The Secret Recipe: How Lil Yachty Influenced Drake’s Current Era

From his style choices to his music, Lil Yachty has had a ton of influence on his good friend Drake lately.

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We’ve all had that one close friend who has influenced us in some way. Maybe they put us onto a new musician or swayed us to buy something from their favorite clothing brand. For Drake, that friend right now is Lil Yachty. 

Since first working together on “Oprah’s Bank Account” in 2020, the duo’s friendship has blossomed into something much greater. Last year, Drake invited Yachty to fly on his private jet to celebrate his 25th birthday. They've constantly thrown friendly jabs at each other in Instagram comments. Drake even pulled up to Yachty’s show for a surprise performance. It’s clear these two have formed a close bond that goes deeper than rap.

“That’s my fucking guy. I talk to Drake every day,” Yachty told Complex in a 2022 interview. “Me and the Boy are really, really close. He’s like my fucking brother.”

Today’s release of For All the Dogs is the latest evidence of Yachty's influence on Drake’s current era. He appeared on “Another Late Night” and racked up writing and producing credits on five tracks in total. But the influence isn’t limited to just music. From visuals to his personal style, Yachty has seemingly played a role in this stage of Drake’s illustrious career. Now, we aren’t saying that Drake’s current moves are all completely due to Yachty. Some of it may just be pure coincidence. However, a lot of these similarities are too close to overlook.

Personal Style

Sound and Visuals

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Drake’s admiration of Lil Yachty’s ear isn’t new. In a 2023 Rap Radar interview, Yachty explained how Drake has supported him in the past before they were working together as closely as they do now. “He was one of the first people to post one of my albums and just be like, ‘Man, your beat selections are so crazy.’ And that’s crazy to hear from him, especially during times when nobody was really fuckin’ with me. Like, I never had many rap friends.”

Their working relationship up to this point has been most obvious on Her Loss. While Yachty doesn’t have a verse on the project, his fingerprints are all over it. His ad libs fit perfectly between Drake’s bars on “Major Distribution” (hmph hmph). “BackOutsideBoyz” might as well be a Yachty throwaway. On the track, Drake experiments with sing-songy flows similar to Yachty’s delivery. Yachty’s “okay” and “it’s us” ad libs are sprinkled throughout. He also has official writing or producing credits on tracks, including “Privileged Rappers,” “Spin Bout U,” “Broke Boys,” “Pussy and Millions,” “Jumbotron Shit Poppin,” “Circo Loco,” “BackOutsideBoyz,” and “More M’s.” Following the release of Her Loss, Drake made sure to shoutout Yachty for his contributions on his Instagram story, writing, “Where would I be without our friendship @lilyachty I love ya kid thank you for your time, your incredible talent and your adlib game.” Yachty also selected the cover art, a photo of Suki Baby by Paris Arden. In a now-deleted Instagram post, Yachty wrote, “I Chose This Cover Because This Photo Is So Raw… So Authentic.. Not Fabricated.. Suki Can And Will Only Be Suki.”

Drake valued Lil Boat’s contributions so much that he tapped him once again to have a huge presence on For All the Dogs. This time, he is featured on the track “Another Late Night.” The track is accompanied by a visual directed by Cole Bennett, the popular Chicago director who has worked with Yachty on numerous occasions for “Strike,” “Tesla,” and “Yae Energy.” Once again, Lil Boat's adlibs are sprinkled throughout on tracks like "What Would Pluto Do." He is also nabs writing and production credits on the tracks "Calling for You," "What Would Pluto Do," "Another Late Night," "Away From Home," and "Polar Oppposites." The Boat Effect is real. 

Media Opportunities

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Drake doesn’t do much press. Frankly, he doesn’t have to. Although he still hasn’t sat down for a serious conversation since his Rap Radar interview in 2019, we have seen Drake take on more playful media opportunities lately. In February 2023, we saw him appear alongside his son, Adonis, on Barstool Sports’ Sundae Conversation to chat about topics that included the fictional Canadian hall of fame and if Dan Aykroyd invented Patrón tequila (he did not). Yachty had appeared on the program a year prior to Drake. More recently, Drake had a trip to the strip club Starlets documented by comedic street show Sidetalk NYC. In September 2023, Drake was photographed alongside popular streamer Kai Cenat. Yachty has been closely connected to AMP, the content creation group that Cenat is part of, and even released a cypher with members of the group in July 2023. We wouldn’t be shocked if Yachty connected the last few dots to make sure those two met face to face. While it hasn’t come to fruition yet, during an interview with popular child reporter Jazzy, Yachty said that he would try to make a Drake interview happen, proving that he does have some kind of influence on the outlets that his friend speaks with. The two friends sat down to have their own moody conversation back in February that showed off how much chemistry they have together. Drake might have even influenced Yachty to take some unconventional interviews. Yachty appeared on Bobbi Althoff's "Really Good Podcast" just one week after Althoff uploaded her viral episode featuring Drake.

We aren’t claiming that Yachty is booking all of these media opportunities, but it is no secret that Yachty is chronically online. Just look at his TikTok profile or A Safe Place Podcast for proof. It isn’t far-fetched to think that Yachty could have encouraged Drake to participate in some of these more lighthearted conversations or introduced him to some of these platforms. We may not be getting a deep sit-down with Drake anytime soon, but at least he isn’t totally avoiding interviews anymore.

Yachty's General Influence

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Yachty may have said it best on the recently released track “The Secret Recipe,” where he proclaims, “Allegedly, they figured out that I’m the secret recipe.” The bar is less about the specific influence he has had on Drake that we are discussing here and more about his overall impact. Musically, he has continued to explore new sounds and was one of the first mainstream artists to tap into Detroit’s energetic rap scene with projects like Michigan Boy Boat. His 2023 album, Let’s Start Here, veered away from rapping into the genre of psych rock. Infectious tracks like “Poland” and “Strike,” with its echo-y vocals and synths, are some of the biggest tracks of the year that are helping define rap’s current sound. Following the release of “Secret Recipe,” DJ Akademiks even gave Yachty some praise of his own, citing that Yachty has writing credits on City Girls’ anthem “Act Up,” which was instrumental in kick-starting this era where rap is being dominated by female acts from Sexyy Red to Latto.

Yachty doubles down on his influence later on in his “The Secret Recipe” verse when he raps, “Refused to act like I ain’t shift the sound, like I ain’t push the culture.” Yachty has been influential for a while now, but has always remained overlooked despite his successes or pegged as nothing more than a “mumble rapper.” Now that he’s in closer proximity to one of the biggest stars on the planet, it feels like more people are finally ready to give him the flowers that he’s rightfully deserved.

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