Since the early days of his rap career, Young Thug has amassed one of rap’s most dedicated and fervent fanbases. His fans feverishly support his albums, and his status as a legend in rap is widely discussed in the music community.
His consistent fan interactions and adoration comes from his frequent output of albums and mixtapes, and unlike other artists, Young Thug benefits from oversaturation rather than mystique.
Since his ascension into the mainstream, Young Thug's incremental to jump-starting the careers of rap superstars like Lil Uzi Vert and Gunna. His latest album, “Slime Language 2” is a compilation album by his record label, YSL Records, and features an interesting mix of features and moments.
“Ski” effectively sets the tone for the album, with the track's production providing energy and a sense of cohesion. As Young Thug raps, “I had came out the trenches then I had beat a couple bodies like/Boosie,” his flow perfectly complements the rhythm and feeling of the track.
One of Young Thug’s greatest strengths is his delivery and vocal inflection, and this song showcases some of the unique and fun melodies that he creates almost instinctively. This song has proven to be a hit, with its accompanying video and dance bringing in millions of views.
While he's perfectly capable of carrying a track on his own, Young Thug's collaborations are even more more star-studded and purposeful on this compilation album.
The track “Diamonds Dancing” features frequent collaborator Travis Scott, whose last number one single with Young Thug was 2020’s “FRANCHISE.” Whenever the two rappers are on a song together, though their production styles and vocals are remarkably similar, their chemistry makes them a powerful pair that gives both room to grow and adapt.
Most rappers who specialize in autotune can either feel unconvincingly boring or are a carbon copy of someone more successful than them, but these two have developed their own respective unique and identifiable styles.
Along with Young Thug's unique skill in identifying complementary features, he naturally excels at giving other artists room in the spotlight. A good example of this is the track “I Like,” which features Coi Leray and Karlae, two relatively new rising stars in Young Thug’s label. The synthesizers and production blend well with Leray’s autotuned but confident vocal delivery, serving as a real showcase of what his label is capable of.
Female rappers especially have to constantly deal with being compared against each other, and often it turns the discussion toward a very male-gaze dominated format. The grandiose string selection and structure gives this song a very cinematic feeling, and this coincides with the energy and sequencing that these artists provide. Their emphasis on collaboration and chemistry allows ego to disappear, allowing the verses to truly work well with one another.
With this album, Young Thug gives his fans something to chew on while he works on his solo album, but this project confirms his status in his career so far. Throughout his career, he has gone from being mercilessly mocked for his delivery on 2014’s “Lifestyle” to having inspired an entire generation of rappers to model their sound and style after him.
This influence, mixed with his commercial success, puts him in a unique tier of rappers, and at only 29 years old, it feels as though he has been invested in music his entire life. The fact that “Slime Language 2” is a compilation album of artists from his own label speaks volumes to the amount of influence and success Young Thug has attained for himself.
Regardless of what critics say about him, his influence and legacy in rap is indisputable in its influence and longevity.
“Slime Language 2” is an accomplishment from both an artist and fan perspective, and is a statement showcasing the talent Young Thug and his label mates possess. It's a mission statement that certifies Young Thug’s mindset toward longevity and success, and it proves to his fans his ever-expanding versatility and musical talent.