Lil Yachty successfully steps outside his genre


Collegian | Charles Cohen

Luke Wilson, Staff Reporter

“Let’s Start Here.” by multiplatinum-selling rapper and singer-songwriter Lil Yachty is an expectation-shattering display of the greatness that can arise when artists embrace the intersectionality that exists between genres.

The mind-bending record delves into a psychedelic rock-oriented direction for the artist. It not only combines elements characteristic of neo-psychedelia with his signature contagious vocal style, but it births something new from their intermingling.


The album embodies an impressively detailed understanding of the scene in which it exists, which is made clear by Lil Yachty’s collaboration with producers that are well-versed in that genre. Producing credits include but aren’t limited to MGMT’s Ben Goldwasser, Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s Jacob Portrait and artist Mac DeMarco, according to an article from UPROXX.

These artists embellish Lil Yachty’s work with complex technical instrumentation, fusing their styles seamlessly with that of Lil Yachty’s.

“‘Let’s Start Here.’ frequently undergoes fascinating transformations of sound and is a journey far from mundane; at points, it lies outside the realm of sanity.”

Vocal features on the LP are also a highlight, with Teezo Touchdown delivering a bouncy and heartfelt description of his changing attitude toward his friends and interests in his rap verse on the album’s second track, “the ride-.”

Diana Gordon makes several memorable appearances in the track list, with the most memorable of them being her feature on “the BLACK seminole.,” consisting of soaring wails reminiscent of “The Great Gig in the Sky” by Pink Floyd.

Daniel Caesar also appears on the multi-phased final song of the album, “REACH THE SUNSHINE.,” expressing introspective and dreamy feelings about his sense of self. While such features are not listed on the track list, credit is given to these artists on

The thematic structure of “Let’s Start Here.” consists of a vast array of emotions from Lil Yachty and feels like an authentic representation of both his personal journey and of what many of us go through as humans. Love, angst, depression, longing, mania and being overwhelmed by society’s current state are all expressed by Lil Yachty in unique styles of singing and rapping that reflect passion and honesty.

Lil Yachty manages to incorporate his characteristic approach to rap melodies and cadences among the tracks of “Let’s Start Here.” in a manner that doesn’t undermine the overarching styles and themes of the genre he finds himself delving into. Rather, the unique approach to hip-hop that initially set Lil Yachty apart in the rap scene coexists comfortably with moments of ascending falsettos, dreamy melodies and even screaming that take place across the LP.

Rugged and distorted guitar riffs, brain-tickling mirages of synths and enveloping basslines throughout the project bring the listener into a trance-like state, with instrumentation in the album as varied as it is tasteful.

“Let’s Start Here.” frequently undergoes fascinating transformations of sound and is a journey far from mundane; at points, it lies outside the realm of sanity.


Many artists have attempted a genre switch, such as Kid Cudi with “Speedin’ Bullet 2 Heaven” and G-Eazy with “Everything’s Strange Here” and have done so to no avail. Albums created based on what an artist perceives to define a genre can end up feeling like a sore mockery of what the listener finds so great about a genre due to the utilization of cliches and stereotypes.

This is not the case for Lil Yachty. Through collaboration with the right people, attention to detail, genuine emotion-driven writing and a wealth of creativity, Lil Yachty presents more to the listener than just another artist’s forgettable attempt at getting outside their typical range of musical endeavors. 

Reach Luke Wilson at or on Twitter @CSUCollegian.