In 4 years, Jeffery Lamar Williams, better known as Young Thug, has gone from the hoods of Atlanta to one of rap’s most unique voices; however it’s not really by accident. Thanks to his obvious talent and the wackiness of his label situation, his music was going to get heard regardless, even if they had to drop a 3-part mixtape series full of songs that are 2+ years old. His newest release Jeffery, named after his birth (and new stage?) name, has the rapper donning a bright colorful dress on the cover, further pushing his individuality. The songs do so as well, showing the world once more that there isn’t another rapper quite like Young Thug.
Nine of the 10 songs on the project are named after figures that Thug looks up to, with each song either being lyrically or production-wise about them. For example, on first track “Wyclef Jean,” Thugger pays homage to the Haitian rapper and former The Fugees member by rapping over Caribbean-like guitar lines and horns. “RiRi” has Thug referencing the Barbadian singer’s smash hit “Work” in the chorus, where he stretches his elastic voice all over the place, squeaking and squawking throughout. Thug channels his inner animal on “Harambe,” where he honors everyone’s favorite fallen Western lowland silverback gorilla by rapping as aggressively and raw as we’ve ever seen him. “Ape sh*t n*gga, Godzilla, n*gga act up,” he roars on the hook.
Thug’s knack for melodic flow has always been one of his best traits. The way he uses his voice like another part of the production assures he’s never offbeat, and he showcases this trait again on Jeffery. “Webbie” has Thug along with fellow YSL-er Duke effortlessly flowing and sliding through the song, using a multitude of different flows. “Swizz Beats” is classic Thugger; complementing the Wheezy-produced track perfectly while adding some repeated crooning on the hook. While it adds to the overall effectiveness of the song, you don’t really have to pay attention to the lyrics to enjoy a Thug song.
The two posse cuts on the mixtape are both bangers. “Floyd Mayweather ” has Thug and guests Travis Scott, Gucci Mane and Gunna flex their luxurious lifestyles, with typical offbeat-yet-hilarious ad-libs from Thug. Gucci makes another appearance, but not as a feature rapper. “Guwop” has Thug as well as guests Offset, Quavo and Young Scooter deliver excellent verses, with Quavo in particular renegading the track per usual.
As Young Thug’s career continues to unfold, whether he actually reaches the star status he (and ultimately his label) wants to reach is still up in the air. Even though this is his 3rd mixtape-for-sale, the 25-year-old still has yet to release his debut album Hy!£UN35. His projects thus far have all been mediocre at least, but the longer the delay for a proper album the more fans he potentially loses as they move on from the constant appetizers he dishes up. We want the main course, but for now, it’s another good side-dish.