Lil Yachty isn't Kanye West—shocking, right?—but according to Quality Control CEO Pierre 'Pee' Thomas, the 20-year-old does have something in common with one of the greatest and most iconic recording artists of the 21st century.
During an interview on Monday with Ebro for Beats 1 on Apple Music, Lil Yachty, fresh off the release of his sophomore major label album, Lil Boat 2, shared a conversation he had with Thomas about his debut album, Teenage Emotions, which was a massive flop upon its release last spring.
"I was talking to Pee, my CEO, and what he said to me was, Teenage Emotions, it was a great body of work, but it was too soon,'" Yachty told Ebro. "He said, 'Kanye West did three or four albums before 808s & Heartbreak. Just switched it completely up.'"
Thomas' comparison will likely ruffle a few feathers of those who don't believe the two artists should even be mentioned in the same sentence, but his analogy—while ironic, considering he's the decision maker—is actually spot-on.
Yachty's debut, sonically, is quite different from the material he crafted and gained a fanbase with prior to signing with Quality Control, a realization that initiated a course correction on Lil Boat 2. Kanye, on the other hand, tried his hand at Auto-Tune and full-on singing only after releasing three consecutive acclaimed albums as rapper-producer.
What if, instead of releasing The College Dropout, Kanye opened up his career with an album like 808s? Would the album have been received in the same way without a stacked resume to fall back on?
There are obviously way more questions here than answers (sorry, it's Monday), but it's important to remember that no matter how hard we try, we all exercise our subconscious bias when listening to music. This is the same reason why everyone keeps asking for "the old Kanye."