Young Thug - So Much Fun

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Young Thug’s latest full length project So Much Fun is thoroughly just as the title suggests. Jeffery Lamar Williams, more commonly known as Young Thug, has been a commanding presence in hip-hop for the better half of this decade. Thugger has an uncompromisingly weird approach to rapping. His boldly eccentric and idiosyncratic delivery is high-pitched, often climaxing into off-kilter yelps and murmurs. His distinctly melodic approach frequently morphs itself into a bizarre sing/rap hybrid. As he laid the groundwork for more notoriety to return to Atlanta rap, Thugger has spawned a large handful of followers, many of whom appear heavily on this record.

Take for example Gunna. Has he ever sounded as focused as he does on the stunner “Hot?” Young Thug and Gunna trade boastful bars over dizzying, blaring horns. The two also spar on the more relaxed, timpani heavy “Surf.”

So Much Fun has an ample amount of features. For many rappers, the inclusion of so many outside voices can make a project feel bloated while diluting the presence of the artist whose name is on the front cover. But Young Thug has a chiseled talent for knowing how to utilize his collaborations to their max potential while never allowing another person to take away his spotlight. On the sunny “What’s the Move,” the best song of the album, Young Thug joins forces with Lil Uzi Vert. The production is lush and bubbling, lending way for the two’s vivacious and charismatic performances. The highest profile partnership is saved for the end, as Travis Scott, J. Cole, and Young Thug come through with the surefire hit in “The London.” The three sound as confident as ever as the three celebrate their respective recent successes.

That is in no way saying that Young Thug isn’t capable of holding down a track by himself. He very much is. Thug’s flow is at his sharpest on the opener “Just How It Is.” He takes a more reflective, inward-looking approach to his lyrics as he dissects his new role in music stardom: “I came from rags to riches, I'm the shit. I can no longer disguise it, bitch, 'cause I'm rich.” A pulsating 808 and swelling synths takeover the hypnotic “Lil Baby.” The hook is ripe for festival sing-a-longs with a sticky, fully realized chorus pegged by Thugger. On the other end of the spectrum, “Light it Up” is a straight-on trap slapper with boom-bap bass dueling with a stabbing, rugged synth.

So Much Fun is a testament to Young Thug’s massive influence on Atlanta hip-hop. It is also a display of just how ahead of his peers he is. It is not the most risky or inventive music Williams has ever put out, nor is it the most thematic. What it is, however, is the purest, most boiled down example of what makes Thugger so special in the first place. One quality track after another showcases his exuberant ad-libs, oddball flow, and overall grin-splitting hooks and performances. It’s a win for Young Thug.

 Grade: A-