Album Review: Young Thug - "Punk"
Written By: Mike Double G
Grade = 81% or 4 ️Stars
Track List -1 hour 3 minutes
Die Slow (w/ Strick) 3:57 ️
Stressed (w/ J. Cole & T-Shyne) 3:40 ️
Stupid/Asking 5:33 /
Recognize Real (w/ Gunna) 2:51 ️
Peepin Out The Window (w/ Future & Bslime) 3:57 ️
Rich Nigga Shit (w/ Juice WRLD) 2:57 ️
Livin It Up (w/ Post Malone & A$AP Rocky) 3:30
Yea Yea Yea 2:24 ️
Insure My Wrist (w/ Gunna) 2:48
Scoliosis (w/ Lil Double O) 2:50
Bubbly (w/ Travis Scott & Drake) 2:45 ️
Road Rage 2:32
Faces 2:12 ️
Dropping Jewels 3:38
Fifth Day Dead 2:30
Icy Hot (w/ Doja Cat) 3:36
Love You More (w/ Nate Ruess, Gunna, & Jeff Bhasker) 3:41
Hate The Game 2:44
Day Before (w/ Mac Miller) 2:15
August 16th, 2019 Young Thug released his first official LP titled So Much Fun. Since then he has released a mixtape with Chris Brown called Slime & B as well as a Slime Language 2 which was a project with Gunna and the rest of YSL. His new project Punk is just his second solo LP. His first LP “So Much Fun” was produced by J-Cole and was mainly a rap album. On “Punk” Young Thug experiments with different genres while also giving us the Thug music we’ve become familiar with. “Punk” includes features from J-Cole, Future, Post Malone, A$AP Rocky, Travis Scott, Drake, and Gunna who appears on three different tracks. We also have features from the late Juice WRLD and the late Mac Miller. “Slime Language 2” featured many of his YSL members but on this project the only YSL members who appeared besides Gunna were Strick, T-Shyne, and YNW Melly’s little brother Bslime. Bslime is also Thug’s nephew. Some unfamiliar names include Doja Cat, Lil Double O, Nate Ruess, and Jeff Bhasker.
The album is titled “Punk” but this is not a Punk rock album. Some people thought Thug might go the MGK or Trippie Redd route by making an entire project that genre. The most punk sounding song would be “Hate The Game” which turned out to be one of the weaker songs on the album. It was too cliché for my liking. There actually isn’t a lot of Punk rock songs on this album but you hear a lot of acoustic guitar through out the album. We heard lot of guitar in the beginning of the album on tracks like Die Slow, Stupid/Asking, and Recognize Real. You also hear guitar on the last song Day Before. The first track of the album is “Die Slow” . This might be Thug’s most introspective song to date. On “Die Slow” Thug talks about the many problems he deals with even though he has become a star. He talks about trying to find God, slowing down when it comes to drinking lean, missing his sons birthday because he was out on tour, and the possibility of his brother going to prison. He also tells a story about how his father and his mother’s boyfriend getting into a shootout, leaving one of them in a coma. He goes onto say how his Mom tried to stop a similar situation which ended up with her getting ran over. Thug says:
The lady had got in the car and just pulled off doing at, like, sixty miles per hour, ran my mom l over. She had a stroke and shit, but she alright.
This song has an intro, two verses, an interlude, a bridge and an outro. Thug talks on the intro, Interlude, and outro but raps on the verses and sings on the bridge. The whole song is over acoustic guitar which makes it the perfect song to begin the album.
To promote his new album Young Thug, Gunna, and Metro Boomin destroyed a Rolls-Royce. Three days before the albums release they were filmed taking bats to the luxury vehicle. Also to promote his album Thug appeared on The Breakfast Club for the first time. In the past Thug avoided the show because of a feud between him and Charlamagne Tha God. They seemed to hash things out, at least for the interview. Thug admitted to regretting the decision to destroy the Rolls-Royce. Thug also went on to talk about his relationship with the late Juice WRLD and Mac Miller. Rich Nigga Shit with Juice WRLD is one of the better songs on the album. It was a rap song that sounded like it was meant for “So Much Fun”. The last song on this album was “Day Before” with Mac Miller. Thug told Charlamagne and Angela Yee that he was with Mac Miller the day before he died. They named the song “Day Before” the day before he died. Although this song has nothing to do with life or death the title alone is coincidental.
Drake and Travis both appear on the song Bubbly. Both Thug and Travis have big songs on Drake’s LP Certified Lover Boy so it only seemed right to bring the three of them together for this project. Both Way 2 Sexy and Fair Trade are top songs on Apple Music. Similar to Drake’s and Travis’s SICKO MODE and “Fair Trade” this song has two different beats. The two beats on this song isn’t a complete change up like “SICKO MODE” but more like “Fair Trade” which has a more settle change to the beat. I think Thug had the best verse of the three so I’m glad he was able to keep this track for his album. The song has three verses with Thug leading the way. By starting out first Thug was able to create the cadence prior to Travis Scott piggybacking on the second verse. After the second verse the beat changes for Drake’s part of the song. Drake and Travis are now three for three using this technique. It’s a good idea with so many people not having the patience to listen to the same beat over four or five minutes. It seems like rap songs are only getting shorter but changing the beat in the middle of the song keeps the song sounding fresh and almost feels like two songs in one. Some might think this is two different songs in one but what usually makes these kind of songs one track is the artists sharing the same pocket or staying on the topic when it comes to content. I expect to see this more often as Drake has been known for setting the trend and changing the game.
One of my favorite songs was Stressed with J. Cole and T-Shyne. Thugger and Cole developed a strong relationship when they went on tour together in 2019. The relationship led to the duo collaborating and Cole executive producing Thug’s first LP “So Much Fun”. When Thug was on the Breakfast Club, Angela Yee asked Thug if he learned anything from J. Cole. Thug said he taught him things like:
Keep going, adapt away, keep believing, keep your family close, and every dollar isn’t good.
Although they have two very different styles Cole said he liked how Thug was able to contour his voice. This has inspired Cole to experiment with new sounds of his own. On “Stressed” you can tell J. Cole is trying to sound like Thug when he says:
ain't sayin' I'm the richest nigga that's in this shit. Barely check my account, nigga, I'm admittin' it. Fuck around with my bread, bet you I'ma find out. Couple niggas I deaded know what I'm talkin' 'bout.
Besides the rock/punk genre Thug also dipped his toe into the pop lane with songs like Icy Hot and Love You More. “Icy Hot” is a song with popstar/rapper Doja Cat. These two worked together once in the past on the song Payday” which was one of the stronger songs on Doja Cat’s album Planet Her. I liked “Icy Hot” better than “Love You More”. Similar to “Hate The Game”, “Love You More” was a little too cliche for me. Both Young Thug and Gunna sang on this song more than they rapped. They have been successful with this approach in the past but I think they missed on this one. The duo performed this song on “Saturday Night Live” along with Nate Ruess which was a smart move since it is more radio friendly then some of the other songs on this album. However, Young Thug fans know this is not Thugger at his best.
Overall, I think this was another quality project from Young Thug. He was daring enough to experiment with different genres, but did not overdue it. There is still plenty of the Thug we all love and some of the more experimental songs actually came out pretty good. We saw a couple members from YSL but he didn’t flood the project with new artists. Fans still got the big names features that we wanted to see like Drake, Travis Scott, J. Cole, and of course Gunna. I also think was a good time to release this more experimental project since “Slime Language 2” was released just 6 months prior. I would still give the edge to “SL2” and especially “So Much Fun” when debating which is the better project but all three are four star efforts. Thug released a song titled “Tick Tock” and many thought it was the lead single to this project but it was not on the track list so there is a good possibility that this project may come with a deluxe version very soon. Both “SL2” and “So Much Fun” had deluxe versions.
Favorite Song = Peepin Out The Window (Feat. Future & Bslime)
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