New Musical Express (NME) - 60 Based on rating 3/5
It's not often that you'll see a major artist take a pause from posturing to acknowledge their own shortcomings, but then Lil Yachty isn't any ordinary artist. The effervescent 20-year-old Atlanta rapper - who has cherry-red hair, once sampled the Super Mario 64 soundtrack, and recently learned the difference between a cello and a clarinet - owned up to feelings of disappointment shortly after the release of his May 2017 debut studio album, 'Teenage Emotions'. That record became arguably better known for the divisive response to its awesome artwork rather than any of its tracks, resulting in a disappointing commercial performance.
The reign of the self-proclaimed King of the Teens is over. At 20, Lil Yachty has aged-out of that constituency and there are a host of contenders already eager to replace him. In his quest to conquer the whole yung demo, he discovered teens are fickle and manifold, creatures of varying interests prone to unpredictable changes of heart. After being heralded as the harbinger of a new era in rap, the metrics didn't bear out his impact.
Lil Yachty's 2016 debut and New Atlanta classic Lil Boat gave rise to a cherubic pop gamine with Twizzler-colored hair beads and a candy-coated Auto-Tune voice. But on its lesser sequel, the kid whose otherworldly Eeyore-ish melodies sparked hit appearances with Billboard champs like Calvin Harris and D.R.A.M. is mostly absent. Instead, Lil Yachty wants to rap.
On his debut studio album, last year’s Teenage Emotions , the then-teenaged Lil Yachty grappled with criticism by trying to prove he was something people said he wasn’t: a talented rapper. But the standards he aspired to meet had been set by those who fundamentally did not understand him. Tracks like "Peek a Boo" and "DN Freestyle" confirmed that Yachty's attempts at "proving himself" on the 2016 mixtape Summer Songs 2 weren't just one-offs; he cared about how he was perceived by fans and critics alike.