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Rapper, singer and Gen-Z superstar Miles Parks McCollum is one of a kind. Shooting to fame in 2016 thanks in no small part to a prodigious talent for self-branding and a devoted following on social media, the internet supernova known as Lil Yachty has developed a rapturous sound and a distinctive image that makes him one of the most recognisable faces in contemporary hip-hop. Growing up in Atlanta, Yachty was perfectly positioned to absorb lessons from both hip-hop’s old guard – Goodie Mob, Outkast, TLC – and the new wave of rap luminaries (Future, Young Thug, 21 Savage, ILoveMakonnen) that have cemented the area’s position as a focal point for the genre. Despite hailing from the same city, Yachty considers himself as distinct from the current scene, having grown up in the suburbs and developed an inimitable style all his own. His vibrant, hook-laden blend of hip-hop, trap, mumble rap and pop is contagiously catchy and eminently memorable – just like the maverick rapper himself. With his trademark ketchup-red hair and offbeat fashion sense, Yachty has become not only a musical icon but a figurehead for a new generation that prides itself on tolerance, openness and self-love: “I’m promoting positivity, I’m promoting happiness and loving yourself and having fun.” Yachty is a rule-breaker at the forefront of a new wave of boundary-smashing rap music. With two mixtapes and two wildly successful studio albums, YouTube views and social media followers numbering in the tens of millions, and a much-deserved Grammy nomination for the DRAM collaboration ‘Broccoli’, the self-proclaimed ‘king of the teens’ is poised for world domination.
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