Let’s Start Here, Lil Yachty’s new album is without a doubt his most experimental work to date. In fact, the Atlanta artist’s new take on psychedelic rock features a feature from famous painter Bob Ross, which is probably one of the most unusual guest appearances hip-hop has ever seen.
On March 8, Lil Yachty, Kevin “Coach K” Lee, co-founder and CEO of Quality Control Music, and Gelareh Rouzbehani, VP of A&R at Motown Records, were interviewed for a Billboard cover story about Yachty’s new album, Let’s Start Here.
In talking about the details of Lil Yachty’s latest 14-track project, “Head Trip,” the trio explained how the late TV personality Bob Ross, who died in 1995 from complications from lymphoma, made a posthumous appearance on the song “We Saw the Sun!”
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Gelareh Rouzbehani talked about how Lil Yachty’s Let’s Start Here has very few guest appearances from other artists while talking about the unlikely pairing of Boat and Bob Ross.
The Motown executive said that Ross’ estate at first wouldn’t let them use the spoken word ending to “We Saw the Sun!” but that Yachty’s persistence has made the appearance of the artist from “The Joy of Painting” a part of music history.
“I think a big worry for them was that Yachty is known as a rapper, and Bob Ross and his band are very clean,” Rouzbehani told Billboard. “They didn’t want to be seen with anything that was too obvious.
But Yachty was adamant, so he played the song for Ross’ team and sent the lyrics to the whole album to put the group at ease. We finally got the call after a lot of back and forth. Yachty is the first artist ever to get permission from Bob Ross.”
The end of Bob Ross’s “We Saw the Sun!” fits perfectly with Lil Yachty’s light and airy “We Saw the Sun!” track, which was made by Sadpony. The sample from Bob Ross’s famous art show, The Joy of Painting, has a message of hope and positivity that goes well with how Yachty feels in his lyrics.
On “We Saw the Sun!,” Bob Ross can be heard saying, “Just let your imagination run wild.” “Let your heart be your guide. You could have finished a painting in the time you spend worrying about it and trying to figure out how to paint it. Let it happen. Let it happen.
And sometimes I would work on a picture for weeks, drawing it out and making all the little sketches and stuff. And then I’d go back and try to fill in the blocks for maybe a month. And here, where we let it happen, it shows up. It’s in you, and it’s on the canvas, OK? Let’s see.”
Let’s Start Here, Lil Yachty’s psychedelic rock album, peaked at No. 9 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, and “We Saw the Sun!” with Bob Ross has been played more than 4.7 million times on Spotify.
Listen to “We Saw the Sun!” By Lil Yachty Featuring Bob Ross from His Let’s Start Here Album Below