Founder of the wave.
Young Thug has said such absurd things in his songs over the years that you might snicker when you hear his latest one-liners, but you likely won't be too stunned. At a certain point, you're just impressed that he manages to keep finding new and bizarre ways to frame the same old topics. In the past, picking up on a witty Thug lyric often felt like an accomplishment. Not because they weren't ubiquitous in his music, but because his delivery could be so spastic and warbled that the words weren't always easily decipherable. He has been admired (and mocked) for seeming to communicate in his own language, tuning into and translating frequencies which us regular folk were simply not calibrated to detect.
After a first listen of his new album, So Much Fun, a glaring takeaway is that Thug is enunciating his bars more clearly than usual. Perhaps this was a stylistic choice, but an alternative explanation is that he is tired of being misunderstood and undervalued. While Thug has enjoyed some hit records, mainstream success has evaded him to a certain degree. His level of talent and influence doesn't seem proportionate to the credit he has received for pioneering the sound of a whole generation of artists. He demands his dues on "Ecstasy":
"I'm sick and tired of these young n****s actin like they firin', they tellin' these
Actin' like they the ones created this and they get all the drip from my guys"
And for this reason, Thug puts his foot down at several points on So Much Fun to articulate what he has accomplished and what it took him to get there. On the album's opening track, "Just How It Is", Thug declares:
"GOAT talk of the century
No time for gibberish, all the critics hearin' this"
On the same song's chorus, Thug dabbles in his usual themes of cash, cars and crime. He describes, or states rather, his wealth and success as self-evident. He has cars because he's rich. And he's rich because he was destined to be so. Someone could not possibly be so adept at dripping if it were not fate. Others can continue to doubt his capability or worth, but he's past the point of trying to prove it to them.
"I got cars galore, lil' bitch, 'cause I'm rich
I escaped every one of the licks 'cause I was supposed to be rich
I don't care nothin' 'bout no cop, I'm tellin' you just how it is"
His indifference towards law enforcement is another common theme on this album, as it is throughout all of hip hop history. But Thug stresses his comfort speaking on any topic he chooses by citing his connections, both institutional and personal. He has done enough work in the trenches to be able to fully report his story in his music, free from fear of any repercussions. On "Light It Up", he boasts:
"Ain't had to go to the pulpit
I got to sit with the government
I got a team up at Popeye's
Even at the airport, we mob ties"
Now that he's able to speak and move as he wishes, he can bask in his luxuries - a past-time that is only enjoyable if he has his on-and-off girlfriend, Jerrika Karlae, by his side. He describes his relationship with Karlae as largely revolving around material indulgences. While he repeatedly expresses his admiration for her, in his songs, she often serves as a segue to talk about his other dearest interests: cars and jewelry. On "What's The Move", he desperately insists that he will do (or buy) whatever is required to satiate Karlae:
"You just gotta tell me what you want
Louis Vuitton, diamonds‚ keep calm
All you do is point at what you want
Crystal cut pointers in the charm"
But honestly, who's to judge? Thug is evidently aware of the mechanics of their relationship - as I'm sure she is too - and the countless times he references her on this album evidences his oozing loyalty. Thug is a man who knows who he is and what makes him happy. To watch him get to a place where he can share all the wacky and wonderful details that make up his colorful character is a blessing for us all. He could shamelessly wear a dress if he so pleases, not only "cause [he] had a stick", as he revealed on "Just How It Is", but because he's fucking Young Thug.