Lil Yachty is many things.
He’s a musician who feels at home whether he’s trading hilarious punchlines with Michigan rappers like BabyTron and RMC Mike or rapping melodically on a Tame Impala record. He’s a brand ambassador who’s been in Target commercials and on Reese’s Puffs cereal boxes. And when it comes to fashion, he’s considered by many to be among the best-dressed rappers with one of the most diverse sneaker collections. While he’s not ready to declare himself the best-dressed rapper just yet, he still gives himself some props.
“Do I wanna put myself on that pedestal? Not really. I really don’t care to. But I think I’m damn good. I think I’m pretty fucking sick,” Yachty tells Complex over the phone. He’s not as concerned with some of the critics. “People close their eyes and make opinions. N***** just talk without even really knowing what they are talking about or speaking on.”
For someone as interested in fashion as Yachty is, a clothing line would seem like a logical next move. While it doesn’t appear to be in the works at the moment, it’s always a possibility.
“I’ve thought about it. I would love to make certain things that I like to wear,” says Yachty.
We may not be getting the Lil Boat clothing label any time soon, but he is stamping his name on some new products that fans can get their hands on. Today, he is entering the frozen food space with the launch of Yachty’s Pizzeria.
Why would a successful musician like Lil Yachty decide to start selling frozen pizzas in Walmart? According to the man himself, it’s pretty simple actually. “The fact is bro, I really love pizza,” says Yachty.
Yachty’s Pizzeria will offer four flavors: Buffalo Style Chicken, Hot Honey Cheese, Pepperoni and Bacon, and Veggie Supreme, which will sell for $6.98 a box. The partnership with Deep Cuts, a musician-led brand that acts as an extension of their artistry and business portfolio, is the brand’s first launch in the United States. It’s the latest business move that Yachty has made in 2022. Back in July, he was announced as one of the latest investors for sunglasses brand Futuremood, a partnership that will reportedly eventually result in his own line of sunglasses under the brand.
But it isn’t always business for the newly-25-year-old. Social media indicated that he celebrated his birthday in a big way by flying on Drake’s Virgil Abloh-designed private jet for the first time and riding jet skis in rare Nike SB Dunks in Turks and Caicos. Some people might be surprised by the linkup. But Yachty and Drake appear to have a strong friendship.
“I don’t like talking about Drake much because I just respect his privacy so much,” says Lil Yachty. “I never really post anything about him or with him, but me and the Boy are really, really close. He’s like my fucking brother.”
Yachty recently took some time during his vacation in Turks to chat about Yachty’s Pizzeria, his personal style, celebrating his 25th birthday on Air Drake, and more.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
You’re launching this pizza brand at Walmart. Earlier in your career you did a pop-up in New York at a pizzeria and everything, but how long has this brand been in the works for you?
The idea, years, since the beginning of my career. The fact is bro, I really love pizza. It’s really my favorite food, especially frozen pizza. So, it’s been something I’ve been saying for years. It became more serious within the last year and a half.
Is that something you tapped into because of just having some downtime during the pandemic and thinking about some other business moves you can make?
Not really. I just added a new manager to my team who made it happen.
You have said you eat pizza every day. Is that still true?
Kinda, to an extent, not as hardcore now.
Do you have a favorite city for pizza or a favorite spot that you always make sure to go to when you’re in town for a tour or something?
Delicious Pizza in LA. I went to a spot one time in New York, but I forget the name of the restaurant. I never had it again, man. Depressing.
Was it Scarr’s or Upside?
It wasn’t Upside, but Upside is so fucking good. The vodka pizza is the best pizza I’ve had in my life. There’s a place called Cuts & Slices in Brooklyn that goes crazy too.
You’ve done a ton of brand deals and stuff outside of rap. What’s the importance of taking these types of deals and expanding your brand beyond music, especially for younger artists?
I mean it’s extremely important if that’s what you care about. For some people, that may not be what they’re here for. If you care to become this public figure and be on a cereal box, or a fucking lotion bottle, or you want a cologne company, whatever it is, then yes, expanding your brand is so important. It just depends. There’s so many more ways to stretch past just one source of income, which if you’re an artist, is your music.
What is it about a brand that makes you want to give them that stamp or like makes you feel comfortable working with them?
Me personally, it’s things I like and use. You can’t really go wrong with something you might use in real life.
I guess it is that simple sometimes.
It’s more authentic that way.
I wanted to ask you a bit about your personal style.
Of course you can. The best style out.
You’re a big shopper. You can go from a full vintage fit to archive luxury stuff. What gets your attention when it comes to clothes? Cause I would assume you’re shopping almost every day.
Yes, sir. I think it depends on what the occasion is. It just depends on what we got going on for the day, how my energy is, how I feel. It’s always based on the environment. Are we inside or outside? Is it hot or cold? I guess I go off of that.
What’s the vibe today?
I’m in Turks and Caicos right now. It be hot as shit. So I’m probably gonna wear some shorts, some chill shit, but some fly shit.
Do you think you’re the best-dressed rapper out?
Do I wanna put myself on that pedestal? Not really. I really don’t care to. But I think I’m damn good. I think I’m pretty fucking sick. But do I want to go and start that conversation and ruffle feathers? Not yet. Maybe when the album comes out, but right now, I mean it is what it is.
Let the people speak for you.
Yes. And they do. But they be hating sometimes. That’s cause a lot of these n***** be dick riding. And that’s apparent and it’s obvious. And that’s fine. But there is a lot of dick riding going on. People close their eyes and make opinions. N***** just talk without even really knowing what they are talking about or speaking on. People don’t really live this life. A lot of people don’t know nothing about none of this shit. They think they know, but I really live in this shit. So, I don’t take any of that serious, bro.
You’ve done the Nautica stuff in the past and you’ve done merch for tours here and there, but could we see a Yachty clothing line down the line? Have you thought about that?
My fans hate me cause I always start talking about some shit and say I’m gonna do something that takes years. So, I’m gonna start becoming a person who doesn’t speak so much on things. But yeah, I’ve thought about it. I would love to make certain things that I like to wear.
People always talk about the sneaker collab too.
Yeah. And it seems like no company wants to give me a fucking shoe. I don’t understand it.
What sneakers have you been going after this year?
Louis Forces, bro.
How many did you get so far?
I just have one friends and family green pair, but I need all of ‘em.
I know you have your 85 collection going. There’s a ton of Louis Forces, but is that something you’re gonna try and do?
I forgot about those 85s. I have like five pairs left. It’s a situation where if I come across ‘em I’m gonna get them every time. I just still have not come across any of the last few colors that I needed.
Are the “Shoe Goos” OK?
Yeah, I don’t know what the fuck…I guess they were a little wet, but Drake’s so damn dramatic. It was not that bad. To be honest, I have never really been on a vacation, so I guess I didn’t even know that you’re not supposed to wear shoes. I got jet skis at home where I live. I ride it all the time with fucking shoes on or some shit. But they were cool. They were brand new though. Them shits were deadstock.
How was Air Drake for your birthday? How did that come about?
That’s my fucking guy. I talk to Drake every day.
Was that your first time on the jet though?
Yeah. That was my first time on the jet. It’s pretty sick, not pretty sick, it’s amazing. I don’t like talking about Drake much because I just respect his privacy so much. I never even post with him. It was just my birthday and we were sitting next to each other like, “Hey, let’s take this picture.” I never really post anything about him or with him, but me and the Boy are really, really close. He’s like my fucking brother.
Everybody on the internet with these stupid ass jokes thinking shit is funny. It’s so crazy how people on the internet live this false reality, this false narrative. But I get it. In real life they probably not doing nothing. They just talk shit. Whatever helps. But bro, it’s a real world outside.
What are you referring to exactly?
Just negative comments, any kind of negativity. Like when I posted my [OVO] tattoo. It was actually kind of funny. I’m not gonna lie. But people had all these jokes like I rode the plane so now I got a tattoo. First off, I had this tattoo like two weeks before. That’s why it looks like it’s peeling. But there’s some significance behind his tattoo. This n**** is my real friend. I really love this n****. He really looks out for me. I really fuck with him. I just say that to say, if you can’t see it on the internet people have no comprehension of it happening.
I can’t get you on the phone and not ask you about music. I know earlier this year you mentioned your next album would have a more alternative sound. Are we gonna get more of that, sort of that “Breathe Deeper” remix type feel?
My album is done. It’s mastered and done. When you’ll get it, I don’t fucking know. My date has been pushed back like five times. The disappointing thing is that it probably won’t be on this side of the year unfortunately.
Did you finally link up with Cudi? Did you and Drake record any new tracks?
I can’t really speak on nothing, sir. [Laughs.] But I’m telling you, man, it’s special.