Published Aug 21, 2018Young Thug told Hypebeast back in February that he had decided not to release any music in 2018, as he wanted to "act deaf for a year," as a symbolic show of support for his brother who is deaf. Then, his artistic itch got the better of him, as he released his latest LP Slime Language August 17 (the day after his birthday), with the album's striking sign language cover art serving a subtle homage.
After a handful of notable 2017 releases, this not the solo album fans have been anticipating for years, though. Rather, it's a compilation meant to highlight his Young Stoner Life Records roster.
At 15 songs, the release walks the fine line of consistency and monotony, delivering a stream of well-crafted bangers sprinkled with Thugga's unmistakable aura as the binding glue. There are two standout solo moments for the ATL native: the unmistakable bop of the opener "Tsunami" and lead single "Gain Clout," which sees him dropping a refreshingly rapid-fire barrage of bars with minimal harmonizing. "It's a Slime," featuring Lil Uzi Vert, is another clear standout, with the two going together like PB&J over the Wheezy-produced instrumental.
While many of the acts featured — most notably fan favourite Gunna (who appears on four songs) — get their time to shine on the high profile release, Thugga's overwhelming presence doesn't allow any of them to truly flourish. "Expensive" by YSL artists HiDoraah and Dolly is the sole song that allows anyone to creep out from under his shadow and go it alone. Rather than a full showcase, the LP feels like that part of a solo concert when the main performer introduces the band and the backup singers.
Ultimately, Slime Language is Young Thug's More Life: a playlist of ideas. After five or six songs, it has a sonic and thematic sameness to it that manages to work solely because of the glimmering moments when he allows other voices to sparkle and the high-quality production. With another "commercial mixtape" in his expansive catalogue, fans are left to wonder when they'll get a true solo album — or if we even need one at this point. Thug is a rock star who knows his audience, and Slime Language shows his ear for talent on full display. (Atlantic)