“Let’s Start Here.” A Review of Lil Yachty’s New Album

A Reinvention

Red Dreads????

When one thinks of Yachty, I’m sure the words Brocolli, 2016, Soundclous and Lil Boat come to mind. With infamous red dreads and a voice that sounds like he’s been sipping on espresso martinis, Lil Yachty is pretty unforgettable. One could argue he was at his prime in 2016 when we were all screaming the explicit version of Broccoli at a middle school dance. However, Lil Yachty has made a decision. A culture shock almost. He has decided to reinvent himself in the genre of alternative music. “Let’s Start Here” was released on January 27th, 2023, receiving a plethora of reviews. As the Rolling Stone puts it, this release makes Yachty, “Music’s Boldest Creative Director”, while Pitchfork harshly insulted his choice, calling it “institutional”. Vulture even called However, all can agree that Yachty has revitalized his taste from Hip-Hop/Rap to a more alternative indie feel. Here’s all you need to know about it.

2016. What a time to be alive.

Honestly, Lil Yachty would be the last rapper I would think would put out an alternative/indie/rock album. I mean look at his generational peers – he was a part of the 2016 Freshmen XXL Cypher along with Lil Uzi Vert, Denzel Curry, Kodak Black, and 21 Savage (arguably the most legendary freshmen cypher). Would you expect ANY of them to turn to the indie side? The answer is no. You wouldn’t. This is why this album has come as a shock to most. But, as A$AP Rocky, Tyler, the Creator, and multiple other male rappers have done, Lil Yachty stated he wanted to be “taken seriously” (a cliché we have all seen before). Props to Yachty though, and his ability to completely genre jump without losing his individuality. Who knows if this curveball will continue – maybe in a year he’ll come out with something completely different. My ranking of the new album goes as followed:

  1. drive ME crazy!
  2. the BLACK seminole.
  3. running out of time
  4. the ride-
  5. The Alchemist
  6. sAy sOMETHING

…undoubtedly a huge success

— Robin Adams

I asked Robin Adams, another fellow listener and fan of Let’s Start Here what she had to say about the album. Her response goes as followed: “While a lot of people aren’t crazy about yachty’s vocal ability in his album, it’s undoubtedly a huge success. Many tracks off the album almost give off the kind of Pink Floyd-esque transcendent instrumentals that elevate the tracks into something beyond a generic rap album, a real masterpiece for Yachty and his best work to date. My favorite songs off the album are “the BLACK seminole”, “drive ME crazy” and “REACH THE SUNSHINE.””

Arguably the most well-known song on the album, “drive ME crazy” features beautiful instrumentals, comparable to alternative equivalents in the business. This song, as I stated, is more on the alternative side rather than rock. Diana Gordon opens with stunning vocals in the first verse. Upon doing some research on her, she has actually performed backup on “Sorry” by Beyonce, “Bad Habit” by Steve Lacy, and “Electricity” by Silk City and Dua Lipa. But I do think her warm tone of voice perfectly matches the production of the song and leads as a great introduction to Yachty’s vocals. The two sing the chorus together as Lil Yachty whips out some unexpected vocals (props to him). The first time I listened it definitely came as a shock, but the more I listen the better it gets. It is almost comparable to Whole Lotta Red by Playboi Carti. The more you listen the better it gets. For some reason, this feel-good song reminds me of “Feels Like Summer” by Childish Gambino.

My second favorite on the album, “the BLACK seminole.”, begins with some extraterrestrial/psychedelic-sounding beats, and then transfers into a sexy guitar riff. I still cannot find who did the guitar on this song, but I am extremely curious. Upon hearing it, you probably will look up “Lil Yachty Pink Floyd sample”. It sounds like Pink Floyd (namely Comfortably Numb and The Great Gig In the Sky). It is BEAUTIFUL. But seriously go listen to it instrumental and tell me you would not mistake it for Pink Floyd. This song can be categorized as classic rock (I would never think I would categorize a Lil Yachty song as classic rock). After the first verse, chorus, and second verse, the song transforms into an instrumental interlude and then an outro featuring both Lil Yachty and again, Diana Gordon. Diana Gordon’s vocals at the end of the song really remind me of The Great Gig In the Sky and Gimme Shelter by the Rolling Stones. Overall, this song is a hearty and powerful entrance to the album.

This is where I picture “running out of time” playing.

I will provide a small summary of the next three songs, as I think their ranking is interchangeable. “running out of time” features sounds that sound like Nine Inch Nails. I was so extremely excited listening to the introduction of this song. It just SCREAMS Nine Inch Nails. I think it is the bass guitar that reminds me of them. This song also sounds like you just walked into the Club Penguin Coffee Shop. That is the other image that came to my mind when listening. “the ride-” sounds like someone is playing the flute in the background. The high-pitched synths transform into almost an 80’s disco sound. Lil Yachty collaborates on this song with Teezo Touchdown, providing a “sparkly” sounding love song? Maybe it’s a love song? I am honestly not sure. You will have to listen and decide for yourself. Lastly, The Alchemist starts as an upbeat almost TikTok-sounding song (no diss). I would compare it to No Stylist as it contains high-pitched synths and a heavy beat. It sounds like a video game. After the first verse, it switches to significantly calmer vocals done by Fousheé. The airiness of her voice makes it sound light-hearted and almost innocent. Verse two goes back to the beat of the first verse, but adds some guitar-sounding production in the background. Fousheé finishes off the song with light vocals. This song is a little all over the place, but I do not mind it.

Overall, I would recommend this album to any alternative, classic rock, or just plain Lil Yachty fans. Give it a shot!!!!!!