Lil Yachty Says ‘F*ck Any of the Albums’ He Released Prior to Acclaimed ‘Let’s Start Here’

Lil Yachty has drawn acclaim with the release of 'Let's Start Here,' including from Questlove. According to Yachty, he's now more aligned with his influences.

Lil Yachty is seen performing at Rolling Loud 2023

Image via Getty/Timothy Norris/WireImage

Lil Yachty is seen performing at Rolling Loud 2023

In case you somehow missed it, Lil Yachty released his fifth album, Let’s Start Here, in January. It’s awesome.

“Awesome” is an admittedly overused word—one could argue it’s often employed out of sheer laziness, even—but it’s an appropriate description of the soundscapes Yachty is playing with on the album. And though some listeners haven’t been thrilled by the direction, the response to Let’s Start Here has been largely glowing. Questlove, for example, chimed in with an Instagram-shared assessment of his own back in January, saying the album has him “hyped about music’s future.”

Speaking with Billboard ahead of his Moody Amphitheater performance amid SXSW festivities next week, Yachty detailed the pride and confidence he feels upon having entered an exciting new chapter along his artistic journey.

“Fuck any of the albums I dropped before this one,” Yachty said in the newly released interview with Lyndsey Havens.

Later, Yachty named a slew of his personal inspirations, noting while doing so that some of his fans “haven’t heard” his references.

“They don’t know anything about Bon Iver or Pink Floyd or Black Sabbath or James Brown,” he said. “I wanted to show people a different side of me—and that I can do anything, most importantly.”

Prior to Let’s Start Here, Yachty explained, his output was not aligned with what he was listening to in his own time.

“I just wanted more,” he said of his state of mind prior to beginning sessions for the album. “I want to be remembered. I want to be respected.”

Elsewhere in the piece, it’s revealed that the sample of The Joy of Painting artist Bob Ross is the first of its kind. Motown Records VP of A&R Gelareh Rouzbehani told Billboard the late icon’s estate took some convincing to get his voice on “We Saw the Sun!”—including playing the track for them and sending over all of the LP’s lyrics.

“I think a big concern of theirs was that Yachty is known as a rapper, and Bob Ross and his brand are very clean,” Rouzbehani said. “They didn’t want to associate with anything explicit. … With a lot of back-and-forth, we got the call. Yachty is the first artist that has gotten a Bob Ross clearance in history.”

Read more here, including insight on some ultimately ditched album title ideas and the impact other artists’ responses to his new music had on his mindset leading into the Let’s Start Here rollout.

On March 16, Yachty will perform as part of Billboard’s three-day The Stage at SXSW experience. Armani White and Lola Brooke are also on the Thursday lineup, full details of which can be seen below.

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