“I believe all great things are created in the space between method and madness.” -paraphrased from Shakespeare’s “Hamlet.”
Young Thug is a rule breaker. Scratch that, rule shatterer. Whenever the phrase “by Young Thug” appears following a song title, all expectations on how the track will sound are thrown out the window. The unpredictability is what makes Thugger so iconic. He’s a man of many personas —and the mask he dons for each project is shrouded in mystery until release day.
This skill is a blessing and a curse. After the critical and commercial success of “Barter 6” and “Slime Season 3,” the Atlanta native attempted to rewrite the narrative of how his art is “supposed” to sound. Whether showing off his crooning capabilities on country cuts during “Beautiful Thugger Girls” or unleashing his inner animalistic gusto at times on “JEFFREY,” you got the sense that Young Thug was like a superhero who just discovered his powers — eager to show them off but without much control. I wondered if Thugger would ever harness this talent and find a healthy medium between method and madness for a full-length release.
On debut album “So Much Fun,” Young Thug sounds more focused than he ever has before.
It isn’t just the pristine trap production, headlined by some of Wheezy and Supah Mario’s best beats to date. It isn’t just the invigorated guest performances by Lil Duke, Juice WRLD and (gulp) even Nav that are elevated to new heights in the presence of Thugger’s expertise and charisma. It’s the way Young Thug sounds. The crispness of his otherworldly flows. The meticulously crafted hooks. The way he rides each beat’s pocket with the confidence and precision of a world-class assassin. He just sounds…..different. And the result is a 19-song project that, miraculously, never drags or stalls at any point. The alien of the rap industry has somehow found another way to shatter any prior ceiling we had for his genius.
From the absurd “Had to wear the dress cause I had the stick,” bar on the opening track “Just How It Is” to the final distorted echo of Travis Scott’s hook on “The London,” Young Thug packs enough stamina and spirit of a man sprinting a marathon. “Hot” features a captivating Batman and Robin performance from Thugger and Gunna over triumphant horns meant to be played at the highest volume. Album standout “Jumped Out the Window” involves Young Thug levitating over some of the most menacing keys I’ve ever heard. Thug transforms himself into the love child of Macho Man and the Cookie Monster with his “ayeee” adlib on “Cartier Gucci Scarf.” Quavo is resurrected from the grave on “Circle of Bosses” with his best verse in years. The album moves at a rapid pace and you can feel the intensity from Young Thug from start to finish. He doesn’t waste a single verse, hook or bar.
Young Thug’s brilliance isn’t in the content of his lines. His bars aren’t meant to be carefully dissected endlessly on Genius. There are times throughout the project that I question if he’s even speaking English. But does it matter? The unique quality of Thugger’s art lies in the feeling it brings — and “So Much Fun” is a freaking blast. This debut proves that the sky is the limit for a laser-focused Young Thug — able to drop an album that is as much fun as it is timeless.
Stream “So Much Fun” by Young Thug: