Slime Language by Young Thug & YSL review

Tuesday 21st August 2018 | Jake

Young Thug, the eccentric, enigmatic Atlantan artist released his first, and most probably the only mixtape for the year a day after his birthday on the 17th of August: Slime Language. Confusion reigns, however, over whether to label it a solo project or a compilation effort of his label Young Stoner Life (YSL).

It is difficult to treat it as a solo project, by virtue of the sheer weight of label-mates he offers a platform for on the tape. Thug is now more averse to features, and there is invariably a fellow YSL member on any tape of his. However, there have never been so many, while having so few features from outside his stable. Therefore, the tape is best treated as a compilation and a very good one at that.

Over fifteen songs Thug is allowed a song to himself twice, ‘Gain Clout’ and ‘Tsunami’, which both belong to the stronger set of tracks on the tape. The latter track has an elaborate, thumping beat courtesy of producer Wheezy, who first worked with Thug on Slime Season 2. His production has developed exponentially (although he was still strong back then) and is undoubtedly headed for the top table of hip hop producers.

Despite Wheezy’s evolution, the most impressive artist to feature on the tape has to be Gunna, Thug’s Atlantan protégé. Gunna has put out an impressive catalogue of work, including a polished tape with Wheezy. His latest tape, Drip Season 3, provided him with his breakout single 'Oh Okay', featuring his mentor, Thug.

He excels on Slime Language, featuring on almost half of the tracks and shining on one of its best songs, 'Chanel (Go Get It)'. Critics have argued Gunna’s sound too closely resembles Thug’s, but anybody listening to their songs together on this tape wouldn’t have a very hard time distinguishing the two. Which isn’t to say the two vocals are discordant, far from it, Thug’s stinging raps that can slip into softer melodies mesh seamlessly with Gunna’s crooning verses.

The best chemistry is arguably found on 'It’s A Slime' featuring Thug’s bestie, Lil Uzi Vert. The song is the peak example of what Thug wanted to achieve with the compilation tape. A beat that compliments both artists’ styles, allowing them to go toe-to-toe and deliver a sound that may well define the next year or so of Atlanta rap.