Easy Breezy Beautiful Thugger Girls: A True Love Story
Pause. Before I get into the review of this album let’s rewind to September 2014. Rich Gang: Tha Tour Part 1 just dropped and is the hot topic in basically every hip-hop/rap circle. Fresh off the hype of the platinum single “Lifestyle,” both Young Thug and Rich Homie Quan are riding the wave of hip-hop relevance. Now let’s think back to 2014, and what the solo career’s of both Young Thug and Rich Homie Quan looked like. Rich Homie Quan was still relatively new to national mainstream success with singles like “Type of Way,” “My Hitta” (as a feature), and “Get TF Out My Face” (featuring none other than, Thugger). RHQ was also fresh off of his XXL freshman bid (an honor Young Thug turned down in said year) and a young artist that seemed to be moving up the chart(s) swiftly. With singles like “Danny Glover” and “Stoner” getting major airplay on the radio and in nightclubs across the country, Thugger was also making waves of his own. More notable than his music however, at that time, was his flamboyant style of dress (including his colorful dreads), high pitched style of rapping/crooning on tracks and several of his social media posts (and song lyrics) — including, but not limited to, pictures of him posed with men referring to them as his “love(r),” “ba(b)e,” and “hubbie” — which could [rightfully] be interpreted as him not being exclusively intimate with women. Unfortunately for Young Thug, hip-hop and homophobia have walked hand-in-hand over the years, which made Young Thug a bit of an…anomaly. Today, we have the Lil Uzi Vert’s and Famous Dex’s of the hip-hop world — and to a lesser degree the Migos (who have severely changed up their fashion sense within the past 1–2 years or so) and the “Pull Up With Ah Stick” crooner, Sahbabii — that have normalized the anomaly that was Young Thug circa 2013/2014 by frequently sporting colorful hairstyles, tight clothing, chokers, and other boundary pushing attire. Nonetheless, all three of those factors [mentioned above regarding Young Thug] combined together to form the Triumvirate of reasons to make Thugger hip hop’s public enemy #1. For the first couple of year’s of Young Thug’s career it seemed as if people were more concerned with his sexual orientation, than his actual musical talent(s). Three years later, Thugger has become a staple in modern hip-hop (I would personally call him a trailblazer) and Rich Homie Quan has fizzled out to borderline obsolescence in the rap game. Talk about a plot twist.
Play. With projects like Slime Season 3 and Jeffery under his belt, Young Thug has already proven that he can make cohesive and complete mixtapes/albums with solid singles and [arguably] better album tracks. None of his previous projects, however, prepared us for the musical genius that is Beautiful Thugger Girls. Thugger takes us on a journey through life, lust, love and family, while weaving his unique sound and touch into every single song along the way. Now, I’ll be very blunt when I say: Young Thug is doing things that NO OTHER RAPPER (outside of possibly Kendrick Lamar) is doing right now, musically. His ability to weave live instruments (mainly the guitar/piano) into almost all of the songs on the album is masterful, to say the least. The type of mastery that makes it evident that Thugger is a student of music on a higher level, than most people will ever give him credit for being. Additionally, his utilization of the smooth vocals of Millie Go Lightly on several tracks and Jacquees on “For Y’all” as background harmonies is so methodical and well placed it almost mesmerizes the listener. Moreover, through changing the intonation of his vocals throughout his songs, it’s almost as if he is using his voice as both a vocal and an instrument on the tracks. On the standout tracks “She Wanna Party” (I’m going to come back to this song specifically, later on) and “Do U Love Me” he changes his vocal intonation on at least 4 occasions in both songs. These strategic changes in vocal pitch and delivery almost make it sound like you are listening to several artists on the track, when in fact it is just Thugger, being Thugger. His recruitment of Future and Quavo on “Relationship” and “You Said,” are such great compliments to both tracks, respectively, that it seems as if an alternate without those two artists would be unreal to imagine. Future, doing what he does best, croons through the hook of “Relationship” and delivers solid bars, which build upon the theme of the various love/lust affairs that Young Thug expands upon throughout the album. Quavo — the unofficial (current) King of Ad-libs — doing what he does best, drops a solid verse with the right combination of crooning and ad-libbing, as a counter argument to Young Thug’s love/lust pursuit’s of a young lady who has done far more talking than doing. Random aside, but Future’s real name is Nayvadius and Quavo’s real name is Quavious. These fellas are clearly ahead of their time…if Thugger could’ve secured a feature from Nostradamus, this tape would have been legendary. Back to the review, if you listen intently to the content you can also see a slight bit of the conscious side of Young Thug that he frequently flashes in his feature work, but infuses all throughout this album as the lead artist. Think back to Travis Scott’s single off of — what I personally consider to be Travis Scott’s best project — Days Before Rodeo, “Mamacita.” Young Thug howls “she look the best with her ‘fro” showing admiration for a black woman with natural hair. From this same lineage of thought he draws for the line “blacker the berry, drink my cran” showing another flash of his appreciation for black women on “Me or Us.” These lines may seem unimportant, but in an era where disregard and disrespect for black women is as mainstream as has ever been in society, these bars reflect a digression from what has become the status quo. A status quo that Young Thug has on several occasions contributed to, himself.
Also, a brief side note. I’m not sure how many people have actually noticed Young Thug’s new teeth, but the man has perfect pearly whites. Possibly one of the reasons why he makes several dental/teeth related references throughout the project including “Daddy’s Birthday” where he proclaims, “I told her (his daughter) Colgate, baby you gotta keep your teeth straight.” He also references flossing in several songs, including the pre-chorus of “She Wanna Party,” which with the above understanding makes it clear that the word is used as a double entendre for boasting/showing out, and actually flossing.
Speaking of “She Wanna Party,” which is by far the best track on the album, Young Thug creates one of — what I would consider — the best songs across all genres, of 2017. The last song that I had on such consistent replay within the past 12 months is “Don’t Touch My Hair” off of the wonder-album A Seat At The Table by Solange. This is elite company, Thugger. To understand what makes this song so special, we have to break it down layer by layer. First and foremost, let’s tip our hats to Millie Go Lightly for beautifully infusing her smooth vocals into this song and enhancing its overall aura. Secondly, Young Thug uses all of his staple tricks (variation of intonation, ad-libbing, and strategic crooning to name a few) to create a song that becomes more of an experience, than just a track. He takes the listener through the ebbs and flows of what a casual-turned-serious romantic relationship that is formed in the club with a young lady looks and feels like. By proclaiming that all she wants to do is party with a real one, he in turn creates an ironic titular misnomer (which he does with several other songs on the album) for a song that is more about lasting love (and deep feelings), than just temporary partying (and sex). Though this song is third in the album track list order, it sums up the entire project: Young Thug’s pursuit (and discovery) of his very own Easy Breezy Beautiful Thugger Girl (no “s”).
“Everything about you please me…from you, away, could never push me…I, want, you, forreal.”
It’s clear as day, that Thugger whether caught up in the moment, or truly infatuated with this young lady, has found his EBBTG to compliment him for a lifetime on this track and that’s what makes this song so unique: Young Thug using his musical ability to distinguish love from lust, while acknowledging that lust is the reason they crossed paths in the first place. Now if that isn’t a 2017 true love story, I am not quite sure what is.
With Beautiful Thugger Girls, Young Thug has set the bar very high for himself for what both fans and casual listeners of his should expect from future projects. What separates good from great, ordinary from extraordinary, and mediocre from excellent, are the subtleties. The minute details that can easily go missed, but if caught, make a world of a difference for the listener. With Drake in the lead as the Executive Producer, they combined their musical talents to create — what is to date — Young Thug’s magnum opus, and I have no choice but to believe they have more collaborative work to come in the near future. Between the two of them, they have crafted one of the best and most cohesive hip-hop album’s of 2017, and quite frankly, turned me from a casual listener of Thugger, into a fan, who would possibly spend money to attend one of his shows. I’m excited to see what he does moving forward with his craft and I look forward to any future projects he plans on releasing, and the boundless growth and development Thugger is capable of…if he continues his commitment to his art. I still haven’t forgotten that one time he called those black women in the airport “peasants” and “ants” tho’, luckily momma talked some sense into bo.
Overall 3Z Rating: 2.50/3 Z’s (8.3/10)
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