Yeat - "AfterLyfe" Album Review

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2022 Summer Smash Festival
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - JUNE 19: Yeat performs during the Summer Smash Festival at Douglass Park on June 19, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Barry Brecheisen/WireImage)

Yeat's oddball cloud rap isn't engaging enough to justify the 1-hour runtime, but is undeniably exhilarating in small doses on 'Afterlyfe."

Yeat has been on a creative rager since blowing up onto the scene. The mystifying MC first blew up in 2021 with eccentric vocals and a sound that blended the trap/electronic genres. Tracks such as "Sorry About That" began populating millions of videos on TikTok. Similar to fellow cloud-rappers, he got his start releasing various mixtapes on Soundcloud. Now an established trendsetter and Internet personality, he's been a hot topic of debate throughout the hip-hop scene. Since then, Yeat has been on a mission to prove that here's here to stay. 'AfterLyfe' is his sixth full-length record, and potentially his first of multiple projects to populate 2023.

Is Yeat a trend-setter building on the cloud-punk blend of trap that Playboi Carti pioneered? Is he just another derivative rapper who became famous off of sheer appeal rather than quality of music? In many ways, 'AfterLyfe' proves both of these perspectives correct. Featuring 22 tracks, it's a marathon of a listen with unpredictable highs and lows. The likes of "Back Up" and "Heavyweight" employ Yeat's oh-so-familiar distorted 808s and electronic hooks. Are they fun on one listen with a few beers in your system? Sure. However, they lack the potency of his past bangers such as "Turban."

'AfterLyfe' Is Different From Anything He's Done Before

'AfterLyfe' is certainly not a copy and paste of previous projects. Yeat toys with even more ridiculous ab-libs and vocal patterns. Purposefully off-beat, he's able to keep the audience guessing on what tone or pattern he'll employ next. Take the electric "Woa," where Yeat seamlessly flows from low to high pitching amidst a heavy beat. He attempts to make up for the distinct lack of features by ushering in his alter-personas "Kranky Kranky" and "Luh Geeky" on tracks such as "Rav3 p4rty" and "Now." However, YNBA (NBA Youngboy) is the one exception to this. On "Shmunk," a warped bop, he delivers a much-needed alternative voice.

Dancehall beats and melodic acoustic strings also ease their way into the production. Take "Nun id change," a groovy blend of dance and hip-hop that almost sounds as if it would've fit on Drake's 'Honestly, Nevermind.' "Back home" is driven by acoustic strings and smooth 808s, shooting more of a traditional trap sound. Emotive closer "Myself" is yet another guitar-driven cut. Melodic and introspective, Yeat celebrates his come-up into the scene with lines such as "Got all these racks, I did it."

Yeat Shares His Vulnerabilities

While "AfterLyfe" mirrors other records regarding its constant flexing, he's vulnerable about his shortcomings that continue to put a stain on his life. Whether it be his reclusiveness or drug-related issues, he particularly addresses this to open and close the album. On "No More Talk," he states "I'm working on dying, ridin' with my demons, they my deadliest friends." He continues to reference these "demons" (and Satan specifically) throughout the record, which one can assume is a metaphor for impotent drug-use. To end the record, he states "I been druggin', these days I'm in my hell" and "You don't know what I feel / I don't know how to feel." 'AfterLyfe' makes it clear that he continues to fight the same demons that he was when he first began his career.

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - JUNE 19: Yeat performs during the Summer Smash Festival at Douglass Park on June 19, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Barry Brecheisen/WireImage)

Running at 22 tracks, 'AfterLyfe' is certainly a fatiguing record that loses steam over the latter half. However, this has been a running theme throughout his discography. Fans pick and choose from a handful of tracks that land with them. It's a strategy that fits well into Internet culture; fleeting, fun, and with plenty of options. 'AfterLyfe' is no different. The record is a wild combination of bangers that range from redundant to flat-out fun. Additionally, Yeat mixes in new stylistic tropes, from more traditional trap structures to melodic, acoustic songs. While he's not always able to stick the landing, the attempt is admirable in a record that continues to define Yeat as a musical force.

What did you think of 'AfterLyfe'?

If you've already listened to 'Afterlyfe,' what are your takes on the project? Has he taken a step back by going for less of a banger-heavy record, or are the occasional switch-ups in sound refreshing? Let us know your feelings in the comments section below.

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