When Lil Yachty unveiled the artwork for his debut studio offering Teenage Emotions (out May 26), it elicited criticism and praise alike for his demonstration of inclusion. On Tuesday (May 16), Yachty posted a video on Instagram explaining the buzzy album cover.
Seated in the midst of a gay couple kissing, a female with vitiligo and teenagers of other ethnicities is an ebullient Yachty on the album’s artwork. “I wanted to have all these aspects of teenage life…so I thought about all the things I saw in high school for the first time, that I had never experienced before,” he says in the clip. “I have never seen two guys kissing until high school.
“I’ve never seen albino kids until high school, I’ve never seen emo kids until high school,” he continued.
When Teenage Emotions cover art designer Mihailo Andic sat down to discuss the meaning behind the artwork with XXL earlier this year, the artist said that out of all the ideas he and Yachty brainstormed, he “knew this one was gonna make an impact” given the message it projected. “He’s pretty much the king of teens and he just wanted to show no matter who you are, you have to embrace who you are and you have to be be proud and be yourself, and I think that’s what we captured with this cover.”