Lil Yachty has responded to the pushback he’s gotten in the wake of comments he made about wanting to shake off his “mumble rapper” label.
Lil Boat held a listening party for his latest album — the psychedelic rock-infused Let’s Start Here — in New York last week, where he explained the project was made to change the narrative around how he’s viewed in the music community and give him more credibility as an artist.
“This album is so special and dear to me,” he said. “I think I created it just because I really wanted to be taken serious as an artist, you know? Not just some SoundCloud rapper, not some mumble rapper, not some guy that just made one hit.”
He added: “I wanted to be really taken serious because music is, like, everything to me. I respect all walks of music, not just rap and Hip Hop. Everything. So I think I wanted to make something to show the world just how great it was to me.”
Some fans took issue with Yachty’s comments, with one writing on Twitter: “I hate how rappers don’t even respect rap as an artform. Why does ‘I want to be considered an artist’ always follow with them making some shit from another genre.”
Yachty took a moment to reply to the fan in a since-deleted tweet over the weekend, clarifying that he meant no disrespect toward Hip Hop as an artform.
“It’s not about respecting rap, it’s about being respected as more than a rapper,” he wrote. “I create music in more than just that lane.”
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Despite this setback, Lil Yachty’s latest LP is getting a ton of praise from his musical peers. Questlove took to Instagram after its release on Friday (January 27) to heap high praise on Let’s Start Here, saying it has made him “hyped about music’s future.”
“I had to let 24 hours go by just so I could process this,” The Roots’ drummer began. “Then I hesitated cause I didn’t wanna use hyperbole to naturally give the trolls ammo to hate it or to further evidence sort why my co-signs are whack.”
He continued: “I dunno man: after about 3 listens (and I thought I’d NEVER say this—-& not because ‘I didn’t expect this from Lil Yachty’——but just in general I didn’t expect this from MUSIC).
“How should I put it? I really really really really love this @lilyachty record and I love when artists pull off a good departure record (departure albums are when musicians pull a COMPLETE creative left turn. Most times as a career sabotage of feeling doomed to not be able to live up to a standard they set.)”
Let’s Start Here serves as Lil Boat’s first studio project since 2020’s Lil Boat 3 and follows his 2021 mixtape Michigan Boat Boy.