Offset's "Truck Loads"
Offset may not be as visible a star as Quavo, but "Truck Loads" proves he has both the melodic and technical chops to hold his own as a solo artist. Yachty ends up being the perfect contrast to his style, adding some falsetto siren sounds to the hook before coming trough with an emotional 16. It's not all that often that Yachty gets on dark production, but it's crazy how much the sound of the beat he's on influences the tone of his lyrics. Usually one to opt for Rainbow Road-like instrumentals, the slow crawl of "Truck Loads" adds a vulnerable quality to Boat's verse.
Top 5 Lil Yachty Guest Verses Of 2016 (So Far)
Offset's "Truck Loads"
Post Malone's "Monte"
Lil Yachty's unique style pretty much guarantees he'll add a completely new element to a song with his presence. Such is very much the case on "Monte," the mid-tempo deep cut on Post Malone's August 26th mixtape. While Post opts for a raspy, rock-influenced vocal, Yachty enters as if he didn't hear anything that came before him, carving out his own melodies, and slowly building his energy throughout his 16, interspersing his streams of auto-tune with punchy ad-libs. When he leaves you'll probably miss him.
CARNAGE's "Mase In '97"
Listening to Lil Yachty's left-field mixtape material, you wouldn't readily assume he'd sound this comfortable on a blistering EDM beat. Carnage's "Mase In 97," while a far cry from the title's suggestion, is some of Yachty's most focused bar-for-bar rapping, as he parades a never-ending triplet flow that competes with the bludgeoning rhythm of the beat. If you're someone who has a hard time with the lack of traditional 'skill' in Boat's raps, this could be a good entry point for you. Then again, it's still as colorful and chaotic as it gets.
"Broccoli" is without a doubt the biggest hit Yachty has been a part of so far. While Yachty's solo track "1 Night" has hit 52 on the Billboard Hot 100, the rapper's DRAM collab is currently sitting at number five, and Lil Boat deserves a fair amount of credit for its success. Opening the bouncy piano-led track, Yachty is at his goofy best here, somehow selling a Columbine punchline as harmless good fun alongside bars about sunshine and Bahamas-vacationing. Obviously, more than the lyrics, it's about the mood and the melody. It's hard for anyone to give an artist as unique as DRAM a proper handoff, but Yachty proves two over-the-top personalities are better than one before sailing off into the sunset.
Chance The Rapper's "Mixtape"
Chance The Rapper himself had to admit that Lil Yachty had the best guest verse on his entire Coloring Book mixtape, which given both the number and quality of the features on the project is a big statement.
I think yachty has my favorite verse— Lil Chano From 79th (@chancetherapper) May 13, 2016
The track is a celebration of the "mixtape" concept, released just as the format is beginning to be a less obvious medium for putting out music. Young Thug and Lil Yachty have both dropped mixtapes over the last year (though, like Coloring Book, they weren't always released as a free download), and serve as the moment for Chance to embrace the Atlanta trap scene. Boat has the final verse, and it's a lot darker and more emotionally-charged than the rest of the song, as Yachty establishes the mood with his first wail.
"Growing up I ain't have my brother / 'Cause he said the streets gave him a fresh start / I ain't know what that mean / I bumped heads with my dean / Dropped out and hit the scene / Now I'm stunting like bling," he raps, musing on his decision to drop out of school, and the dark street life he was able to avoid. Lil Boat's jarring style may still scare away traditionalists, but it's hard to deny the heart and soul he puts into his music.
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Some of Yachty's best moments have come as a featured artist.
Lil Yachty has had a huge year, and while one can't overlook the following he's built off of mixtapes like Lil Boat and Summer Songs 2, some of his most prominent moments have been on other artist's songs. As we speak, DRAM's "Broccoli" is sitting at number 5 on the Billboard Hot 100, making it not only Yachty's biggest hit, but one of the biggest rap songs of 2016.
While he's had many great guest features, we've selected five that stood out to us. These songs alone show a few dimensions of the rapper, seeing him at his most playful, his most vulnerable, and his most ferocious. Click through the galleries to see our picks, and let us know your personal favorites in the comments below.