Hip-Hop has changed and depending on who you ask, it is either for better or worse. On April 19, Lil Yatchy (@lilyatchy) released the cover art for his debut album, “Teenage Emotions.” The cover which depicts a wide-eyed, big smiled Yatchy in a theatre has received both backlash and praise.
On the cover Yatchy is seated in between people from various backgrounds, in short, the cover is inclusive and is his way of expressing the album title. Yatchy sits near a young gay couple kissing, a woman with vitiligo, a lovely green haired emo teenager is to his left and there are others throughout the image who showcase varying differences in race, cultural backgrounds and personal experiences.
For many, the album was a reflection of diversity and how teenagers struggle with a range of emotions from discovering their sexuality to being bullied for obesity or even their skin color. Predominantly, Hip-Hop has been a representation of hyper-masculinity which has been preserved and protected by those who not only listen to it but performers as well. Yatchy’s decision to sit center with a gay couple behind him was met with, “what is this gay shit?”, “why are they there?” “this is why hip-hop is dead” and a host of other comments under his posting that focused in on the gay couple instead of the album cover in its entirety.
Yet, hope wasn’t lost. Although there were thousands of comments ridiculing his decision, there were also thousands, thankful. Yatchy’s fans not only came to his defense but also questioned the hate that people were spewing across the comment section.
Here are just a few of the comments people left
To hear Lil Yatchy explain the cover himself, check out the Genius video below