Tag Archives: young thug

Monthly Playlist: Sep. 2020

3 Oct

September 2020 saw the release of a surprise Fleet Foxes album, a much-awaited IDLES follow-up, emphatic returns from the likes of Alicia Keys and Sufjan Stevens, and lots more. Read on for our picks of the top five songs from the month that was.

5. “Love’s Gone Bad” from the Jaded Hearts Club

The Jaded Hearts Club is a supergroup featuring the who’s who of early aughts indie rock. Nic Crester from Jet and Miles Kane from the Last Shadow Puppets share vocal duties, with instrumentation from Muse’s Matt Bellamy (bass), Blur’s Graham Coxon (guitar) and a few other friends. Their music, as the obvious reference to Sgt. Pepper’s suggests, is a mix of these members’ indie rock sensibilities essentially converging into a Beatles tribute band. “Love’s Gone Bad” from early September features classic rock riffs and an energetic Lennon-esque presence from Kane. If you liked the Beatles and/or any of these gentlemen’s bands, it’s likely you’ll like this tune. Incidentally, the Jaded Hearts Club released their debut album You’ve Always Been Here just today, so be sure to check that out if you liked this track.

4. “FRANCHISE” by Travis Scott, feat. Young Thug and M.I.A.

You can recognize a Travis Scott beat anywhere. The dull boom of a thick bass line, paired with hypnotic notes and his lilting flow, became a signature on the well-received Astroworld, and it’s no different here. “FRANCHISE” sucks you right in – not just because of this things, but also because of a fantastic early chime-in from the one-and-only M.I.A. The British-Sri Lankan rapper holds her own with Scott and Young Thug, especially on her onomatopoeic turns with Sheck Wes (yes, he’s on here too). All in all, this is a slick and talent-heavy single from Travis Scott and friends – give it a spin.

3. “War” by IDLES

IDLES, much like their Irish counterparts Fontaines D.C., are key drivers of the rock scene across the pond these days. The British punk band has enjoyed widespread acclaim with striking debut Brutalism and equally-hard-hitting sophomore album Joy As An Act of Resistance. They returned this month with third album Ultra Mono, of which “War” is the opener. And open it does. The song hits like a shot of adrenaline, with brutal drumming that’s inter-cut with relentless guitar riffs. Despite lasting just about three minutes, “War” gives you a feel for senseless battle, from the mentions of Johnny and Sally being sent to their deaths right down to the explicit sound of a sword going in.

2. “Turntables” by Janelle Monae

We didn’t know this before, but apparently Amazon has funded an election-year, straight-to-Prime documentary called All In: The Fight For Democracy. While the thought of a Jeff Bezos vehicle talking about the fight for democracy in the context of billionaire-ridden modern-day America is a dubious proposition (to say the least), we can’t ignore this great track from multi-faceted legend Janelle Monae. The actress-singer-LGBTQ-icon here serves a rousing, patriotic ode to civil rights, liberties and all that the America-of-yore stood for: “I’m kicking out the old regime / Liberation, elevation, education / America, you a lie / But the whole world ’bout to testify”. Her lines work especially well on the music video that features striking visuals of the ongoing civil rights demonstrations in the US; check it out above.

1. “Trouble’s Coming” by Royal Blood

Royal Blood are a two(!)-piece rock band from Brighton, consisting simply of Mike Kerr on vocals / bass guitar and Ben Thatcher on drums. Their self-titled debut album blew us away with the sheer volume and breadth of sound that these two people can produce, as did their sophomore album How Did We Get So Dark?. Now, ahead of their third album next year, The band has released “Trouble’s Coming” – a searing ride through familiar Royal Blood territory. The song of course features all the Royal Blood trademarks (Thatcher’s relentless drums, Kerr’s sneering vocals), but what we found most interesting was its dance-rock undertones, especially on the earworm of a chorus (“I hear trouble coming, over and over again”). Beware while listening, though: this is the kind of song that will make you dearly miss live performances.

Future & Young Thug – SUPER SLIMEY

2 Dec

A collaboration between Young Thug and Future is something that always seemed in the cards. These two Atlantans are probably the biggest young rappers out there this side of Kendrick Lamar. Stylistically, there is quite a difference between Thugger’s yelps and Future’s growls, but the meeting felt inevitable. Now that it’s here, the result is sadly a little less than the sum of the parts, but that total is still plenty.

When they play off each other, such as in the excellent transition between verses in “Three” or build one another up, like in “No Cap”, where Future builds into Thugger who then sets up Future perfectly, this is truly fantastic music. However, “Cruise Ship” is one of the strongest songs in the album despite having no Future in it at all. It’s just classic Thugger. Meanwhile, “Drip On Me” feels entirely like a Future joint. Young Thug is actually quite good here, but it’s really the murkiness of Future that animates this song. Similarly, “Group Home” lies squarely in Future’s drug-hazed lane, and Young Thug is just a little out of place.

The talent is undeniable here. When it clicks, it’s great and when it doesn’t, it’s still fine. This isn’t the strongest work from either artist, but it is a testament to their current powers how good it is anyway.

@murthynikhil

Young Thug – Beautiful Thugger Girls

31 Jul

Inimitable, enigmatic and ever exciting, Thugger is the kind of rapper that you should be paying attention to. Beautiful Thugger Girls follows JEFFERY and Barter 6 in coherence and thus approachability. Great guest spots, including Future’s personal cuts in “Relationship”, Quavo in the excellent “You Said” and vintage Snoop bars in the appropriate “Get High” further the album’s broad appeal without compromising anything. Additionally, the album opener “Family Don’t Matter” leans far more on singing than normal for Young Thug, and thus softens the album as a whole. The majority though, is still Thugger yelping and squawking his way though songs as only he can, and the album closer “Take Care” does that as well as he ever has, as does “Tomorrow Til Infinity.”

It is however inescapable that Young Thug is not for everyone, and if you don’t like him, you won’t like this. Personally, I’m always interested when he puts out something new and Beautiful Thugger Girls does not disappoint. You should definitely try it out.

@murthynikhil

Young Thug: Barter 6

4 Jun

This would be a unique album by any standard, but dropping The Barter 6 into the modern rap scene is almost iconoclastic. Young Thug does draw his fair share from Lil Wayne’s well, but his sound is very immediately distinct.

This album in particular does a masterful job of presenting what exactly that sound can be. His singing and rapping meld into each other smoothly, aided in part by his borderline unintelligible flow. There is just an awareness of sound here that is exceptional. His voice harmonizes with the beat enough to groove you in and then chops it to jolt you back up. While he lacks the awareness that normally comes with rap (despite a Mike Brown line in OD, this is not by any means a political album) this makes for a very new sound.

This is not a flawless album, some of the guest spots in particular leave a lot to be desired, but this is still a very good album and a very intriguing one as well. I can’t promise that you will like it, but you should definitely at least try it.

@murthynikhil

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