not a contrived copycat rapper?

This album is also littered with repetition, either because Yachty is a musical genius and repeating words is some kind of post-post-modernist, witty thing to do or because he’s so talentless that he can’t be arsed to write more than a few frigging lines. The amount of times this prick says “Harley” in the song err… ‘Harley’ it makes you want to key the next Harley Davidson you come across. He also says “Say my name” around a thousand times in, you guessed it, the song ‘Say My Name’, and let’s not forget about his lead single ‘Peak A Boo’ featuring that trio of terribleness Migos, hear them wear out the phrase “Peak A Boo” almost the fuck out in this video…

So let me make this clear, there’s nothing original here. I’ll acknowledge that I wasn’t expecting much but the way journalists have been talking about Yachty’s so-called brilliance, I was anticipating something so new and up-to-date that I’d have to concede and say that yes, Lil Yachty is an inventive, musical ace. But that just isn’t true, it seems that these fake fucking music critics are so far up his teenage arse that they can’t see or hear clearly. I mean this is a 19 year old, his music is supposed to be new and refreshing right? Like Punk sounded in the 70s? (An actual comparison made by that nerd on Needle Drop). But like I said, there’s nothing original here, rapping about “bitches” and “money” over some demo-esque, Southern Hip-Hop beats that sound like they’ve been yanked out of the late 90s, it’s so unoriginal and uninspiring that I’m surprised by the level of overrating that Yachty’s shite début has received.

At 21 tracks and 1 hour 10 minutes, this album is also too long, Lil Yachty overstays his welcome in his own album, never mind in the Hip-Hop genre. And then there’s the other issues. I thought I hated autotune back when T-Pain was over-using it, but Yachty is on a whole new level of “overuse”. I was sick of this robotic sound by the fourth or fifth song, but by the tenth, and then the fifteenth time I heard yet another autotuned vocal, I almost felt compelled to kick the speakers that were outputting this horrid junk.

‘Teenage Emotions’ is filled with problems; there’s no structure, there’s no flow from track to track, the album goes mellow in the middle but without any reason (a change of topic for instance). Then there’s the title of the album itself; ‘Teenage Emotions’, as soon as you hear that you think to yourself, this album’s going to convey what it’s like to be a teenager, you know “teenage emotions” like fear, anxiety, hatred, love, lust and all the rest that comes with growing up. Nope, this isn’t “teenage emotions” at all, in fact with Yachty’s unimpassioned, matter-of-fact style, from his flow to his vocal tone, from his topics to his expression, the whole thing is the opposite of the title. This is the most emotionless shit I’ve heard in a long time and I’ve listened to both Migos and Future‘s albums.

Literally anybody could make an album like this, there’s no switching of topics, no variation in themes, no changing of production, or a deviation of delivery. Yachty’s recipe for success seems to be; say something contrived and repeat it over some crappy amateur beat, and insert autotune at every possible opportunity to hide your lack of talent. Yes, I’ve heard all the bullshit excuses, this apparently isn’t Hip-Hop, it’s Bubblegum Trap or some other shit justification, well fuck the genre label, this is simply drivel laid over dross. Nothing here is catchy, nothing here is memorable, if pushed I could possibly single out ‘Better’ as the stand-out track but even that’s mediocre, I’d only highlight that particular song if I was forced to find something worthwhile on this collection of crap.

So okay, if I take the song ‘Better’, the line “You say it’s good but it could be better” is a slight message I guess, and the guitar-strumming, finger-clicking, laid-back island-sound is a tad different from the rest of the tracklist. The chorus is almost catchy but I’m only saying all this because the rest is so appalling. Yes, ‘Better’ is a very radio-friendly song that could potentially be a hit, but the radio is corrupt and it plays anything that fits their agenda; dumbing-down of music, suppressing dissent and quietening political music. Yachty fits nicely into the mainstream’s idea of what “teenagers” should be listening to; bubblegum bullshit. God forbid they rebel or say something subversive, nah, just check the vitiligo sufferer and the albino, the overweight girl and the two gay guys kissing on the album cover, all that shite must mean something deep right? Ignore all the same-same shit on this album, keep concentrating on the fake-inclusive, fake-meaningful, fakely titled album cover to keep you from being physically sick at hearing about bitches and pussy. Forget that each and every song is indistinguishable from the last, look kids, it’s called “Teenage Emotions” and there’s a gender symbol, all that definitely means something, it must be a young, open-minded, even feminist album right? Well, keep thinking all that shit as Yachty raps “There’s piss all on the floor, bitch, go clean it up”. Ooh, how bold and unique, how radical, what an original aesthetic and persona, Lil Yachty is oh so brilliant. Fuck… right… off.

Please Stop Saying His Name.

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7 replies »

  1. I gave him a chance but album is waaaaay too long!!! some songs were so terrible they had me in tears!! nothing but trash.

  2. That ” old hater ” argument dont apply to teenage emotions because its so obvious that its bad

    I’m 24 and I thought it was garbage juice

  3. I like Lil Yachty. I think we need more people like him in the music world. I mean not people making music like his, I mean people who are free to make the music that they want to make. If you listen to his music, Lil Yachty is packaging genre cliches into something that I think trancends them. Take Say My Name for instance, it’s on the surface a bland pop-rap song, but Yachty’s weird delivery, child-like sense of wonder and sparse beat elevate the song to something rather masterful. I think a lot of it has to do with Lil Yachty’s sense of self-awareness. He knows exactly how goofy his voice sounds, and uses it to his advantage, sucking you into his cartoon world of good times. I get that not everyone is gonna like him, and all of your complaints about him are valid. For me personally I enjoyed most of Teenage Emotions and look forward to his future projects.

    • I think people like you give too much credit to people like Yachty. I agree that musicians should be pushing the boundaries of music but you’re making Lil Yachty out to be something he isn’t.

      Firstly being ironically mediocre or mocking or subverting the genre you’re working in is nothing new in Hip-Hop…

      …but Lil Yachty like I’ve said before is more like this…

      He is mediocre without any sarcasm or irony. People used to question if Riff Raff was satire or genuine but Yachty doesn’t even spark debate which means he’s failed at being subversive or unique.

      Someone like Afrikan Boy has pushed Hip-Hop music further (and did it earlier) by utilising contemporary beats, a unique delivery, and comedy (okay so he’s Grime but you’re the one who doesn’t like genres to be pinned down). But, like many other underground artists, surprise, surprise, the mainstream don’t plug him…

      STOP OVERRATING TRASH!

  4. teenage emotions flopped so hard i think it went 4x cardboard lol 😅
    yachty said it didnt sell because people “dont understand” him. maybe its because the album was trash. literally every song was 🚮

    “blow that dick like a cello” he dont even know his instruments

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