A look back at AftërLyfe

Yeat has captured a global audience with his creative sound. He struggled to meet the rising expectations in his newest album, AftërLyfe.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Yeat has captured a global audience with his creative sound. He struggled to meet the rising expectations in his newest album, “AftërLyfe.”

Once a genre-bending pillar in the Oregon underground, 23-year-old rapper Yeat (Noah Oliver Smith) saw a swift ascent to stardom during the summer of 2021, following the release of his EP 4L. Behind songs like “Money So Big” and “Sorry Bout That,” which got popularized on TikTok due to their uniquely catchy flows and elegant instrumentals, Yeat quickly joined the likes of Kankan, Autumn! and the Opium collective as one of the trailblazers for the emerging genre of psychedelic trap.

Released on Feb. 24 by Geffen Records, Field Trip Recordings and Twizzy Rich, Yeat’s anticipated tertiary studio album AftërLyfe debuted in the #4 spot on Billboard’s Top 100 Albums in America, his highest ever mark. Despite this, longtime fans have been openly critical, claiming it to be a step-back for the illustrious young rapper.

Since first picking up the microphone in 2015, Yeat has been no stranger to pushing the envelope. His unique use of bells and alien-esque melodies captured the hearts of people worldwide — and in the school hallways. Fans were quite excited to see how his sound would evolve with the newest release.

“My favorite part about Yeat as an artist is his creativity; he’s different from a lot of people,” sophomore Pearse Rodgers said. “I think the album was pretty good, but it wasn’t his best.”

Notable streaming hits include “Shmunk (ft NBA Youngboy),” “How It Go,” “Nun Id Change” and “Split.” But even with the commercial success, the majority prefer his earlier albums, which leaned more heavily into the usage of bells and beat drops.

To be honest, I kinda wanted more. I wanted Drake on it. I rank it at the bottom of his albums.

— freshman TJ Thiam

Yeat still flexes his creative muscles on several tracks, though many others are flat out forgettable. But for those quick to call the young rapper “washed,” they need not forget his many other hits. Fans should appreciate the artistry before he fades away into obscurity, a la Famous Dex and Rich The Kid back in 2017.

Yeat’s problem can be traced to a sheer surplus of publications.

Unlike many current rappers, Yeat has never been known to archive a lot of his music nor leave his fans waiting and wanting more. Instead, Yeat has released dozens of songs over the past year and a half in the form of three studio albums and a handful of creative mixtapes and EPs, all of which carry his unique sound and style. But at some point every well runs dry.

While the consensus is still out on the album, one thing is for certain: Yeat is certainly one of the most interesting fixtures of modern Hip-Hop.