Review: Lil Yachty artfully transforms his sound in ‘Lets Start Here.’


Demented business executives with contorted faces and high spirits sit alongside one another on Lil Yachty’s AI-generated album cover. The album was released on Jan. 27 and expands beyond classic rap to explore rock tones. Photo Source: Image from Official Lil Yachty Site.

By Zoe Gazzuolo, Staff Reporter

Disclaimer: “Let’s Start Here.” is an album that may not be appropriate for younger audiences, as it includes explicit language, references to drugs and sexual themes.

“Imma show y’all what y’all can’t do,” Lil Yachty said before premiering his latest album at its listening party Jan. 26. He then demonstrated exactly what he meant and proved himself right over the course of the release.

Consisting of 14 songs that showcase growth and evolution in his career, “Let’s Start Here.” reinvents Lil Yachty’s historically playful and light-hearted pop-infused rap music: smooth, serene vocals, experimental sounds and sudden beat drops all take the stage and flow seamlessly to take fans on a new ride. The unexpectedness and drastic change in style has led the album to gain a great deal of attraction, predominantly of praise and support. The trippy rock ‘n roll album was released Jan. 27 and explores love, lust, failure and success, with overarching themes of maturation and the inner mind. 

“It’s alternative, it’s sick! I’ve always wanted to [make an alternative album], and now I’ve met all these amazing musicians and producers,” Yachty said in an interview conducted by Icebox jewelers a year prior to the album’s release. “It’s a psychedelic-alternative project. It’s different, and it’s all live instrumentation. I’ve changed my entire dynamic. With this album and on, I’m creating music a whole lot differently.”

The album begins with “the BLACK seminole.,” a personal favorite of mine, where mesmerizing, reverb-heavy vocals combines with electric guitar sounds to make it abundantly apparent this album is like nothing Yachty has created before. In this song, he likens himself to Afro-Seminoles, a group of enslaved people that escaped and united with the Native Seminole tribe in Florida, known for their bravery while fighting in the three Seminole Wars. Yachty forces listeners to come to their own interpretation of the song with somewhat ambiguous lyrics; in my mind, he implies that he too is a strong warrior at heart and breaking free of social constructs. 

Other noteworthy songs include “the ride-,” “drive ME crazy!,” “pRETTy” and “sHouLd i B.” Yachty incorporates a dreamy quality into all four tracks, though the instrumental vibes range from bubbly, to contemplative to regretful. This theme of reflection is emphasized in “the ride-,” when he says, “All of the things I once enjoyed / doesn’t bring joy / It just brings noise.”

The album features eclectic, emerging artists such as Daniel Caesar, Diana Gordon, Fousheé, Teezo Touchdown and even a sample of famous American painter Bob Ross. Yachty skillfully plays to each artists’ strengths to create a soulful, impactful album, with serene vocals that bring a sense of weightlessness.

Yachty touches on a variety of topics across the album, telling introspective stories of love and relationships, successes, failures and his rise to the top. He reflects on everything in the album’s only interlude, “:(failure:),” and offers his advice that applies to it all when he says, “Failure doesn’t mean defeat, more so, try again, s***, try even harder.” 

Although I appreciate the minimal lyrics and admire Yachty’s ability to skillfully express and convey emotion, the lyrics sometimes stay at a surface level and lack depth. While the ideas presented are definitely intriguing, they can be repetitive or underdeveloped at times.

Regardless, this album holds many moments of greatness that solidify Lil Yachty as a strong and versatile artist in my mind. I look forward to listening to his future projects, whether he continues down this path as indicated by the album’s title, returns back to his previous sound, or, perhaps, takes on another genre of music completely.

  • Sound Quality
  • Lyrics
  • Enjoyment
  • Impact


Lil Yachty’s “Let’s Start Here” album explores topics such as love and fame, all which connect back to the inner self and subconscious. Yachty creates a new beginning for himself as a musician, completely transforming his usual, lively rap into an alternative rock album.