Whether you’re a world famous movie star, journalist, the president or a mega-platinum rapper, one thing most dads can all relate to is Lil Yachty‘s dilemma: his daughter is super uninterested in what he does for a living.
Now, keep in mind that Yachty’s baby girl is just one year old. But in the rapper-singer’s Billboard cover story written by Lyndsey Havens about his mind-bending psychedelic album Let’s Start Here, the proud papa says at the moment being a dad is the most important thing in his life.
Even though music comes in second to fatherhood, he joked that she “doesn’t really give a f–k” about his music… yet. “I haven’t played [this album] for her, but her mom plays her my old stuff,” he added. “The mother of my child is Dominican and Puerto Rican, so she loves Selena — she plays her a lot. [We watch] the Selena movie with Jennifer Lopez a s–t ton and a lot of Disney movie s–t, like Frozen, Lion King and that type of vibe.”
Who knows where the couple’s child will land when it comes to music taste? But if she’s anything like her dad it will likely be a very eclectic playlist. Let’s Start Here would be a great place for her to start given the big swings Yachty took on the rock-leaning album that features co-writes from indie darlings Mac DeMarco, Nick Hakim, Alex G and members of MGMT, Unknown Mortal Orchestra and Chairlift.
“I did what I really wanted to do, which was create a body of work that reflected me,” said Yachty, 25, about breaking free from what he felt was the mumble rap/”bubble-gum trap” jail. “My idea was for this album to be a journey: Press play and fall into a void.”
“There’s a lot of kids who haven’t heard any of my references,” explained the artist born Miles McCollum in the hip-hop hotbed of Atlanta. “They don’t know anything about Bon Iver or Pink Floyd or Black Sabbath or James Brown. I wanted to show people a different side of me — and that I can do anything, most importantly.”
When you hear that Yachty recent influences include Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon, Frank Ocean’s Blonde and Tame Impala’s Currents you get a sense of the expansive musical world he wants to inhabit.
“I want to be Quincy Jones,” Yachty said. Last year, he co-produced a handful of tracks on the Drake and 21 Savage collaborative album Her Loss and he features on two Zack Bia tracks — one of which he produced — for Bia’s upcoming album. He’s also made hundreds of new songs already, including experiments with what he described as “electronic pop s–t.”
He also said he’s still eager to work with more artists outside of his (former) given genre, mentioning the Yeah Yeah Yeahs as a bucket list act and his dream of writing a ballad for Elton John. “I know I could write him a beautiful song,” he said, noting that he’s not closing the (t)rap door just yet.
“I would love to do a project with Tyler [The Creator],” he said of his fellow hip-hop shapeshifter. “He’s the reason I made this album. He’s the one who told me to do it, just go for it. He’s so confident and I have so much respect for him because he takes me seriously, and he always has.”
Lil Yachty, presented by Doritos, will perform at Billboard Presents The Stage at SXSW on March 16.
Penske Media Corp. is the largest shareholder of SXSW; its brands are official media partners of SXSW.