Review: Lil Yachty trancends rap genre with “Let’s Start Here.”

Malik Harvey, Staff Writer

“Let’s Start Here.” is Lil Yachty’s most alternative album to date. This new selection of music Yachyy presents in his latest album breaks away from his previous records that include heavy 808s, aggressive lyrics and the predictable braggadocious bars. “Let’s Start Here.” delivers a more pop, synthesizer and instrument-driven rendition dressed in vulnerable insights into Yachty’s mind. 

On the first track, “the BLACK seminole.,” we’re introduced to this new version of Yachty: guitar solos, synthesizers, an infectious baseline and drums are spearheading the first half of the nearly seven-minute track, until Diana Gordon takes the vocal baton from Yachty and gives us a vocal performance reminiscent of “The Great Gig in the Sky,” sung by Clare Torry.

After its opening track, the album transitions into “the ride-,” where we get more synthesizers and sort of a Parliament Funkadelics vibe. It’s on this track that we hear a vulnerable Yachty singing the lines, “When I’m alone with my thoughts, I’m terrified,” followed by, “That’s why I need you here by my side.” This song and the 10th song on the album, “Say something,” are very autotune heavy, allowing Yachty to dig into his unconscious and belt out these unguarded emotions.

Songs like “drive ME crazy!” “paint THE sky” and “sHouLd i B?” all have a pop feel to it where it seems like a given that these songs will be in heavy rotation on any pop station. In a video posted on Twitter, the rapper said that he wanted to be taken more seriously as an artist and not viewed as a mumble rapper. This album goes to show that he succeeded in his efforts. While he didn’t take every musical genre and combine it into one album (a feat that’s likely impossible if you’re aiming for cohesion), he certainly got out of his comfort zone and made something that included different elements of rock, hip-hop, dance, pop, electronic and R&B music. 

On the self-reflective track called “:(failure(:,” Yacthy removes the drums and leaves the guitar, keyboard and singer to harmonize in the background, as he shares with us his opinion on failing and succeeding. “Failure to me isn’t, like, always a negative thing, just a way to relook at things,” Yacthy says. “You never know how close you are to success.” 

Some of my favorite lines from the album can be found on songs like “pRETTy,” with the simple yet infectious line: “She’s a keeper, so I throw out the receipt,” and a more sultry line stating, “The most important moments in life aren’t when your born and when you die, but when you met me, when we became us.” 

An instrument, aside from the synthesizers, that played an inconspicuous role on this album was the bass guitar. Songs like “running out of time,” “THE zone~” and “sAy sOMETHINg,” all benefited greatly from the bass guitar pushing the song forward and aided in setting the melody for the vocal performances. 

“The Alchemist.,” is a song I expect to perform well at concerts due to the verse being a build up of energy, until it reaches its crescendo and the artist Fousheé comes in and delivers a sweet, sensual melody that drives the chorus. As with other songs on this album, like “sHouLd i B?” and “WE SAW THE SUN!,” the ending leads into the next song – which is the last song on the album – “REACH THE SUNSHINE.”

To end the album, Yacthy slows the instrumentation down and gives us a very ominous, ghostly vibe that can be felt in your toes. Aside from the beautiful harmonies and melodies that a guitar can produce, hearing a guitarist transition between chords is a gratifying experience for me, which is exactly what you could hear throughout this song. In case you’re unfamiliar with this sound, you can hear it on the aforementioned song between 0:13 and 0:16. The ending of the song goes on for about two minutes, as we get a grand closing of what was the artist’s most cohesive body of work. 

“Dividing time, living between the lines, only one goal, to reach the sunshine,” is a line present on the last song of the album, and if we substitute the word “sunshine” with “Grammy’s,” I think that goal may be achieved come next year’s Grammy awards.