Two of America’s foremost nautical-adjacent musical acts seem to have crossed paths accidentally during their respective album cycles. Lil Yachty has been hyping up his Lil Boat 3 project for about a month now, and this weekend was hoping to add even more fuel to the fire with a Soundcloud freestyle Go Crazy Go Stupid and by announcing that LB3 would be proceeded by a d to the a mixtape highlighting the best upcoming rappers from Detroit and Atlanta. However little did Yachty know that he was about to have his search engine optimization thrown into a tizzy by none other than GSC favorite and recent Celebrity Big Brother bronze medalist Mark McGrath.
As laid out in Sugar Ray’s recent Billboard interview, While filming for Big Brother CBS needed some B Roll of Mark working on music, which was the first time someone had paid Sugar Ray to get in a music studio since 2009’s Music For Cougars. Rather than just get the shots they needed and call it a day McGrath and the boys decided to see if they had anything left in the tank. The recording process was as natural as they could have hoped, and they thought they had an album. McGrath described it saying:
“A couple songs started taking shape, and we were like, ‘Do you want to make a modern-day yacht rock record?'” McGrath says. “We were like the yacht rock of the ’90s — us, Smash Mouth, never the cool guys in town but we sold a lot of records and had our place in ’90s history. We’re a band that likes a good time; My buddy S*A*M Hollander says, ‘Dude, you guys are the most Jimmy Buffett band of all time.’ So we just decided to make a record our fans wanted to hear. It was a fun record to make, top to bottom.”
I always love self-reflective Mark McGrath quotes because he finds this way to do a good amount of bragging while still making sure to communicate how much he hates himself. I am guessing the “Yacht Rock” connections are how he is justifying calling this record nothing other than Little Yachty. Yep. L-i-t-t-l-e Yachty. Let those two t’s really rattle in your subconscious as you imagine sixty-five year old radio DJ’s around the country pronouncing them as they promote the album’s lead single, Make It Easy. The song is inoffensive and breezy in the exact way you’d probably expect for a Sugar Ray single in 2019. It almost sonically and structurally feels like it’d have worked better in the 1950’s but at the same time I could 100% see this song soundtracking a GAP commercial tomorrow. And yet the shadow that looms over the single the entire time you listen is the damn album title staring back at you on the cover. Who approved Little Yachty as an album name? Who pitched Little Yachty as an album name? How aware of Lil Yachty the person are they? Like do they just think Lil Yachty is a phrase or something that they can throw their branding at? Could they have been any more boomer going with LITTLE and not even Lil? Also why has NOBODY asked Lil Yachty about this yet??? And why has NOBODY asked Sugar Ray if Yachty will be featured on the album, or if he was an influence on the record? Can we at least get a quote on what their line of reasoning is to justify this album title? Is it really just that it’s “pseudo yacht rock even though it sounds nothing like yacht rock, so because it’s not full fledged yacht rock it’s just a little yachty”? Because if so that is the lamest thing I’ve ever heard. I love Sugar Ray but we need to get our man Lil Boat some royalties on this record if they’re gonna be pulling streams using his good name. At the very least we need a collab. In fact we definitely need a collab.
UPDATE (7/11/2019) : Mark McGrath stated in his GQ profile that not only did Lil Yachty approve but stated to Mark via twitter dm, “Oh, bro, you guys are legends and if we can ever jam, I’d love to jam with you guys some day.” We here at G.S.C. will be saying Rosaries around the clock praying that this collab comes to fruition.