This time last year Miles Parks McCollum had not even considered the thought of playing a sold out show in London to a hoard of kids screaming back ‘Lil Boat’. Having just started college in Alabama, Miles was like many an eighteen year old, starting the next stage of his life with no clue where it was going.
After two months he dropped out of college, yet surrounded by uncertainty his now infamous debut track ‘One Night’ was slowly gaining the attention of many online. In a whirlwind couple of months Miles was transformed from a college dropout to the now infamous red braided figure standing on the podium of Kanye’s fashion show. Yachty himself will admit he doesn’t know how it all quite happened, yet his debut London show proved there is a method in his madness.
As the flocks of teens flooded into the venue, there was an atmosphere brewing that hasn’t been been replicated like this since Odd Future first broke the UK. As the crowd flooded in everyone had one goal, who could get the first glimpse of Yachty. It’s clear that in a couple of months Lil Yachty has captured the the minds of the youth, and the King of the Teens didn’t disappoint them. As stage lights dimmed a silhouette emerged from the back. Covered entirely in shadows, apart from a head of red braids. Dressed head to toe in a bright yellow tracksuit, Yachty burst onto stage and chaos ensued. Coming out to ‘Ice Water’ it didn’t take long for Yachty to be diving into the crowd who has so quickly embraced him. Not even out of his teen years, it was clear he was just as excited to share this moment with a crowd who were so eager to share it with him.
For an artist who many have labelled an overnight success, he has already built up quite a catalogue. Running through hits off his debut mixtape ‘Lil Boat’ such as ‘Up Next 2’ and ‘Wanna Be us’, the crowd was in a constant state of mayhem. Many have labelled Yachty a mumble rapper, who is style over substance. Yet last night proved anything but this, as a horde of disciples screamed back every lyric word for word. A highlight of this coming in the form of ‘Minnesota’ as the hook of “You need to stay up out them streets if you can’t take the heat” echoed around the venue.
Yachty has spoken on his passion to break into the charts, and whilst many may view him as an outsider it’s clear he has star value. Now with a number one rap song in the US chart with D.R.A.M, ‘Brocolli’ proves Yachty has the melodies and presence to stick around for a long time. Yachty bounced around stage with best friend and producer Burberry Perry to the infectious hook of “In the middle of the party bitch get off me In the cut I’m rolling up my broccoli.” It was clear that Yachty was very much enjoying his first time in London, and he marked it with a very special moment inviting the gatekeeper of the capital city, Skepta, on to the stage. Joining Yachty onstage for what may have been a very brief appearance, yet seeing the two embrace each other was a moment that clearly meant the world to an Atlanta native making his first UK appearance.
In only a year Yachty has gone from a dorm room in Alabama to selling out a sold out show in London, and the man himself doesn’t really quite know how it happened. But why should he. With the world at his feet and only just out of high school, nothing has to certain in the world of Lil Yachty and debut show proved this.
As he ended it where it all began finishing off with ‘One Night’, screaming out the lyrics “I know you want this for life, Taking pictures with all my ice, But I can’t have no wife, I just want you for the night”, Yachty had certainly captured the hearts of the entire crowd, even if it was just for one night.