“I knew the possibilities I would have if I stood out.”

Like any young adult, rapper Lil Yachty has dealt with his share of obstacles. From facing rejection to adjusting to the college experience, the rapper has had his share of obstacles – but those obstacles didn’t hold him back.

The 20-year-old artist, known for his unmistakable bubble-gum trap style and hits like “One Night” and “Wanna Be Us,” kicked the school year into high gear at IGNITE’s Frosh this year.

We got a chance to chat about all things school, rejection, and individuality with Lil Yachty before he graced our Frosh stage.

Here’s what he had to say:

Lil Yachty standing on stage in front of crowd
Photo credit | Brandon Ferguson

How does it feel to perform for this type of audience – first year students who are just starting out on their journey?

It’s dope. It’s a good feeling and I hope the energy level is high. Sometimes I feel like people don’t rock with me like that and I got more work to do, but having [a crowd] that’s excited and wanting me to come is really cool.

What would you say to young people who might often be told “no” by the world? What would you say about facing rejection?

I would say stay yourself. Listen to your own instinct and do what you want to do. Don’t let anything get in the way of your future. No one can predict your future but you.

Lil Yachty on stage in front of crowd
Photo credit | Brandon Ferguson

What do you think is one key to success?

Originality. Positivity too, you got to have good vibes and be in a good groove. [Inspiration] is also good, but you always have to have a good mindset and think of how to flip something.

What was the biggest difference for you between college and high school?

I was popular in high school.

What changed between high school and college?

[In college] I looked how I look now and it was 3 years ago and I was in a country town and it wasn’t cool. [Nobody] had coloured hair, and braids, and beads.

So the originality that held you back in college is what brought you to where you are now.

Yeah, and I knew it would. That’s why I didn’t let the negativity bring me down. I knew that [my hair] would get me where I was going because it was different. I didn’t cut it because people thought it was funny and laughed at it, I didn’t cut it – I knew the possibilities I would have if I stood out. Celebrities are really regular people just like everybody else, they just have something that makes them stand out.

Lil Yachty sitting on stage in front of crowd
Photo credit | Brandon Ferguson


*This interview has been edited for length and clarity

Lil Yachty’s epic show was just the beginning. We’ve got a lot of exciting events and speakers planned for you this year. Keep up to date with what’s coming up on IGNITE’s events page.

Looking for more celebrity interviews? Then check out our interview with another one of this year’s Frosh artists – Caked Up and check out last year’s interview with Boi 1-da.

Looking for pictures from Frosh? Event photos are up on our Facebook page.