Review Summary: Ego death.
There was a period of time where Lil Yachty was a fresh and unique figure in the rap game. He was proof that the ever-expanding nature of the genre and the immense popularity of the genre were not mutually exclusive attributes. The first Lil Boat mixtape was a silly, charismatic, boyish romp through Yachty’s psyche and his thoughts, albeit simple thoughts, on his burgeoning fame. The light, airy, and slightly spacey beats from Digital NAS and Yachty’s full embrace of auto-tune made his tracks instantly recognizable.
It seems since then Yachty has completely forgotten what made him famous in the first place. Dropping disappointing bloated project after disappointing bloated project killed any good will and momentum the young potential superstar had. For some reason Yachty decided to hop onto the trend of triplet flow Migos copies and each subsequent project suffered because of this decision. Teenage Emotions sounded like an honest attempt to rekindle the same sound of Lil Boat even if it was a complete failure, Lil Boat 2 was almost entirely filler with a few exceptions in the tracklist, and Nothin’ to Prove was a fitting title to say the least. However, with the release of Lil Boat 3 and the lead single “Oprah’s Bank Account” featuring Drake of all people it seemed as though a Lil Yachty return to relevance could be plausible. Sure Lil Yachty’s IQ might be lower than the sum of total tracks on his past three projects (which is 57 by the way), but there was a slight chance Lil Boat 3 could turn the tides for Lil Yachty.
One quick look at the 19 tracks, the 54 minute running time, the lack of review in almost a month and a half after its release, and its 18 ratings should tell you all you need to know about this project before hearing a single note. In the first track “Top Down” tries to copy the brighter and more colorful tracks of his early days to a mediocre result, but it is the second track “Wock in Stock” that has the most damning reason for someone not to listen to the album: a full acceptance of apathy. Yachty proclaims, “*** bein in your top 5 my momma’s countin hundreds now.” Yachty has had his hits, made his money, and doesn’t really care about the opinions of the rap community. Funny enough that is the main focus of the album, the mission statement if you will, Yachty wants to make it clear he has a lot of money, and a lot of women, and any other overdone, braggadocious sentiments that are prevalent in modern rap.
Lil Boat 3 does in fact have some solid to great tracks with one caveat to all of them: they all have a feature. “T.D” contains Yachty’s best performance (which isn’t saying much), a phoned in Tyler, The Creator and ASAP Rocky verse, and an excellent verse by Tierra Whack that wipes the floor with anything else on the album. She’s witty, charismatic, and a ball of energy on what is otherwise a sleepy and mid-tempo project. Future delivers an ingenious whistle flow on “Pardon Me” and “Oprah’s Bank Account” is an enjoyable track even if it’s derivative of what one would expect from a song featuring Drake and DaBaby. However, a good majority of these tracks Yachty simply does not try on. If there is not a feature it is likely to be completely milquetoast, homogeneous filler. The beats are either rip-offs of Digital NAS or tepid dime a dozen trap instrumentals, Yachty sounds like he is on sleeping medication for the duration of the project, and the only notable aspects are the surprising amount of cringe inducing bars. Some of my personal favorites are, “This bitch geekin' off a school bus, she Miss Frizzie,” “Jim Carrey that mask, it go up then,” “Niggas sweet as ***, turn 'em to a Reese's Pieces / Diamonds shinin' so damn bright, give a nigga seizures,” the latter being specifically hilarious because it is said by a rapper with twizler hair who did multiple ads for sprite. Yachty’s utter lack of self-awareness is what has thrown his career off a proverbial cliff and that doesn’t seem to be changing anytime soon.
So if a majority of this album is more comparable to background noise or white noise than Yachty’s charismatic origins then what is the point of the album? What happened to the boyish, humble, and one of a kind auto-crooner who was symbolic of the rap industry’s ever changing soundscape and would rather say lines like “tell the manager at McDonald’s who fired me we did it” than “Yeah, home alone, nigga run up on me, do 'em like Macaulay Culkin”? Simply put, Yachty became a cog in the machine; he is the complete opposite of what made him one of the most controversial and talked about figures in 2016. This is ego death personified as an album.