Album review: Lil Yachty’s ‘Teenage Emotions’ reaches new levels of awfulness

Posted on Jun 8 2017 - 10:37am by Austin Hille

Every once in awhile an artist comes along that makes everybody ask, “Is this even real life?” Lil Yachty is definitely that artist for this generation.

As a top-40 hitmaker and sadly, XXL Freshman, Yachty has officially become mainstream, and now with his newest album, “Teenage Emotions,” he has a chance to capture that audience for a bit longer.

I guess we can call this guy a rapper. He doesn’t even want to be called that, and I certainly don’t want to give him that title, but it’s hard to label him anything else. Perhaps the only fitting genre for him would be the “weird” genre. Weird can be good, but not when the artist is just being silly, which is exactly what Yachty has been doing, and successfully, to his credit.

Most will know him from his feature on D.R.A.M.’s hit single, “Broccoli,” and I could not be more serious when I say this, but once you have heard it you have basically heard all of Yachty’s catalog. He has no variation in his music whatsoever.

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This rule of thumb wholly applies to “Teenage Emotions,” which is objectively 21 tracks of Yachty attempting falsetto unsuccessfully. Calling the album trash is just so unprofessional and not what I look to accomplish in a serious review, but there are few words I can think of that adequately describe the poor quality of this record.

There are always positives to each record, and this one is no exception. Some of the production is actually quite interesting on tracks like “Say My Name,” “X Men” and “Better.” And that’s interesting as in a positive sense, not a sarcastic one.

The track “DN Freestyle” is holistically a good song. The production is intriguing, the flow is aggressive, and lyrically it is challenging but not too cocky. It is the only track on the album that I feel to be real hip hop, and if it is truly a freestyle, then that is pretty impressive.

The rest of the album is something else. Let’s just start with one of the album’s lead singles, “Peek A Boo,” which is just awful. The track features Migos, which means that the chorus is everybody just mumbling “peek a boo” over and over again.

This is typically the part of the review where I say that this is what is wrong with the music industry and how hip hop isn’t what it used to be, but this is a new level. Tracks like “Peek a Boo” represent a niche in mainstream music that I have really yet to see. We are talking Ice JJ Fish levels of awful, and for some reason, he is still selling records.

The rest of the album is just like this. “Lady in Yellow” and “Forever Young” featuring Tupelo’s own Diplo are some particularly low points, and the rest of the record is pretty much just throw away tracks.

I have no beef with Lil Yachty. This 19-year-old phenomenon is almost unanimously recognized as the single-most humble and kind-hearted name in hip hop right now. Additionally, he proudly proclaims in interviews and his music that he does not drink alcohol or take drugs of any kind.

I have mad respect for Yachty and his accomplishments, and from what I can tell, he is a pretty nice guy. But his music sucks. It has been described as “polarizing,” so perhaps I am on the negative side of the pole, but still, I don’t think I am being too crazy here.