2016 was a monumental year for Lil Yachty. The Atlanta rapper rose from obscurity and became a global sensation, earning a Grammy nomination for his contribution to D.R.A.M.'s sleeper hit "Broccoli" and accomplishing even more along the way. The 19 year old recently spoke to Fader about his whirlwind year, opening up about his wildest experiences.
He discussed meeting Malia and Sasha Obama for the first time at Jay Z's Made In America festival in Philadelphia. "Backstage, I went to the VIP section and watched Coldplay where Malia and Sasha were. It surprised me that they knew who I was," he recalls. "Sasha was a fan of my music, a huge fan. I was shocked that Malia and Sasha were asking me for pictures. I was just in shock. I didn’t ask them nothing." Later that night, he met one of his idols, Jay Z, who overheard him singing Coldplay's "Fix You" and told him that he should record his own version of the track. "It was dope," he says of the experience.
He also discussed his growing presence in the fashion world, expressing excitement about getting noticed by Nautica. "I had been pushing to get their attention. I was wearing 100 percent Nautica for months," he says. "The Nautica lookbook came through, and we have a lot of future business in the works." He cites his appearance in Kanye West's Yeezy Season 3 fashion show as the beginning of his fashion career, discussing how his position at the front of the stage helped him gain recognition. "That opened doors for me. A lot of fashion doors opened up after that," he says of the fashion show.
In addition to discussing the crazy experiences he's had because of his fame, he also spoke about creating the music that propelled him into the limelight. He reflected on the creation of his stellar Lil Boat mixtape, which he worked on at Atlanta's QC Studio. "It wasn’t like I had to call nobody [to record features], they were all just here," he says of the popular Atlanta recording spot. "People showed me a lot of love. They took me in, like a foreign exchange student. I was new, but they showed me a lot of love from the start." He goes on to discuss working with D.R.A.M. at Rick Rubin's Malibu home and embarking on three different tours.
After all the success he's found in 2016, it will be fascinating to see where 2017 will take Yachty. Revisit our interview with the charismatic rapper here.