Lil Yachty – Nothin’ to Prove

I’ve come around on Lil Yachty (a lil). When he first arrived on the scene two years ago talking all that shit about Biggie claiming that he was overrated after he had a very surface level of his music, it didn’t sit well with me. That coupled with the fact that his music was nowhere near the level of Biggies music at the time (still isn’t, but he’s one of many in that regard) was enough for me to try and help force him out of hip-hop. Since he made these blasphemous statements, he’s apologized and also gone out of his way to prove that he belongs in the genre by holding his own on Funk Flex freestyles and bravely fielding tough questions from Charlamagne Tha God & Joe Budden. His honest attempt to (ironically) prove himself seems to have paid off, as he is releasing his second album of the year as a part of one of the hottest label crews in the genre. I’ve never really been a fan of his music aside from a few one-off songs, but I’m impressed with his willingness to endear himself to seasoned, lifelong hip-hop fans like me, so I will give him another chance and find out what’s really REALLY good with this project.

Scouting Report

  • One of the first faces of the “SoundCloud rap” genre, Yachty is known for his melodic, sing/songy delivery coupled with autotune as well as his “ooh” ad-libs
  • Production choices range from bright and feel-good to stripped down trap styles
  • Has had a moderately high level of commercial success as well as a large social media following; many of his fans are teens and early-twentysomethings
  • Can occasionally spaz on tracks with a fast spoken word flow; not lyrical but can pull off some impressive rap performances when in his pocket every once in a while
  • Best recent Songs before the release of Nothin’ to ProveMovin’ Up (feat. Ty Dolla $ign)“, “MICKEY (feat. Offset & Lil Baby)
  • Best project before the release of Nothin’ to Prove: Lil Boat 2

Track-by-Track

  1. Gimmie My Respect: Decent flow from Yachty here, rare Killa by Lil Sko sample in the beat, nice touch. Bars are weak, and interludes are excessive 3/5
  2. Get Dripped (feat. Playboi Carti): The Mr. Game-and-Watch beat is one of the best on the project, but Carti and Yachty don’t cut it with the verses, too generic. 3.5/5
  3. Riley from the Boondocks: Yachty catches a nice flow on his verse here, the only problem is that his lyrics aren’t really up to par with it. Mumbles the hook. 3/5
  4. I’m the Mac: This song is ridiculous in many ways. “School is for pussies” bar but “pussy like Tom” referencing Tom & Jerry is clever. Generic otherwise. 3/5
  5. Yacht Club (feat. Juice WRLD): Yachty and Juice have terrific chemistry as they go back and fourth throughout. Hilarious Alexis Texas bar sequence. 4/5
  6. SaintLaurentYSL (feat. Lil Baby): Lil Baby unsurprisingly steals the show and continues his red-hot 2018 form. Decent from Yachty too, good beat. 4/5
  7. We Outta Here! (feat. Young Nudy): Yachty does switch his delivery many times in the song, but bars stay disappointingly generic. Young Nudy was slightly better. 3/5
  8. Who Want the Smoke? (feat. Cardi B & Offset): Sinister beat from TayKeith, best on the project. Strong verses from Offset and Cardi, Bodak Yellow-esque flow. 4/5
  9. Worth It: Feel good, softer production style. Uplifting song about a girl that Yachty likes, claims she’s perfect despite her perceived imperfections. 4/5
  10. Everything Good, Everything Right: This is Yachty at his finest hour, a great feel-good song with good songwriting and bright instrumental. 4/5
  11. Next Up: The third song in a row on a positive vibe but doesn’t quite hit the heights that the last two did. Still a decent track all around though. 3.5/5
  12. Forever World (feat. Trippie Red): Wow. Very impressed here with Trippie Redd’s crooning skills over this sampled production. Yachty gets in his feelings too to great effect. Favorite song on the project. 4/5
  13. Nolia (feat. Kevin Gates): Song references Magnolia (New Orleans), Kevin Gates adds Louisiana (albeit Baton Rouge) flavor. Yachty’s bars unimpressive again. 3.5/5
  14. Fallin’ in Luv (feat. Gunna): Yachty and Gunna both croon about how they are falling in love with the rap star lifestyle. Both give decent melodic performances on a good beat. 3.5/5
  15. Stoney: Top tier instrumental, reminiscent of Rainbow Road from Mario Kart. Yachty gets back in his feelings here and juxtaposes his girl with the feeling of getting high. 4/5

Final Thoughts

The album didn’t start strong, but the songs seemed to get better as the tracklist kept playing. Yachty was at his best on this album when he was on his positive vibes. Whenever he was paying tribute to the women in his life or just happy with life in general, we got the Yachty that all of the kids love so much. However, Yachty tried to do a little too much at times. When trying the rappity-rap on a few of the early tracks, he ironically sounds like he has a lot to prove with the constant flexing, and it gets extremely repetitive even by the time you get a third of the way through the project. He is still by no means a good, let alone a great lyricist, but his best moments are when he’s enjoying himself and feels like he has “Nothing to Prove.” All in all, Yachty still does have a lot to prove as a hip-hop artist, but as long as he stays positive and carefree like the 21-year old that he is, he will continue to make strides and enjoyable music for all.

FINAL SCORE: 70/100

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