Album: “Slime Language 2”
Artists: Young Stoner Life Records, Young Thug & Gunna
Label: Young Stoner Life Records
Release Date: April 16
Young Thug has made a career out of breaking norms in the hip-hop industry. The Atlanta native wears outrageous outfits, raps questionable lyrics and sings at pitches that would make Beyoncé jealous. Since gaining mainstream popularity in 2016, “Thugger” has been building up his Young Stoner Life record-label imprint and has helped launch the careers of rappers like Gunna, Lil Keed and Yung Kayo.
Now, armed to the teeth with a grandiose assortment of rappers and producers, Young Thug and Gunna have brought Thugger’s label to the masses with “Slime Language 2,” Young Stoner Life Records’ second compilation album.
As always, Thugger dedicates himself to abrasively braggadocious raps, instantly re-establishing his persona on the first bars — which hilariously don’t even rhyme — of the opening track, “Slatty.”
“Hop in a Benz / Hopped out a Porsche / Hop in your friend / After your daughter.”
Much of what makes “Slime Language 2” great is its ability to culturally transcend music, with dance challenges already being made for songs like “Ski” despite the project being less than a week old.
The album is packed with features, with the highlight being Rowdy Rebel’s verse on “Came and Saw.” Not even six months out of prison, Rowdy drops an excellent chorus/verse that steals the spotlight from Young Thug.
“I do this shit with no pressure / Run up the back ends and put up the extra / You cannot step with the steppers / You can’t put dirt on a n---a that’s clean / You cannot run up and check us / I’m with the slime, my twin, he bleed.”
On “Warrior,” YSL signees T-Shyne and Lil Keed melodically rap alongside a zen beat that would fit on any meditator’s playlist, paving the way for an exceptional feature verse from veteran Big Sean:
“I’m in Euphoria, Waldorf Astoria / Get the deal done, I’m callin’ the lawyers up / Slide out to dinner, and it’s already finished / They needin’ my signature while I’m still ordering.”
One classic returning duo consists of Thugger himself and a feature from longtime collaborator Lil Uzi Vert on “Proud of You.” Young Thug gives praise to his friend, with rising star Yung Kayo also getting a verse in the end.
[Young Thug] “Uzi a real king, somebody pass him a crown / I had a dream ‘bout lean, woke up, poured an ounce”
The album knows how to embrace R&B as well, with Thugger and labelmate Strick linking up with Kid Cudi for a beautifully melodic track about loving one’s self and being happier because of it:
[Strick] “Life is just like a buffet to me, I pick what I like and see / The secret is being yourself, aw, I just gave it away to ‘em / Commas and exclamations, yeah, it gotta be, yeah / Dollar signs, diamonds, she see it all on me.”
The album’s biggest surprise comes in “Como Te Llama,” which features HiDoraah, Thug’s younger sister, singing about a potential unnamed lover she wants to get to know.
The album still has plenty of range, with songs like the Meek Mill-assisted “That Go!” providing a backdrop for anyone preparing to go to war.
“Yeah, this twenty a pill / Ran up a check, get this Patek baguette, he made twenty more mill’ / Drop on the opp and then jump on the chopper and go to the Hills / My youngin go ‘Call of Duty’ with that chopper and he wanna kill.”
Equipped with a range of musical personnel that could permeate any genre, “Slime Language 2” feels like the album Young Thug always wanted to make since his career took off a little over a decade ago.
Now, at just 29 years of age, he can finally rest on top as one of hip-hop’s heavyweights.
Alex Falter is the assistant arts editor and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org