Album Review: Young Thug – I’m Up

By Eli Schoop, Copy Editor

[300 Entertainment; 2016]

Rating: 3.5/5

Key Tracks: “Fuck Cancer,” “For My People,” “Bread Winners”

Young Thug is for the people. Maybe not always, and maybe not how you or anyone else wants him, but when we call, he answers with the proper response. While burning bridges with the hottest rapper on the planet may not be the most conducive maneuver for Atlanta’s preeminent superhero, anyone else would have been crushed by the weight of this attack. Yet Thug’s recent music hasn’t reflected this aggression.

Consider Barter 6, subdued, groove-oriented–but retained his mania and didn’t compromise. A stark contrast when compared to his breakout tape 1017 Thug and subsequent collaborations with Rich Homie Quan as Rich Gang, providing a loose transition from breakout star to assured veteran in only a few years.

I’m Up a.k.a. Slime Season 3 a.k.a. another tribute to the almighty god Gucci Mane frames Thugger as a solidified metronome. He weaves in and out of cryptic flows like a magician, provoking new and mystic powers akin to a witch doctor, and hashes out his craft sans the chronic overproduction that has plagued many artists over the past year. Although the features slow Thug down mildly, it’s futile to count him out on any song. Just when you think a track has lost focus or clarity, he flies in like Superman and saves the day.

The immediate standout is “Fuck Cancer,” a tribute to recently diagnosed Boosie Badazz that’s as snappy as it is beholden to the ailing legend. Testaments to the old aren’t welcomed here often, though. Thug keeps pronounced as the present hip-hop savant, even if his fixations aren’t exactly consistently innovative. When you’re this unconcerned with the physical, everything is fleeting, music be damned.

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