If there was ever a rapper to exemplify the new wave in hip-hop, it's Lil Yachty. The ATL rhymer with colorful beaded braids in his hair has exploded onto the rap scene in the last year. It almost seems like he came out of nowhere. Thanks to strategic management and more importantly, a rabid Internet fandom, Yachty scored the coveted XXL Freshman 10th Spot for this year's class.

As the leader of his crew, the Sailing Team, the Quality Control signee found viral fame with only six months of serious rapping under his belt. And at just 18, Lil Boat uses his youth to his advantage every step of the way. The self-proclaimed "King of the Teens" uses samples on his songs that 1990s babies love -- from Finding Nemo voiceovers in "Just Keep Swimming" to the Rugrats theme song in "All Times."

After perking the ears of young listeners online and popping up on features with his Quality Control cohorts Rich The Kid and Migos, Yachty dropped his debut mixtape, Lil Boat, in March of this year. "Minnesota" and "1Night" became instant standouts from the 14-track offering, which boasts features from Young Thug and Quavo as well as production from Yachty's longtime producer and best friend Burberry Perry. Together, Yachty and Perry make what the Freshman calls "colorful, positive" music. Simple as that.

"I once said bubblegum trap in an interview and then everyone took that and ran with it," Yachty tells XXL when asked to describe his sound.

And even though he's the "King of the Teens," the highly unorthodox rhymer knows that bringing something different to the culture comes with its fair share of haters. Yachty's seen the hate online from old hip-hop heads already.

"Me getting this, it's going to show a lot of people, you know what I'm saying, it'll make them hate me more or respect me more, either way it go, they going be talking more," he shares.

Lucky for Lil Boat and his team, the boos from the haters definitely get drowned out by the "Yachty" chants. During the New York XXL Freshman show this past week, Yachty's fan base showed up in droves and even caused a mob scene outside of the venue in Times Square once he tried to leave after his performance.

Even with the rising stardom, Yachty isn't taking anything for granted or slacking on his work ethic. His second mixtape, Summer Songs 2, is due out this summer.

"I'm very excited because I grew up every year waiting on [The Freshman issue]...so, to see myself here, it's like a dream come true," Yachty states.

Watch Lil Yachty talk about dealing with the haters and staying true to himself in his video interview above and see his bars in his 2016 XXL Freshman freestyle and exclusive photos below.

Go Behind the Scenes With Lil Yachty at 2016 XXL Freshman Cover Shoot

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