Lil Yachty’s debut album, Teenage Emotions (released Friday) covers a wide range of feelings. A fervent opponent of what some critics may deem “true” hip-hop, the red-haired Atlanta rapper brings joviality and lighthearted fun to a genre known for being rough and aggressive. As a result of his infectiously positive personality, he’s gained a myriad of adoring fans from all around the Internet.
On the lengthy LP (21 tracks in all), there’s a mishmash of values, ideas and life mantras. In tracks like the Migos-assisted “Peek A Boo” and “X Men” with Evander Griiim, Yachty often trades his positive, happy-go-lucky style for a wildly vulgar side thanks to his Lil Boat alter ego. Elsewhere, Yachty takes a dip into the pool of vulnerability. He brings up his humble beginnings, where he was still trying to figure out who he was, and offers his major keys — family, real friendships and romantic love — to leading a great life.
Check out some of Yachty’s most personal lyrics from Teenage Emotions below:
“I remember TBT, used to have the CDG, sh-t was hella flee/ Back when all my thoughts were accurate, an Acura tryna chase a bill/ Now I focus hard on closing deals, so that when I sign a deal I gross a hundred mil”
On the second cut of of his debut LP (produced by DigitalNas), the young spitter reminisces about his personal glo-up. Before he became the rapper we know today, Yachty says he was rocking fake designer clothes, acting like he was special, while muddying his brain with thoughts of self-doubt. Now, he’s making sure he’s taking all the proper steps to remain successful.
“I can’t front like I didn’t come from my county/ I know where I’m from, I’m my daddy’s son, I never switched up one time”
A few of Yachty’s lyrics in “Dirty Mouth” explain how people began treating him differently as soon as he became a hip-hop star. However, he assures listeners that he’s still the same kid from Mabelton, Georgia, and that nothing is steering him in the wrong direction.
“All Around Me” (Feat. YG And Kamaiyah)
“They tryna down me/ But I don’t give a f–k ’cause if my homies eatin’, I’ll always be straight/ They tryna clown me/ But I got blinders on and I see nothin’ but the money in my face/ Look all around me/ The homies good and the home girls better, so it’s time for a toast”
“I made it far so I’m thankin’ God,” Yachty proclaims on “All Around Me.” On this track’s chorus, he repeats that no matter who tries to bring him down, he’s blocking the negativity and taking care of his squad.
“All You Had To Say”
“I done lived my life long enough to know, everybody not as real as they say/ Miscellaneous occasions where I needed you as back up/ To pick me back up after the world started to act up/ If you wasn’t really there for me after all these years that’s all you had to say/ That’s all I needed you to say”
On one of the more personal songs on Teenage Emotions, “All You Had To Say” tackles the theme of fake friends. According to Yachty, if you weren’t supporting him since Day 1, chances are he’s not f–king with you now.
“Better” (Feat. Stefflon Don)
“Everything in life could always be better/ Don’t settle for less ’cause then you miss out on more/ Everything in life won’t always be pleasure/ You work for the treasure just to live even more”
On the Caribbean-influenced “Better,” Yachty and the U.K. musician muse about how hard work and dedication can make for a stress-free life.
“If I break your heart then I’m a dumb dude, you get what you give and I’m the one who loses/ But we could be together forever and ever…Together, Forever young, Forever young, We forever young”
The song’s theme circles around Yachty wanting to be with that special someone for the rest of his life. They want to remain “forever young” and in love. For them, it’s not “puppy love” but the real thing.
“Made Of Glass”
“I keep cutting off girls ’cause I wanna be with you, but you don’t even see me/ Am I made up of glass? You don’t even see me here/ I do a million things for your attention and you don’t even notice, no”
“I’m losing my mind, I’m losing myself,” sings an auto-tuned Yachty over the melodic Rio and Free School-produced beat. This song deals with unrequited love. Whether you’re a teenager or an adult, any one can relate to this heart-wrenching feeling.
“Bring It Back”
“But you were happier with me/ All them times at the beach/ All the sand in your toes/ All your friends, hatin’ hoes/ They just mad ’cause we be goals”
Of course, not all relationships last. In “Bring It Back,” produced by Free School, Yachty yearns for better days with his significant other. The chorus also finds Yachty craving her return: “You need to bring it back to my life, girl/ Please bring back your loving.”
“Running With A Ghost” (Feat. Grace)
“You’re done for me, you used to keep Lil Boat company, I used to put no one over you … I saw your silhouette under all of the noise, I think I’m losing it inside these empty walls/ I thought I heard your voice, I thought I felt your touch/ Well I was running with the ghost”
This song deals with the feeling of longing as Boat reminisces on a lost lover. His “Honor” collaborator Grace adds her soulful vocals to the hook.
“There’s no question I’m doing anything for my momma/ She had one son but she treat my best friend like he come under her too”
Nothing gets more personal than Yachty dedicating the album’s last cut to his number one woman. Imploring listeners to think about their own mothers, he gushes about the “smartest girl” he knows: “She used to work hard for us/ Now I break my back for her.” If that wasn’t enough to give you the feels, Yachty’s mom also says a few words about her first-born son in the song’s outro. “I love you more than life itself, I love you more than the air I breathe,” she says. “You’ve given me more than any man has ever given me.”