The Lil Boat has come a long way since shaking up hip hop with his carefree brand of ‘jingle bell rap’
Atlanta has a new hero in the youthful, exuberant and charismatic rapper Lil Yachty. Not since Andre 3000 has an artist from the Dirty South capital transcended rap and pop culture so effortlessly, pinballing between both with such ease.
A true figurehead for the carefree, statement-making youth of today, Lil Boat’s self-described ‘jingle bell rap’ has garnered tens of millions of YouTube views and sold out shows. Packed with relentless, playful positivity, the red-braided rapper has earned the respect of his peers (despite early criticism of his easygoing style), stealing the show on tracks with the likes of Chance the Rapper, Charli XCX and D.R.A.M.
“I just want to be on every lane. Pop, EDM – I want to be genre-friendly,” Yachty told Dazed in 2016. “Do a song with Madonna, then do a song with Taylor Swift, then I’ll do a song with Lil Wayne – just cross (them) all over.” The wide scope of his artistry is evident in his work: his debut mixtape, Lil Boat, and follow-up Summer Songs 2 experimented with a multitude of genres, excelling in precisely the sort of areas where other rappers fear to tread. With plans to release his debut album in 2017, expect Yachty’s positive rhymes to trump the critical downpour.