“Who the Hell is Lil Yachty, and Why Do Kanye West and Drake Care About Him?” Write Up by Mitchell Watson

Winston Cook-Wilson’s article is focused on a topic so specific and current, that hardly anyone knows about its subject matter. This is a “raise-awareness” article; its main purpose is to popularize the subject at hand, while also analyzing Lil Yachty’s personality, predicting his success in the near future.

The title of this article is a question, as it should be. It’s eager to find out who, what, when, where, and how; it carries the same excitement and energy as anyone does when they first come upon a viral trend that all of their friends are crazed about. There’s a good chance anyone who reads the title will click on it to read the article. That’s good journalism if I’ve ever seen any. Who is Lil Yachty???

Wilson uses clever “insider” terms to reference or describe other bits of the piece. Inventive adjectives like “Makonnen-esque” (referring to the similar artist I Love Makonnen, also from Atlanta) are utilized for lack of a better description in today’s quickly changing world of hip-hop. This definitely adds a touch of confusion to readers who are not completely familiar with au courant rap, but assuming that the readers of the culture section in inverse.com are an audience fairly educated in the field of modern hip-hop, the article doesn’t spark too many problems here. I totally enjoy Wilson’s method of using other current cultural happenings to describe the subject of his article.

An interesting aspect about this piece is that it’s analyzing history (or maybe just over-hyped trash? I guess we’ll find out…) as it happens. As dictated by past attempts, it takes serious skill to try to make sense of the present. Most interpretations of current events are always blurry at first, and then, within either days or decades—depending on the size and complexity of the situation—our views of these events become clearer and simpler. The common phrase rings true: “hindsight is always 20/20.”

This article is a perfect example of a reaction to the present; an analyzation of something that hasn’t been fully heard, or better yet, understood, by the entire world yet. This has happened with countless movements and events. Journalists and musicians alike had no idea how to react to jazz when it was first introduced to America in the 1920s. When the news of the 9/11 terrorist attacks first hit civilians, articles flew at breakneck speeds onto the web, getting completely lost in the chaos of everyone simultaneously trying to make sense of it all.

Now I’m definitely not saying that Lil Yachty’s overnight breakout into stardom in the rap world is as influential or important as Jazz or 9/11. I am saying that Wilson is participating in immediate journalism. He’s not waiting for the publicity and Soundcloud comments to die down; he’s hopping on the over-crowded hype train and riding with the wind. I assume this is so because, well, it’s his job.

And if I were to steal anything from this article, it would be the risks it takes in almost predicting Lil Yachty’s personality—through his music and his other various interactions in social media. Wilson analyzes the sound and style of the Yachty’s tracks—the general feel of “newness” to them—and makes assumptions based on history about his future.

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