“Let’s Start Here” - Lil Yachty Album Review

Story posted February 2, 2023 in Arts & Entertainment by Ethan Hetrick.

Well, listeners are certainly no longer in Minnesota nor rapper with this new album.

Lil Yachty is a former SoundCloud rapper turned musical phenomenon with breakout hits like “One Night” and “Minnesota.” What is more impressive than his individual song is guest features and hand in writing popular songs such as “Broccoli” or “iSpy” among various well known jams.

“Let’s Start Here” is the Georgia native’s fourth studio album. To say it is different from his previous works is an understatement. Lil Yachty flexed his musical muscles by no longer being a rapper and turning into a rockstar with his new psychedelic rock album.

A little background information for this major transition, is that the artist was tired of only being seen as a SoundCloud rapper. He was lost in the music world and even though he was making hits; he felt like a failure. He wanted to show off his artistic talents and no longer be disrespected.

So, he entered a new genre that seems to be a major stepping stone for Lil Yachty and his craft.

The tone of the album is quite sad yet comes to revelation for one. The atmosphere feels like a nighttime drug trip and the transitions through it.

Starting off the album is the feeling of entering a journey. The sound is not dark but it is more a jump into the unknown.

As the album continues the self-discovery can be seen. The battle of inner demons such as feeling depressed and a failure. In the song “:(failure:)” Lil Yachty is not performing but talking to the listener about how he has been a recent failure. He is trying to cope with it and tell everyone that is alright when it can clearly be seen everything is not.

But the intensity of self-discovery goes together with the music ambiance. When there are low sad feelings of anger, the music gets more intense but when there are revelations in oneself like “WE SAW THE SUN” the tone shifts to a happier sound rather than tunes that makes one feel lost or moody like in “drive ME crazy!”

But the breaking point of sadness in the album “I’VE LOST ALL VISION!!!” The rock music is faster and more extreme. It seems to be the climax of the dark parts of the album.

The rest of the album has a slower but more upbeat tune. Never too poppy but a happier, less depressing sound. Until the ultimate self-revelation in “REACH THE SUNSHINE.”

Ultimately, the album is a journey of self-discovery but through the lens of a night under narcotics.

The beginning of the album sounds like a person who is lost and is taking drugs to try to feel. More specifically psychedelics and by taking hallucinatory drugs, it shows one's innermost feelings; in Lil Yachty’s case his sense of failure and lostness.

As the night or album continues, the feelings get too strong to the point of overdosing with the climax of  “I’VE LOST ALL VISION!!!” and “sAy sOMETHINg.” After this point, it seems the artist is having a revelation of needing to switch it up. He needs a new starting point to get past his old insecurities hence this album being called “Let’s Start Here.”

This album seems to be Lil Yachty’s start to a new era. He is moving on from his past insecurities and rap music to seek fulfillment. The album shows it in a creative, psychedelic way that the artist is shooting for in this version of rock.

With the sound and story being summed up, let’s talk about how good it really is as a listener.

The background and instrument playing are strong suits. It is creative and unique in that it separates itself from the mainstream rock sound. It is able to make a listener feel the emotions of Lil Yachty and at times one can feel lost in space or depressed while other times being filled with hope.

The story and journey are its best quality. Unlike his previous albums, one can feel a connection and the raw emotion Lil Yachty let out. It is relatable for many and it can help those who need to feel these feelings or go on their own self-discovery journeys.

However, the album does have a weak point: its vocals.

For a former rapper, Lil Yachty did not perform well with his lines. He struggled to be louder than the music in the background and at times not comprehensible in what he was trying to say. If one can hear what he was saying rather than getting lost in the music, the album could have been much better.

Overall, Lil Yachty’s new rock is a great transition for the former rapper. It is the perfect introduction to his new style. His style is felt with pure and relatable emotion.

Although, it is hard to hear what he is saying in the album, one can just feel what he feels and that is a spectacular achievement that will leave any listener excited to hear what he creates next in this rock genre he is venturing into.

Rating: 8/10

Favorite Songs: “:(failure:),” “sHouLd i B?,” “The Alchemist.”
Least Favorite Song: “drive ME crazy!”

Ethan Hetrick is a second-year telecommunications major. To contact him, email eth5186@psu.edu.