If you had told me a year ago that the album I’m most looking forward to listening to all summer is Young Thug crooning his heart out on an album stuffed with love ballads, I would have probably called you crazy. When Thug announced that he was dropping a singing album, i prepared myself for the worst. Not that Thugga can’t sing (he can) but there have been times when it doesn’t necessarily work in the songs or sound all that on-beat or on-pitch. I personally can’t stand the way he sounds on the first half of “Top off the Benz”. Granted, his singing doesn’t need to be on-key for it to sound good, it just helps the listening experience. The announcement also brought up (painful) memories of Lil Wayne’s “Rebirth” rock album, or when Kid Cudi decided to do his best to make us plug our ears permanently with “Speedin’ Bullet 2 Heaven”.
This album though, “Beautiful Thugger Girls” manages to allow Thug to stay in his zone but also stray far enough for it to be an initial shock to the ears, in a pleasant way. It is the success, the rapper who crossed genres without losing himself and his audience along the way. The album is a cohesive, well-produced, well thought-out effort from one of the most innovative artists in music today. It is vibe-heavy, but the vibes are upbeat and happy. They get a listener going, beats with heavy bass, lots of snare and high-hats sprinkled in on top. Thug’s voice throughout the project sounds smooth and on-key, there are few moments on the album where a listener has to wince a little from the high-pitches that he loves to hit. The overall themes of the albums, how Thug has numerous children, how he has given everything for them and he would again, the deep-love that he feels for his significant other, come across clear and poignantly. He collaborates well with Future (shocker, right?) on “Relationship”, which is one of the top cuts of the album. It is a song about the problems that come along with maintaining close, personal relationships with each of their side pieces. It makes sense that Future would fit well on this album, on a track like this especially, as these aren’t topics that Future has been afraid to rap about and he has been singing on his albums for a long while. Another one of the top songs off this album is “Get High” featuring Snoop Dogg and Lil Durk. The song features a hypnotizing chorus, with Thug’s voice slipping and sliding up and down the register as he croons for his dealer and his weed. Snoop’s verse is one of the best guest spots on the album, adding a great story to the already complex tapestry that is “Beautiful Thugger Girls”.
The second to last song on the album, “For Yall”, is one of the better joints on the album. It has Thug opening up about all the sacrifices that he made along the way to allow his family to ball and live the life that they always dreamed about. It is a touching song, featuring a bouncing-infectious, beat that accompanies Thug’s vocals very well. The album overall is a step in a new direction, yet again, for Young Thug. Jeffery showed a slight departure from his earlier work (such as the “Slime Season”’s) and with this project Thug firmly cemented himself in the upper echelon of risk takers within hip-hop. Thug has proven once again that he can use his vocal differences to create soundscapes that draw the listener in, allowing him to then talk about a bevy of topics. This is an album that is going to be nice to listen to this summer with the up-beat feel to the whole project. It will also be interesting to wait and see what steps Thug will take after this, only time will tell if he will go back to his old grimy, slimy way of rapping or if he will continue to experiment as much as he can and push the boundaries of rap even further.