“Oprah’s Bank Account” is a feat of engineering. The song and video feature two of music’s biggest streaming artists: Drake and DaBaby. Director X — the same filmmaker behind Drake’s “Hotline Bling” — helms the visual. And Lil Yachty, who fully commits to impersonating Oprah at the peak of her daytime talk show powers, leads his rapping co-stars in a series of sketches destined to flood Instagram feeds and Twitter timelines across the nation.
In that way, “Oprah’s Bank Account” feels like a culmination. For the first third of 2020, Yachty recalibrated on the fringes of rap, quietly and consistently turning in feature after feature, appearance after video appearance. Whether it was Tadoe’s “Get It Bussin” or Duke Deuce’s “Crunk Ain’t Dead Mob,” the crimson-haired rapper reclaimed, in short bursts, some of the goodwill he’d lost since the critiqued release of 2017’s Teenage Emotions.
At one point in the video, Yachty and Drake launch into a skit about the current state of rap. It’s more revealing than funny. The sketch quickly devolves into dad humor, showing just how fast rapper’s age in the new ecosystem. The two musicians joke about mumble rap at Yachty’s expense. For some godforsaken reason, they mispronounce TikTok as “TokTake.” Then Yachty as “Boprah” asks, “This new generation of music, these new rappers. The mumble rap, what do you think about it?”
“I think it’s amazing,” Drake responds. “Literally, writing nursery rhymes that nobody can understand. I think it’s progressive and innovative. I think at the forefront of that movement of music that should be forgotten about \ Lil Yachy.” With the help of Drake, DaBaby, and Director X, Lil Yachty maay have a moment on his hands that’s all but impossible to ignore. Yet again, Yachty — with the help of the forces invested in his future — seems too big to fail, similar to Oprah’s bank account.