At Lil Yachty's chaotic Auckland show last year, the average age of his audience was about 18. There's a good reason for that: the Atlanta rapper had courted an under appreciated rap crowd with his studio debut, Teenage Emotions.

That album, a neon spray of youthful aggression mixed with some of the weirdest, filthiest cartoon hip-hop you could hear in 2017, announced the arrival of an Atlanta rapper who, despite being barely out of his teens, already seemed fully formed.

But here, on an album that's more of a sequel to his 2016 breakthrough mixtape rather than a follow-up to Teenage Emotions, the 20-year-old seems to be suffering from growing pains.

Instead of doubling down on Yachty's bonkers rap style, Lil Boat 2 takes one aspect of his style - low-key flexes over dark, minimalist beats - and runs it into oblivion.


"Six cars, young Yacht, too rich," he boasts on Oops, which is nothing more than occasional bass thuds and a vibrant 2 Chainz. Count Me In runs on broken sub farts, brags about drugs and watches, and little else.

Taken in small doses, Yachty can still be thrilling. Boom! seems to exist just so he can yell the word as many times as possible. Baby Daddy has Lil Pump and Offset trying to out-do each other on quotables, and is equally thrilling.

Either song would probably inspire another crowd surfer to do what happened at Yachty's Auckland show and jump off the Powerstation's top deck onto the ground floor.

But across an album, without Teenage Emotions' hectic variation, Lil Boat 2 quickly gets tiring. Any variation, like Quavo's scene-stealing hook on Talk to Me Nice, the Middle Eastern hook of NBAYOUNGBOAT, or Love Me Forever's singsong mellowness, is more than welcome.

It shows that Lil Boat 2 is desperate for a little more of that bratty cartoon fun Lil Yachty's known for. This is one boat that feels like it needs to offload some baggage.

Lil Yachty - Lil Boat 2

Label: Quality Control
Verdict: Growing pains evident as rapper pulls in his net