An often-asked question throughout the rap community goes something like this: “When will ______ blow up?” The answer though can be confusing to answer. Is it when they have a radio single? Is it when they’re a XXL Freshman? Is it when they get a major cosign? Part of what makes hip hop a fun genre to follow is determining who the next big star is going to be makes anticipating new projects all the more enjoyable.
Young Thug is often heralded as a rapper on the brink of superstardom. His spot as rap’s most eclectic, unique voice is unquestioned. A spot among hip hop’s mainstream heavy hitters however has eluded him his entire career. Some would argue his performances are too weird for radio, and that’s fair. That high-pitched squawk of a voice won’t appeal to many people if we’re being honest. In any case, Thug’s one of music’s most interesting figures, and his new album ‘Beautiful Thugger Girls’ continues his zany run of surprising brilliance.
Described by Thug himself as a “singing album,” it’s a departure from his usual melodic trap. Those qualities are still there, but Thug opts to forgo blistering rhymes for crooning pleas more often than not. On ‘Feel It’ (which FINALLY got an official release), Thug pens a tribute to his fiancé Jerrika and genuine love. Other songs like ‘Oh Yeah,’ ‘You Said’ and ‘Me Or Us’ paint Thug as the emotional heart-on-the-sleeve figure he was going for with aplomb. Most importantly he’s still Young Thug, and that’s a good thing considering we’d be devoid of his best quality: his uniqueness.
Because it’s Young Thug, there’s always other little intricacies to enjoy throughout this album. The dancehall on ‘She Wanna Party’ and ‘Do U Love Me’ complement Thug’s voice great, and hearing him change pitch behind the constant drum kicks sounds awesome. The country twang surrounding opening track ‘Family Don’t Matter’ is peculiar yet amusing, and he delivered the LOL moment of the year when he inexplicably yells “YEEHAW!” 20 seconds into the song. That small flash of hilarity is another example of why there’s simply no other rapper quite like Thug.
Has Thug ‘blown up?’ He checks off all the boxes that most people have in regards to that ever elusive term, though mainstream success seems to be the only parameter left. His first commercial project, 2015’s ‘Barter 6,’ famously only sold 16,000 in its first week, and the projections as of now have this one under 20k as well. Maybe Thug will never attain the type of success. Maybe he’s forever destined to lie just below that crossover tier, seemingly ready to blow but never reaching it. Nonetheless, Thug has proven once again that he can craft an enjoyable project while staying true to himself, which is in and in itself worthy of praise. Blowing up would just be icing on the cake.
‘Beautiful Thugger Girls’ is available now via 300 Entertainment and Atlantic Records. The full track-list for the album is as follows…
- Family Don’t Matter ft. Millie Go Lightly
- Tomorrow Till Infinity
- She Wanna Party ft. Millie Go Lightly
- Daddy’s Birthday
- Do U Love Me
- Relationship ft. Future
- You Said
- On Fire
- Get High ft. Snoop Dogg & Lil Durk
- Feel It
- Me Or Us
- Oh Yeah
- For Y’all ft. Jacquees
- Take Care