Local Review: Young Yankee & MAYLIN – Light Speed
Local Music Reviews
Young Yankee & MAYLIN
Young Yankee & MAYLIN = Hi-Rez + Skizzy Mars + Logic
After releasing his debut album THE DEFIANT in October of 2018, Young Yankee is back with a more polished and advanced EP. A Salt Lake local, Yankee has been in the Utah rap scene for a few years now and has gained a reputation as a talented lyricist with high-quality beats. With only five songs, his newest album is short and sweet. How they flow into one another, though, makes the listening experience seem longer than it is.
The EP begins with “Light Speed,” an energetic track complete with a classic boom bap–style beat and a few verses from MAYLIN, another SLC rapper who is featured throughout the album. Lyrics such as “Don’t Start / You ride the bench homie I’m an all-star / Don’t start / I got the final say you got no part” don’t transcend the Soundcloud rapper trope, but it’s an easy listen that is almost impossible to hear without bopping your head.
Yankee cools down the tempo with “Dog Fight.” This song combines piano samples with a trap beat to create a relaxed yet confident-sounding song. Yankee raps at a quick rhythm, counteracting MAYLIN’s more easygoing verses. Classic instrumentals like the one heard in this track can be found throughout the album, adding a natural element to the otherwise artificial–sounding, auto-tuned vocals and computer-generated beats.
“Living Room” and “Michael Bay” restore the album’s momentum but maintain traces of keyboard melodies and catchy sounding vocals. The chorus boasts a narrative of money, women and fame, with lyrics such as, “I got ten bad bitches in the living room / There really ain’t no telling what I’m finna do.” And, of course, no trap album would be complete without some mention of sexual proficiency: “I tell her behave / When I’m done she walk away her knees shake / She gon’ save this moment like a freeze frame.”
Yankee finally explores lyrical themes outside of the superficial rapper lifestyle with the last track, “Old School Chevy.” The song immediately stands out from the rest, as a guitar riff straight out of the Red Hot Chilli Pepper’s playbook greets the listener. The sound is a welcome development from the redundant beats of previous tracks, and melodic vocals showcase Yankee’s talents as a singer. Lyrics reach deeper into the struggles of a young artist and offer glimpses of vulnerability when he raps about losing a brother. Yankee ends the EP with a relatable and authentic message: “I’ll be fine / I’m still alive / I’ll survive.”
Overall, Young Yankee has delivered another well-produced album that demonstrates his growth as an artist. And while, in the future, his lyrics may benefit from a place of deeper meaning, his songs sure make for one hell of a party. Keep an eye out for this up-and-coming artist, and follow him on Soundcloud @Young_Yankee. –Avrey Evans