A blip in the chaotic Thugger universe, to which you should nonetheless pay close attention.
A blip in the chaotic Thugger universe, to which you should nonetheless pay close attention.

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Young Thug and Carnage
Young Martha
(YSL/Heavyweight/300 Entertainment)

Last Friday, Young Thug released Young Martha, a four-track EP, produced by DJ Carnage, which extends the Atlanta rapper’s already prolific output of this past year. Just three months ago, he released his incredible first studio album, Beautiful Thugger Girls, in which he used his pliant and erratic vocal style to deliver textured, erotic images of love and lust. He’s also been doling out features by the platter, which makes this release feel like a mere blip in the chaotic Thugger universe. It’s not a spectacular one, but it’s a blip we should still be so lucky to hear.

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In terms of production, the album’s highlight is “Liger.” The backdrop is ominous and chilling, even if the lyrics don’t particularly stand out, save for a few absurd, anti-patriotic yelps (“I'm rich, I don't gotta vote, fuck you,” and later, “Uncle Sam, mothafuck him”). That’s fine. With Thugger, the how of delivery has always taken precedence over the what.

On the first track, “Homie,” Young Thug oscillates between his typical warbled rapping style and the deep, bellicose growling last heard on Jeffery’s “Harambe.” Over organs, he yelps about friendship and loyalty, throwing in some signature outlandishness for good measure (I would like to see his “motherfucking ten thousand dollar toe ring.” Which toe does he wear it on?). “10,000 Slimes” lays trap beats over a twangy synth wave, as Young Thug sings about weed, women, and jewellery. Two-thirds of the way through, the backdrop is cut and replaced by a simmering bass that crescendos as Young Thug sings with increasing tenderness. About what exactly is not clear to me yet, but the urgency is.

The final track “Don’t Call Me,” was actually released a year ago by Carnage, featuring vocals by British singer Shakka. On his EP, Thugger adds an intro and closing verse to the dance-y, EDM song. It’s a luminescent coda to this project, which feels a few songs too short, considering that half of its tracks were already out prior to the release. Yet in its short run time, Young Thug and Carnage both seem to exchange symbiotically and push one another in new directions (if only for short distances). For what it’s worth, a sequel to Young Martha, is allegedly in the works.