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“Let’s Start Here” marks a new era for Lil Yachty

American rapper and music artist Lil Yachty officially released his fifth studio album “Let’s Start Here” on Jan. 27, 2023 after being leaked in its entirety back in December. On this album, the artist’s musical style has moved in a different direction from his previous projects. With heavy influences from psychedelic rock and soul, this new release has received positive critical reception, but mixed fan reactions about the album. 

Lil Yachty explained that his next major release would be a “non-rap album,” with the desire for his music to be taken more seriously. He is most notable for his “Lil Boat” series of albums as well as other projects. While energetic and commercially successful, some of his material was loathed by critics for falling into the conventional field of trap and mumble rap.

Many rap artists who experiment with different music genres often get mixed results from the general public, but the final result of Lil Yachty’s newest release truly showcases the time and effort that went into crafting it. 

The sound on the album is absolutely pristine from front to back, and given the production team behind it it’s not hard to see why. Justin Raisen, notable for producing many Yves Tumor records, is at the helm of this album, helping to give it an otherworldly feel. There’s also production assistance from Jacob Portrait, known for production on tracks for Alex G and Unknown Mortal Orchestra.

The atmosphere of this album is immediately set with the opening track “the BLACK seminole.” This synth heavy, psychedelic inspired seven-minute-long track sets the stage for the whole album. While it touches on themes of personal maturity and perspective, the lyrics aren’t anything drastically different when it comes to Lil Yachty. However, the incredible production and guitar riffs that build up throughout the song exceeds all previous expectations. 

The album also features many other artists to vocally assist in creating the album’s unorthodox feel. Such as Teezo Touchdown on the tracks “the ride-” and “the zone~” and Foushe on “pRETTy” and “The Alchemist”.

The official album artwork consists of an off putting AI generated image of nameless political figures, hinting to the underlying themes of social hierarchy. In particular, the track “the ride”, featuring hypnotic melodies, showcases Lil Yachty pondering about his “ride” up the social ladder as a result of becoming rich and famous.

The idea of failure is often scary for most people to confront and realize. On “:(failure(:”, a track in spoken word, the drop in quality in Yachty’s later releases affected his perception of failure dramatically. His personal journey in combating failure has taught him to try again and experiment in a widely different genre, to work even harder and make a new start for his musical career. 

The intensely different sound of the album might turn off some listeners at first or even older fans from his “Lil Boat” releases. Regardless, “Let’s Start Here” is an unexpectedly incredible new venture for Lil Yachty. His attempt to reinvent himself and try something new was absolutely worth the wait.


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