Review: The King of Teens releases ‘Lil Boat 2,’ wants fans to ‘turn up’ to new album

The official cover art for Lil Yachty's second studio album, "Lil Boat 2." The album was released on Mar. 9, 2018. Image source: Lil Yachty's Official Instagram..

With all of these up-and-coming rappers with ‘Lil’ in front of their names, it can be hard to keep track of who’s who — especially since their music sounds considerably similar unless you listen close enough. However, if you have to know any of them, it should be Lil Yachty — the self proclaimed “King of the Teens.”

Even though the Atlanta-born rapper is now 20 years old, he still considers himself an advocate for the youth population, specifically focusing on teens. Yachty claimed in an interview with Hot 97 Radio that the lack of popularity surrounding his first album “Teenage Emotions was due to the fact that he “jumped out and went too poppy, too soon.” He knew on his second album “Lil Boat 2″ that he was going to have to come back stronger to give the kids what they want to hear.

“Lil Boat 2” is a rap-heavy album that Yachty intends for his fans to “turn up to” with their friends at music festivals. Listening to this album, it’s hard to figure out who Lil Yachty is because he’s not telling a story with his music. Instead, he’s rapping about what young people want to hear today — being rich, jewelry, cars and girls. 

And to be honest, I don’t mind. On the fifth track of the album, “COUNT ME IN,” Yachty raps, “Yeah, you can count me in…Hitting up the stores, you can count me in. Rolling in a Rolls, you can count me in.” I can’t relate, but I’m here for it. 

This album differs from others because of the fact that it has such a large amount of features on it. Out of the 17 songs that are on “Lil Boat 2,” only seven of them are performed by Yachty alone. Initially, I didn’t like this because I thought it demonstrated that Yachty didn’t feel confident in his ability to make solo music that his fans will enjoy. But once again, after actually listening to the album, I didn’t mind. In fact, it turned out that the songs with features ended up being better than the others. 

On the second track of the album, “BOOM!,” Yachty has “Water” rapper Ugly God come in, and he completely transforms it from a generic rap song to a generic rap song with a little oomph to it due to his autotune-filled verse. A little autotune really does go a long way.

Up-and-coming Louisiana rapper YoungBoy Never Broke Again comes in for the assist on “NBAYOUNGBOAT,” where he and Yachty talk about their lavish lifestyles and “trap life” to create arguably the best song on the album. Yachty closes the album with a more calming tune on his collaboration with rapper Trippie Redd titled “66,” In the song, they promise to keep “flexing” as they grow older — glad we can count on them for that.

Surprisingly enough, not all the songs on the album are about such superficial topics. On the feel-good song of the album, “She Ready,” featuring singer PnB Rock, the artists share lyrics about whether or not their new girlfriends are ready to start their lifestyles of being with famous, wealthy rappers over a cheerful beat.

Track number eight, “love me forever,” is Yachty’s only love song on his sophomore album. The young artist sings “Love me today, love me forever, ride with me bae, ride it forever,” asking his girl to stay with him through all the ups and downs of their relationship. How refreshing is it to see him showing a sense of vulnerability that it not common in the rap community these days?

With all of its glory, of course “Lil Boat 2” did have some shortcomings. Some of the songs on the album honestly made me question where Yachty was going with them and why he ultimately decided to release them. Tracks such as “POP OUT,” “FWM” and “WHOLE lotta GUAP” didn’t make it to my playlist because I just couldn’t get into them. Of course, all the other bangers on the album make up for these Ls 

With this being only his second album of his career, Yachty still has a lot more to achieve. I was impressed with the change of personality between “Teenage Emotions” and “Lil Boat 2” and am excited to see what the rapper comes up with in the future.

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Lil Yachty is an Atlanta-born rapper who first gained public recognition with his single “One Night” in 2016. “Lil Boat 2” is Lil Yachty’s second studio album. It was released in 2018 by Quality Control Music, Motown and Capitol Records.