By Jon Fuchs, Music Director
[Quality Control; 2018]
Key Tracks: “OOPS”, “she ready”, “love me forever”
Since his quick rise in 2016, Lil Yachty has been one of the most head-turning and mind-boggling rappers to blow up in recent memory. Thanks to his quirky style on albums like Lil Boat and Teenage Emotions, he was able to nab a spot on 2016’s XXL Freshman list and rightfully join the infamous Atlanta label Quality Control, standing next to talented artists like Migos, Rich the Kid and OG Maco. While his newest project, Lil Boat 2, is supposed to act as a follow-up to his best mixtape, the end result feels way too jumbled to have a confident personality, taking a lot of what made the 20-year-old rapper so interesting and throwing it out the window.
Yachty’s taste in production has always been his strongest element, and that’s no different on Lil Boat 2. Tracks like “OOPS”, “DAS CAP” and “NBAYOUNGBOAT” are filled with intense production that makes every song more interesting than the last. “NBAYOUNGBOAT”, for example, is an extremely fun banger that has Yachty and YoungBoy Never Broke Again trading verses on a beat that almost feels like a gabber instrumental. There are also tons of strong features from the likes of 2 Chainz, Ugly God and K$upreme that add a ton of personality to the record.
Like its predecessor, LB2 has a healthy balance of trap bangers and luscious ballads that help Yachty differ from other rappers. “she ready” with PnB Rock is easily the best track on the entire project, as its upbeat pan flute synths are intoxicatingly addictive and fun. “love me forever” follows, with its beautiful piano runs complimenting Yachty’s autotuned singing really nicely.
Unfortunately, LB2’s tracklist is filled with unbearable misfires that depend way too much on their guests. “Talk to Me Nice” with Quavo starts off promising, but eventually turns into a really boring Migos song that’ll put you right to sleep. This also goes for “GET MONEY BROS.”, which has Yachty and Tee Grizzley lazily swapping verses that are incredibly forgettable. This isn’t even mentioning “COUNT ME IN”, which has Yachty doing his worst Playboi Carti impression as he shamelessly flexes over a half-assed Pierre Bourne beat.
It’s also worth mentioning that on this record, Lil Yachty completely gets rid of the dual personality aspect that made him so interesting in the first place. There is no Uncle Darnell Boat anywhere on this project, and the “Lil Yachty / Lil Boat” switch-ups are nowhere to be seen. It never entirely ruins the vibes of the record, but once you realize it’s missing, you’re never able to forget. Also, it seems that K$upreme and JBan$2Turnt are the only Sailing Team members on the entire project, which really makes you wonder if Yachty is as loyal to his crew as he says he is.
Lil Boat 2 feels less like a sequel to a great mixtape and more like a clumsy compilation of trap duds that rely way too much on their features. It’s not a bad album, but compared to his previous projects, it feels too underwhelming and rehashed to thoroughly enjoy.