Being a teenager isn’t easy. I know that sentence reads like a lame cliché, but clichés become clichés for a reason: There’s typically some truth to be found inside of them. Are you a teen? If not, do you remember what it was like to be a teen? It sucks. Your brain and your body is being pounded on the daily by a wave after wave of chemical changes. If you’re on the younger end of the spectrum, you’re only just beginning to get a grasp on head-spinning, life-defining concepts like love, and sex, and heartache. If you’re older, you’re probably grappling with questions about identity, discovering who you are and what you want to do with the rest of your life.
Every choice, every experience, every relationship feels so damn consequential. That first love feels like something destined to last for eternity. That first break-up becomes the very end of existence itself. That first job can feel like a momentous step into adulthood. That first firing can feel like a failure you’ll never be able to recover from. The great thing about teenage emotions is their lack of artifice. You can put up a false front to parents, teachers, the world at large, and pose your way through adolescence, but the feelings under the surface are so raw, so fraught, and so powerful, that they’re bound to shine through. They can be overwhelming, both internally and to the outside observer, but there’s no doubting their authenticity. The same can be said about the debut album by Lil Yachty.