Lil Yachty Says He's Never Glorified Drugs or 'Negativity' in His Music

The 'Let's Start Here' artist made the comments in a chat with Tierra Whack.

Kayla Oaddams via Getty Images

In an interview with Tierra Whack for Rolling Stone's Musicians on Musicians, Lil Yachty said he's never glorified drugs or violence in his music.

During the chat, Whack highlighted Yachty's presence on the 2016 XXL Freshman cover and suggested he wasn't "promoting drugs or violence or any of that" in his lyrics. "They said I had one song. When I was younger, and coming up, the class I was a part of glorified drugs, face tats, everything under the book, you know," he said, referring to the 2016 Freshman Class, which also included Kodak Black, Lil Uzi Vert, G Herbo, Desiigner, 21 Savage, and Denzel Curry, among others.

"What I learned as I got older—I’m grateful for the fan base I have. It’s a huge fan base, and the love is real. But I always realized that I never had the fan base of certain peers because I didn’t glorify negativity," he continued. "I didn’t glorify things that I didn’t stand by, you know." He added that Whack didn't "glorify shaking big booty" in her music, either, to which she replied, "I could."

Twitter: @Kurrco

Naturally, some fans felt that Yachty's comments about not glorifying drugs were a bit off-base, so Yachty later took to Instagram Live to address the criticism directly. "I was talking about my business and my brand... and the endorsements I had and the way I kept a clean image, as far as, like, not putting guns in the videos and all that type of sh*t," he clarified in the video.

He then went on to argue that his early music didn't contain lyrics about things like violence, alcohol, and drugs, either. "If you listen to my first project... I wasn't talking about guns and drugs," he explained. "I was 18 years old when I came into the music industry. I didn't do drugs... I still don't drink. That's what I was talking about."

Elsewhere in the "Musicians on Musicians" conversation with Whack, Yachty previewed an unreleased collaboration with J. Cole. "Add a third verse, yo! Let me get a piece of that, yo," Whack said. "I don’t ask for shit, but I want a piece of that. Talk to Jermaine for me. I feel like I can hold my own. Cole is crazy."

Yachty and Cole linked up for the surprise collaboration "The Secret Recipe" earlier this year. Reflecting on their relationship, Yachty made it clear he thinks the pairing of him and Cole is surprising, too. "Me and Cole just recently just connected on a different level," he said. "I think we both fell in love with the idea—like, on paper, it doesn’t really make sense for us to be making records together."

Recently, Yachty made headlines after he said hip-hop is "in a terrible place" right now. On his A Safe Place podcast, he explained exactly how he felt about the state of the genre.

“Even record labels have pulled back on funding of hip-hop as far as like what contracts are looking like and what budgets are being put into… hip-hop artists," he continued. "It’s all been scaled back on funding. It’s facts. The fact is that people aren’t supporting hip-hop like they once did because there is a decline in content.”

The comments sparked a backlash from fans, whom Yachty also addressed on his Instagram Live. "When I said rap was in a terrible place, I was speaking on creativity—not the rappers," he said. "I ain't trippin' on the new rappers. I love the new rappers... I'm talking about creativity as far as what n****s is putting out... No one's taking risks is what I'm saying."

Latest in Music