“Let’s Start Here.” by Lil Yachty: A Wildly Different “Rap” Experience


Mason Rath, Staff Writer


It is important to preface this article by noting that while “Let’s Start Here.” is made by rapper Lil Yachty, it is not labeled as rap, instead being considered psychedelic rock or alternative. Lil Yachty has never been seen as being highly unique in the rap music scene. Emerging in 2016, while a well-known name in 2010s rap, Yachty has been content to not take the front stage with his music for all six years of his career. However, with his Jan. 27 release of “Let’s Start Here.”, Yachty has completely blown expectations out of the water. Overall, while his previous work is not quite to my taste, Yachty’s album is commendable for being such a great step forward and sideways and being so creatively expressive.

The album sets its tone immediately with “the BLACK seminole.” Notably, the Seminoles are a large group of indigenous tribes native to Florida. The name Seminole translates to “wild people” or “runaway” in their language. Black Seminoles were runaway slaves that joined the Seminole tribes. While the few lyrics this seven-minute, mostly instrumental song provides give little to analyze, Yachty seems to be comparing himself to the Black Seminoles in it. The line, “No time to joke around, the kid is now a man,” is Yachty’s way of saying that this album is different from the rest. The earlier Yachty, the kid, has now grown up and changed. This change is felt throughout the rest of the album, with “the BLACK seminole.” serving as the perfect intro piece to show this off. A lot of the tracks feel like they have come straight out of a Pink Floyd album. The music effortlessly flows together, sometimes slipping into the next track without notice. The album’s general vibe makes you feel as if you are floating through space, or in another plane of reality. It is a sort of sound that cannot really be explained, only experienced and every song on Yachty’s new album demonstrates this sound. The best sounding song on the album has to be track eight, “drive ME crazy!” One of the more upbeat songs, “drive ME crazy!” features singer Diana Gordon who perfectly complements Yachty’s untrained yet beautifully melancholy voice. Surprisingly, Yachty’s voice transitions well from rapping to singing in this album and this is shown off best in “drive ME crazy!” where Yachty is forced to keep up with Diana Gordon and the lighter mood of the song. While nothing incredible, the lyrics in “Let’s Start Here.” are definitely a step up for Yachty. On the song “:(failure(:” that is admittedly more talking than singing, Yachty addresses the concept of failure. He frames failure as a way to change your outlook on things instead of as a negative. In “The Alchemist,” he seems to boast about his life of fame and riches, but the song ends off much differently. A quiet voice comes on and sings, “My feet don’t touch the ground, don’t try to shoot me down, I’m only a human, It is my first go ‘round in this thing.” This verse is meant to go against the negative backlash many celebrities receive simply for being celebrities just for being better off than others. The contrast of his loud, boastful voice and the quiet, weak sound at the end perfectly demonstrate this.

Overall, “Let’s Start Here.” is a great album that signifies a positive change for rap music to change and be more adventurous in the future. This album is a good listen for anyone that is interested in psychedelic rock or alternative music, or anyone that likes rap music and is hoping to expand their horizons.