Maybe it’s the power of positive thinking, but Lil Yachty just can’t stop winning.
He dropped his debut album, Teenage Emotion, at just 19 years old last month, lit up Jimmy Kimmel’s performance stage alongside Kyle while performing their hit “iSpy,” and now he’s landed on the cover of prestigious music magazine The Fader along with a glowing profile detailing how he is leading the youth movement in hip-hop and breaking down the status quo.
Within the piece, author Rembert Browne likens Yachty to another old-head antagonist: Lil B.
In 2011, the height of the cult of Lil B, I saw his first show in New York at Hammerstein Ballroom. At one point, after the room full of teens were done throwing their shirts, chef hats, jewelry, shoes, and even a cell phone onstage as offerings to Lil B, he knighted a kid, said “I knighted him,” and declared, “Shout out to all my dudes that got hair on they chest. Shout out to all my dudes that got hair on they butts.” At the time, the rap world was wildly divided on Lil B: Was he a shame or a shaman? Six years ago, I was firmly convinced of the latter, often laughed out of conversations with rap purists for expressing a genuine appreciation for the liberating music and movement of Lil B. And now here I was, an older skeptic of a rapper who came up on Lil B, has a framed picture of Lil B in his Atlanta home, and, while more commercially popular, is essentially Charmeleon to Lil B’s Charmander.
While Yachty was quick to acknowledge that particular comparison, in the story he also ducked the one that’s starting to be made more often between himself and Lil Uzi Vert:
I pushed him on talking about Lil Uzi Vert, for example, with whom a rivalry had been suggested in an earlier radio interview, his answer prompting a clickbait-drenched blog post suggesting there was beef. That bothered Yachty. “Me and Uzi aren’t friends,” Yachty calmly offered. “We used to be cool. It’s not beef, it’s just competition. That’s all it is. We’re not friends.” He says what’s on his mind, and he’s quite personable, eventually. Just sometimes it takes a bit for him to recharge the battery.
It’s a fascinating profile of one of the most intriguing people currently rising in hip-hop. Check out the full cover story over at Fader.