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Student newspaper serving Tulane University, Uptown New Orleans

The Tulane Hullabaloo

Student newspaper serving Tulane University, Uptown New Orleans

The Tulane Hullabaloo

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Lil Yachty brings new music, old hits to New Orleans

Photo by Sophia Finkbeiner

On Oct. 11, rapper Lil Yachty performed at the Fillmore New Orleans for the 13th stop of the Field Trip Tour. Yachty is currently touring North America and will start his European leg of the tour in late November

With his red hair, comical lyrics and catchy beats, Lil Yachty rose to stardom in 2015 following his hit “One Night” and the subsequent release of his first album, “Teenage Emotions” in 2017. He has become increasingly popular since then, but has never strayed from his distinct musical style that largely consists of mumble-rap and the occasional hip-hop song like “Magic in the Hamptons.” 

However, his latest album, “Let’s Start Here,” marks a distinct shift for Yachty from rap and hip-hop to psychedelic rock. The Field Trip tour is a promotion of his new album, which is his riskiest, most inventive one yet. Yachty told UPROXX the album is a reinvention of his former style: “I wanted to be taken seriously as an artist, not just some SoundCloud rapper. Not some mumble rapper, not just some guy that made one hit.”

Yachty’s show in New Orleans began with two openers, including The Concrete Family, a group of aspiring rappers and Nick Hakim, an R&B/soul singer. Neither performer received much enthusiasm from the crowd, which saved it for Yachty. After an hour and a half of mediocre openers, Yachty and his band finally began the show with “drive ME crazy!,” a song from his most recent album, accompanied by flashing lights conducive to both seizures and mosh pits — only the latter occurred, however. 

Yachty’s voice seemed to float through the venue as he delivered the gentle, high-pitched vocals of “the ride-” and “pRetty.” They seemed to flow from one to another, almost melting together. Yachty’s voice, which is characterized by his use of autotune, still works for these songs, even as he departs from his usual style. The special effects of the screens on stage contributed to the surreal sound of these captivating songs. At some points, Yachty appeared to be engulfed in flame, and frantically flashing lights energized fans during Yachty’s most “hype” songs.

Yachty performed the bulk of the songs from his new album, “Let’s Start Here.” to start and end the show, which sandwiched about 15 of his older songs, including his breakout song “One Night,” to the internet viral “iSpy” and “Broccoli,” and the rap “Flex Up.” 

The crowd was just as excited for the first songs as they were for the last; mosh pits were frequent during his greatest hits, but the crowd remained hooked for every second of the show. Yachty closed the show with one of the most popular songs from his latest album, “the BLACK seminole,” a fairly slow-paced rock song with lots of instrumental breaks and a Jimi Hendrix-esque guitar solo.

 Despite his stardom, Yachty exhibited a friendly, down-to-earth demeanor. He cracked jokes, frequently spoke to people in the crowd and gave New Orleans several shout outs. 

The show was buzzing — the music was electrifying and Yachty was charming. Following this show, I’ve become a fan of his music, old and new, and will be on the lookout for whatever the self-titled “Lil Boat” comes up with in the next phase of his musical career.

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