Happy Birthday, Lil Yachty!
Today, Aug. 23, is the birthday of Atlanta rapper Lil Yachty, who now turns 21.
Born Miles McCollum in Mableton, Ga., Lil Boat has been off to a meteoric rise in the music industry in just a short period of time. The self-proclaimed "King of the Teens" had only been rapping seriously for a year when he became an Internet sensation thanks to his songs "1Night" and "Minnesota" going viral online.
The unorthodox rapper is known for his use of auto-tune, his distortion of '90s childhood hooks like the Rugrats theme and his bright red, beaded-braids hair style. Yachty is definitely ushering in a new wave in Internet-born music stars with something he's referred to as "bubblegum rap."
Under the direction of Quality Control Music, Lil Yachty dropped two mixtapes in 2016, Lil Boat The Mixtape in March and Summer Songs 2 in July and dropped his official debut album Teenage Emotions earlier this May.
His undeniable buzz and rabid fanbase helped scored Yachty the fan-voted 10th spot in the 2016 XXL Freshmen Class. In his Freshman feature interview, Lil Boat acknowledged that because he's doing something so different in rap these days, he's gotten plenty of backlash from old hip-hop heads.
"They think I’m just out of nowhere and stuff," said Yachty. "But I’ve been working for years before this. Even like my style, my hair and stuff. I didn’t do this to be different. I just did it because I liked it, because it’s me. I’ve been doing this for years. I’m not trying to be different; I’m just being myself."
Haters aside, Yachty's trajectory has been extraordinary. Since getting on, Lil Boat has scored endorsement deals from Sprite, Target and Urban Outfitters and was even named the Creative Director of Nautica.
Since last year, Yachty's continued doing his best to leave a mark on hip-hop culture. This past winter, he dropped off his Lil Boat 2 mixtape, a project that included features from 2 Chainz, Quavo, Offset, Trippie Redd, Tee Grizzley, PnB Rock and more. It doesn't look like he'll be going away any time soon.
Check out the time XXL took Yachty sailing in New York for the first time.
Happy Birthday, Lil Boat!
Go Behind the Scenes With Lil Yachty at 2016 XXL Freshman Cover Shoot