5 Months In : How Lil Yachty Has Been Winning 2016

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On OVO Sound Radio Episode 13, near the end of Oliver El-Khatib’s opening set, he decided to play an unknown Soundcloud artist named Lil Yachty and the song that he played by this artist was called, “Minnesota.”

Now OVO Sound Radio is a really big deal.

Any song that is played that isn’t already known is considered a co-sign. If you’re an unknown artist, it’s essentially a signal that shows that OVO people mess with your music. OVO being the label that Drake is on and Drake is as big as you can possible get. So being played on OVO Sound Radio is lit.

And this may have only been the 13th edition of OVO Sound Radio, but this isn’t a television show that has a huge following in the first episode of season one and slowly fads  by the 13th episode, this is Drake’s radio show. Every episode matters.

It matters because this radio show gives us listeners a chance to see what songs are being played inside the OVO Camp and when an unknown artist is played, this becomes incredibly interesting and for the artist that’s unknown, this becomes a huge co-sign.

And for 18-year-old rapper Lil Yachty, OVO Sound Radio Episode 13 marked the first time a lot people had heard about him, me included, but it wouldn’t be the last people would be hearing or seeing him.

Because the month right after, in February, Lil Yachty was a model for Kanye West’s Yeezy Season 3 collection at Madison Square Garden. Yachty really went from a Drake co-sign to a Kanye West co-sign in back to back months.


Lil Yachty is in the red


And a month after being a model for Kanye West, In March, out of nowhere, Yachty dropped his first official tape called, “Lil Boat.”  Now at this time, I didn’t really like his song “Minnesota” but I did like his song “1 Night.” After I heard about him on OVO Sound Radio, I checked out his other music and eventually heard “1 Night.” This song felt like he was more than a Soundcloud artist, but I was still highly skeptical of his music.

But as fate would have it, I played his “Lil Boat” tape and It turned out to be actually amazing. In one of his songs called, “Run/Running” he’s rapping over a Super Mario 64 instrumental. And you would think it would sound terrible, but it’s one of my standout songs on the tape.

And you’re probably wondering, alright, he has the Drake co-sign, the Kanye co-sign, what’s special about this tape? Well, let’s put it this way, his tape dropped in March, it’s now May and 12 songs out of the 14 songs on the tape already have more than 1 million plays. You can see it below for yourself.


12 songs out of the 14 songs on the tape already have 1 million plays and more. Yachty went from an unknown Soundcloud artist to a  bonafide star doing star numbers. And in the same month, he would connect again with Kanye West in his studio with Migos, Big Sean and Vic Mensa. All of this in the first 3 months of 2016, which is crazy because before 2016, nobody knew him and he was nowhere near these artists.

And March was still amazing to Lil Yachty. As the month was nearing its end, Young Thug announced his HiTunes tour and  Yachty was named opening act. Considering Thugger is in Yachty’s debut tape, this really isn’t shocking and If you paid really great attention, you’d notice Thugger was sitting right by Yachty as a model for Yeezy Season 3, but still.

Being on a tour with Young Thug is incredible for Yachty and the tour dates are from May 1st and the 26th, which would give him another milestone month, but before this happened, Yachty somehow ended up on CNN in April!

Let’s just quickly put this into perspective.

  • January (OVO Sound Radio)
  • February (Yeezy Season 3)
  • March (Debut Tape, “Lil Boat” Millions Of Plays)
  • March (Kanye West Studio)
  • March (Young Thug Tour)
  • April (CNN)

All of this for someone who was honestly unknown before 2016, you just have to sit back and think, who’s really having a better 2016? DJ Khaled? But DJ Khaled isn’t an 18-year-old. And yes, Yachty is 18 years from Atlanta. He’s 3 years younger than me and I consider myself young. All of his success at such a young age is wild inspiring for me.

And as of May, it’s literally only gotten better. He’s on tour with Young Thug, and he just appeared on Chance The Rappers “Coloring Book” tape and Post Malone’s tape “August 26.”

Like, there’s just nobody else whose winning 2016 like Yachty has been winning it. It’s inspiring, its crazy, its wild and most importantly its real.

I was afraid to listen to him in the beginning because I felt like he was just another meme rapper, but Yachty isn’t a joke. He’s the real deal and in the first 5 months of 2016, he’s winning and just saying he’s winning might be the understatement of the whole year.


From The 6ix,With Love

Thank You For Reading

Sincerely, Kid From The 6ix

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