Victor Vazquez, aka KOOL A.D., is a rapper/singer/producer/painter/ novelist/astrologist/male model/exotic dancer just trying to be free and live his life in a big beautiful world governed by brutal, soulless men enslaved by their own toxic ideologies.
Sup, y’all, it’s your boy KOOL A.D., professional rapper/musician/male model/novelist/painter/philosopher/former astrologer/occasional sportswriter and, of course, music critic. Today I’m going to listen to Lil Yachty’s new album, Teenage Emotions, and transcribe my thoughts while I do that.
First, some context. If you don’t know Yachty, I feel like the one fact that I heard repeated the most about dude during his rise to fame is that he can’t name five songs by Biggie or Pac. A lot of “old school heads” thought this was unconscionable. I never really “publicly weighed in” on the subject at the time, because I was mostly like “who cares,” but seeing how I’m getting paid to talk about bruh right now, I’ll say this: who cares. Now, I’m a big fan of both Pac and Biggie, but this dude Yachty, from what I’ve surmised, seems to basically make mostly pop R&B joints, so that seems to me like not far off from like getting mad at say, Adele, for not knowing Biggie and Pac. Also, both Pac and Biggie died before this dude was born, so you mad at a 19-year-old for not going through his parents’ CD collection? Seems wild arbitrary. I don’t get it.
Anyway, this isn’t about the “politics,” this is about the music, so let’s get to that.
“Like a Star”
Well, off top, bruh got a pretty falsetto. He doesn’t drink beer, but he does fuck hoes—that’s kind of an interesting opening statement. He wants to be famous like Drake or something; that’s the point of this song. The beat’s hella clean, real dreamy stuff, real Beneath the Underdog vibes, wavy stuff, super groovy, kinda maple syrup vibes, beachy…Young Thug-esque, kinda pop punk, kinda emo. I just looked Yachty up on the internet, and it said that he describes himself as “bubblegum trap.” That’s hella accurate.
Thuggy, druggy, slick li’l new flows, saucy, hella dirty, quite funky indeed, hard bars, cold-hearted player pimpologies, bruh can rap actually, hecka flowy, mean stuff, Soulja Boyish (but I mean that as a compliment).
“Peek A Boo”
Drilly, mannish, feel like I might dance around like I’m galloping on a horse to this joint if I was thizzed at the lituation. Feel like trappin’ out a Mongolian yurt when I hear this. Trippy stuff.
Bruh is wild “of the moment.” This has a real 2017 vibe, the styles is dense mane, this music sounds like a Rubix Cube made out of cotton candy, barking like a rock wilder.
Feels like what they might be playing in a Jamaican Hot Topic. This is what it feels like when you’re wandering around a carnival off molly—feel like I just won a giant pink stuffed teddy bear for sinking three ping pong balls into some milk bottles, smurl meh. Feel like bray bray stepped his production game up since the Lil Boat tape, or maybe even just his mix game.
“All Around Me”
I respect these cameo choices, he keep it real west sider rider. Real swimming pool music. Feel like I’m eating brunch in Vegas. This dude is like if the beat for that ODB song “Pop Shit” came to life and got short red Kool-Aid braids and got arrested for credit card fraud. You know who the real perpetrators of credit fraud are though? The credit card companies! Stay woke!
“Say My Name”
This dude is like a harijuku’ed out the Ramones living inside a haunted pinball machine. He seems to be pretty interested in having sex. Thaswasup. Universal theme, very relatable.
“All You Had to Say”
Wild victorious, he be getting loose with them melodies, bruh got some pipes on him pause. Like that li’l halftime switch-up midway thru. Hella Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness vibes. Feel like this is what a professional wrestler listens to when he gets his heart broken.
Vibey li’l island jam, hecka irie, sorta “Wyclef Jean” vibes—the Thugger song, not the dude. Naw, but actually also the dude too. I feel like I would hear some DJ mix this with Enrique Iglesias at a cabana party in Istanbul. I can imagine hell of annoying acoustic covers of this joint. These lyrics are so dumb, it’s lit. Real KOOL A.D. vibes.
We’re deep in the “pop stretch” of the album. This is real slick pop, man, rhythm and blues, as they say. Studied; executed with military precision, while still maintaining a loose and free energy.
“Lady in Yellow”
Wow, he really brought it back to that Zapp & Roger vocoder funk, but then slathered that like a funky li’l Nutella over a dreamy li’l ethereal club booper. This one go hard.
“Moments in Time”
Whoa—bruh got hits, haha, real slappers. Real underwater video game vibes. The whole album flow together too, hella thorough, complete.
Nice li’l interlude, more of that sideways sweet pop funk. Funky stuff. Groovy.
I like this Yachty kid. He got heart. He can go hard when he want to.
“Bring It Back”
This dude is a maniac, haha. This is like Depeche Mode trying to do reggae, but in a good way.
“Running With a Ghost”
Classic new school white-girl-singing-the-hook-track trope. She can sing, tho.
“FYI (Know Now)”
The dude’s consistent, I’ll give him that. Dreamy stuff. Like, precision dreamy. I feel like this music was made in a lab coat with a clipboard.
This joint is like if Elon Musk built a robot clone of Too Short and now he’s walking around, going to the club and stuff, trying to understand human feelings.
I like the li’l strains of melancholy in this one. Toes the line been R&B and emo. Beat clean, too.
“Made of Glass”
Whoa, the emo continues. This is the most earnest and vulnerable moment of the album so far. Oh, I see, ’cause the album’s almost done.
Sweet li’l end to a sweet li’l debut album. Real positive shit. You know what else is a great song about mothers? “Dear Mama” by 2Pac.
In conclusion: I see very little reason to hate on this dude. He’s a real musical guy, a beach boy, a happy dude, he be doing his thing, he throw in all the li’l styles of today, li’l bitta Rae Sremmurd, Fetty Wap, Migos, and Gucci flows, he hits all the pop buttons, raps when he wants to, I’d wish him luck but he doesn’t need it. He’s going places man, he’s already been places, he’s in places, he did it, he’s doing it. He’s no Pac or Biggie, but he do his thing.