Not one strong or sensible musical decision by Lil Yachty appeared on this debut album, which deflated his attempt to sound like the industry’s Godchild and rather made this a very irritable, ugly, and disdainful work of music.
To put it lightly, the small motives throughout the work were hilariously miserable. These lines had absolutely no direction, no invigorating pace, or life of their own. For basically the entirety of the hour and ten minutes, the whole melodic layer was extremely trite and irritating. Only a couple of songs, such as “X Men” and “Bring It Back”, had detectable energy that could sustain for a significant period of time. It’s not a good sign when the listener is constantly looking at their watch after timing out how much longer they have to tread through the album, which happened to me due to the absolutely disengaging melodic layer. While other musical elements became a bit more dynamic and found new meaning with the album’s progression, melodic lines were mostly a consistent nightmare. In his incoherent and idiotic rambling, Lil Yachty does not once make any strong musical decisions in his lines. Around every corner is something laughable, but the song “Peek A Boo” sunk to the lowest level, and has my vote for the worst professionally recorded and produced song of the year. In fact, he was so incompetent with providing cohesion from other musical layers or making any genuine sense that I’m sure many people, regardless of musical background, would be able to step into the studio without seeing those lyrics beforehand and produce something more intriguing. When you’re that much of a failure in your profession, you really should get fired, especially in a profession that affects so many people in such a big way. He should be ashamed of himself, especially in his awful attempts to sweeten his image by the end. It’s depressing that this exists.
The first third of the album was hardly anything more than an empty void of lethargy. There were then a few sparks of independence and pronounced movement that, while still very unsupportive and contrived, reminded the listener that this is actually a work of music. There was mostly no meaningful organization at all in the backing structure to produce anything worthy of repetition. It was not as if the problem was dull progressions or lame movement; the problems rooted from there being no progression or movement, like in the song “All Around Me”. When a rare understandable progression existed, the music had the basis of an identity and purpose, as in the song “Priorities”. It shouldn’t be too hard to ask for meaningful, or at least detectable, progression in the rest of the music. Sadly, it was few and far between here. Without any appropriate or truly active structures, these songs had absolutely no strength and no ability to captivate, leaving the actual sound to potentially be the only worth that this music has.
No real worth here, either. If any one aspect of this album was consistently producing something respectable, it was the electronic beat. There was nothing unique and powerful in its use, but its sound actually contributed positively to the direction. Newsflash, though: you can hear these same beats in any serious trap musician’s music, so there goes this album’s only potential musical interest point. Absolutely none of the synthetic additions worked in a positive manner; they served no purpose but to sound recognizable to listeners who want to hear types of music that they’ve already heard countless times. That is not only musically ineffective, but also culturally harmful. As I mentioned earlier, there was a detectable switch in purpose and character in the album, specifically from the first half to the second half, which in itself wasn’t a surprise to me now that I’ve been paying attention to the rap music scene. What was a surprise to me was the amount of sincerity I actually felt from the music in this transition. I actually feel a tad guilty giving such low scores in the timbre, which I should never feel if I’m rightfully speaking my mind, but in the end the sincerity couldn’t overcome the outright annoying qualities of the instrumentation. I did somewhat appreciate the attempts sound more spirited with the additions of guitar, piano, and even saxophone, but there was simply no strong successful use in themselves to really heighten the music. What really dampened the entire experience and allowed me to lose my guilt were the awful lyrics. Lil Yachty is probably the worst lyricist of our generation. Some stupidity becomes fun in its quirky uses, but this was as stupid as stupid gets. He’s just an idiot, there’s no way around it. It’s unfortunate, but the sentiments that end the album couldn’t save this music from being worthless.
Is the public going to forgive him and play along or demonize him for this monstrosity? That is what this album’s influential power hinges on. I’m sure that those who truly care about music will not give this a second thought, but as we’ve learned, that is not necessarily what drives the industry and marketing power today. I understand that people like to look past as many blemishes as they can in a musician’s debut work in order to give it a chance. I honestly did not know this was his debut album until after I listened. I’m glad I did my research after I listened so my perceptions were genuine to the music, but I was surprised to learn that this was his first album, because it nothing unlike what’s been done before except for perhaps a more idiotic take on it. Stupidity can be good, but I have a line, and he crossed it. There seems to be no line to cross for the general public, though. While it’s musically worthless to me, I don’t trust the album’s general audience, so I’ll predict that it’ll have a significant amount of influence for what it actually offers, at least for this year.
Final Score: 57/180