Learning from your mistakes is something a quality underrated in music that I find quite commendable.
Earlier this year, I reviewed Yachty’s sophomore album “Lil Boat 2”, which marked his return to the musical landscape after “Teenage Emotions,” his disastrous debut. I praised Yachty for returning to his mixtape form in some aspects, but mentioned that the consistency of the project and the overall riskless production and delivery left a lot to be desired.
I gave it a 3/5 - a touch above average in my book. I waited to see if his next project saw him climbing back to his “Broccoli”-esque heights, or if it found him resorting back to “Emotions” level drab-trappery.
I’m happy to say it’s the former… mostly. Yachty may have thought that he had “Nuthin’ 2 Prove,” but in reality that wasn’t the case whatsoever. Luckily, the album’s successes outweigh its flaws, slightly.
After two years of seemingly forgetting how to make a hit, I’m happy to say that Yachty has re-learned the craft. There are numerous radio-made potential hits on this album, and in the era of singles > albums, that means everything. In the admittedly-weaker first half of the project, it’s the Juice WRLD-assisted “Yacht Club” that I didn’t see coming at all. Harpsichords and trap? It’s something I never expected, but it’s honestly superb. In addition to the phenomenal instrumental and catchy back-and-forths from Yachty and Juice, there are a bevy of hilarious lines in “Yacht,” some of which are unprintable. (Actually, all of them are. Give it a listen, you’ll know what they are.)
The latter half of the album signals Yachty’s long-awaited return to the catchy crooning that made America fall in love with him in the first place. “Worth It” is basically One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful” if it was an R-rated trap ballad, and I’m here for it. Kevin Gates delivers a sensational guest verse over a drifting trap instrumental on “Nolia,” with Yachty proving that he can consistently deliver hooks like Floyd Mayweather.
Oh yeah, one more thing: Cover art of the year. Hang it in the Louvre.
Unfortunately, there are a number of problems that keep this album in the “good” category, at least for me. In numerous tracks on here, mostly in the first half, Lil Yachty shows that he refuses to learn from his past trap transgressions (traps-gressions?). “We Outta Here!” is a horrendously abrasive yet somehow boring track with a straight up weird whispered verse stuck in the middle of it. Leave rap whispering to the Ying Yang Twins and no one else, please. The following track, “Who Want the Smoke?” is a complete misfire from not only Yachty but his two featured guests, Cardi B and Offset. Offset’s verse is okay, but it doesn’t save Cardi’s tired flow and Yachty’s simply lazy chorus. If Cardi and Offset’s marriage falls apart, this song honestly might be to blame.
It’s not perfect - or even close - but “Nuthin’ 2 Prove” shows that Yachty is here to stay in the increasingly saturated trap world. As long as he keeps dropping above-average projects, he is bound to outlast his copycats year after year. All he needs is a bit more quality control and he might have a “Lil Boat”-level classic on his hands. Just not yet.
Daniel Cohn is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.