Originally slated for a July 4 release, Young Thug finally dropped his Slime Season mixtape yesterday. Our staff discusses below.
David Turner: I think I’m just a contemporary Young Thug hater. Too many of his eccentricities grate on me for me to really say I’m a fan of the dude at this point. So, very little of Slime Season is really all that enjoyable to me. But I’ll certainly make a shout out to “Best Friend” being way too much fun.
Yasmin Tayag: The creativity Young Thug brings to his wardrobe doesn’t exactly spill over to this mixtape. Don’t get me wrong — I’d happily turn up to this — but on the whole it just seems a bit lackluster. While his flow on “Quarterback” is dope, it also sounds like Sonny Digital slapped together a synth pad loop in ten minutes and called it a day.
But maybe that’s beside the point, and this is just a vehicle for Thugger to troll all of us, just because he can. I do love his nonsensical mutterings on “Stunna” and the erratic beat on the WondaGurl-produced “Freaky” — both tracks give him space to push the limits of weird, which is how he keeps us coming back.
Corban Goble: This is definitely a grab-bag release — its always hard to tell what the stakes are for any given Young Thug project, which is something he’s established his entire career — and I feel like the sonics are scattered. While I know “Best Friend” was recorded at least sometime after the advent of “on fleek,” it’s hard to tell when the other stuff on here was made. In that sense it’s tough to size up, since it’s not really any kind of coherent statement sonically. It tells us nothing about Hy!£UN35, which is probably for the best.
“Best Friend” is a dope single though.
Matthew Strauss: We’ve got two “Best Friend” shoutouts so far, so I’m gonna go ahead and say it’s not good. The beat doesn’t really do much for me and the hook is a little bland. That said, I could see myself clawing at the walls trying to get it out of my head in a couple of weeks. Barter 6 has such a defined mood. Slime Season, as Corban says, it’s really a mix that goes nowhere interesting. And at 70 minutes, it leaves you feeling like Thug’s daughter:
“Udiggwhatimsayin,” though is a worthy back half pick-me-up with a tapped piano line that’s somewhere between “Chopsticks” and “U Guessed It.” Plus, it’s produced by Keri Hilson’s brother Kip, who also did “Halftime” on Barter. That trivia bumps this song up to a No. 1 single in my eyes.
I don’t want to hate on Thug this much, but I just want to temper my own Hy!£UN35 expectations. Slime Season isn’t meant to be a classic tape, and it shouldn’t be taken as one.
Winston Cook-Wilson: I think Thug’s followers are expecting big things from him right now, both those who loved Barter 6 and those who thought it did not pack enough “hits.” I do not think Thug’s recent hits — some of which are included here — have the same punch as even Barter album tracks, and don’t come close to the untroubled inspiration of a “Constantly Hating” or Rich Gang cuts from “Givenchy” to “Flava.” So I don’t know — it probably won’t fully satisfy either camp, just the diehards who love all Thug by default.
I like most of this tape though, with the exception of the first quarter, which seems like songs that Gucci Mane should be sticking recycled verses on (“Again,” incidentally, has one of those) and rolling out on one of the zillion tapes his buddy is making up for him while he’s in prison. I agree with Yasmin about the “Quarterback” beat. I like “Stunna” and “Best Friend,” but tend to prefer the London-produced tracks. “No Way” is just straight-up perverse — nothing special but the kind of faux-dancehall hook I love from Thug; “Udiggwhatimsayin” is a nice, clubby respite from the normal BPM of the tape.
The songwriting here in general isn’t as good — I think the period in Thugger’s development highlighted here (with some oldies thrown in) is just a stepping stone to bigger things. Or I hope it is — the worst thing would be him settling in and stagnation. I would rather hear some patently bad stuff from him than that. I don’t know what bad Thugger would look like, though — maybe rap-rock, but that could also be solid. We’ll have to wait and see.