I’m not sure what to expect from Young Thug‘s new album Beautiful Thugger Girls and I’m even less certain of what I want. It’s an odd feeling to have expectations for the creative expressions of others since the genesis of another man’s idea exists outside of our knowledge.
If we can’t know it, though, how can we judge it? I’m not trying to stop you—cause I’ll be judging it—but the question felt worth raising.
What we do know, however, is the past, which shows us that Young Thug likes to toy with categories of genre, language, and expression in ways that force us out of our “prickly” tendencies. It’s a beneficial service. It converted a rigid idealogue under the spell that rap had to sound like ‘x’ with ‘y’ rhyme scheme and ‘z’ subject matter. As if we can approach art the way we do algebra
Thug’s catalog is as diverse as the nihilistic R&B-esque Barter 6, the vocal experiment that was JEFFREY, and his fan-favorite Slime Season series, whose aesthetic holds so tightly to its name that it still causes my fingers to stick to the keyboard whenever I press play on the grimier cuts. If I had money to bet, it’s that Beautiful Thugger Girls will be more JEFFREY than Slime Season, but with hints of his darker moments. That being said, if Alex Tumay’s clues mean anything, this will be the “danciest” Thug album to date.
If indeed that is the route taken here, I hope it will bring Thug the crossover success he deserves. Regardless, it’s an opportunity to see the new ways in which Thug has decided to challenge his musicality in the nine months since his last release.
In usual 1-Listen fashion, the rules are the same: no skipping, no fast-forwarding, no rewinding and no stopping. Each song will receive my gut reaction from start to finish.