Let’s Start Here.

Let’s Start Here.

The first song on Lil Yachty’s Let’s Start Here. is nearly seven minutes long and features breathy singing from Yachty, a freewheeling guitar solo, and a mostly instrumental second half that calls to mind TV depictions of astral projecting. “the BLACK seminole.” is an extremely fulfilling listen, but is this the same guy who just a few months earlier delivered the beautifully off-kilter and instantly viral “Poland”? Better yet, is this the guy who not long before that embedded himself with Detroit hip-hop culture to the point of a soft rebrand as Michigan Boy Boat? Sure is. It’s just that, as he puts it on “the BLACK seminole.,” he’s got “No time to joke around/The kid is now a man/And the silence is filled with remarkable sounds.” We could call the silence he’s referring to the years since his last studio album, 2020’s Lil Boat 3, but he’s only been slightly less visible than we’re used to, having released the aforementioned Michigan Boy Boat mixtape while also lending his discerning production ear to Drake and 21 Savage’s ground-shaking album Her Loss. Collaboration, though, is the name of the game across Let’s Start Here., an album deeply indebted to some as yet undisclosed psych-rock influences, with repeated production contributions from onetime blog-rock darlings Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson and Patrick Wimberly, as well as multiple appearances from Diana Gordon, a Queens, New York-hailing singer who made a noise during the earliest parts of her career as Wynter Gordon. Also present are R&B singer Fousheé and Beaumont, Texas, rap weirdo Teezo Touchdown, though rapping is infrequent. In fact, none of what Yachty presents here—which includes dalliances with Parliament-indebted acid funk (“running out of time”), ’80s synthwave (“sAy sOMETHINg,” “paint THE sky”), disco (“drive ME crazy!”), symphonic prog rock (“REACH THE SUNSHINE.”), and a heady monologue called “:(failure(:”—is in any way reflective of any of Yachty’s previous output. Which begs the question, where did all of this come from? You needn’t worry about that, says Yachty on the “the ride-,” singing sternly: “Don’t ask no questions on the ride.”

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