Album Review | Young Thug – Punk

This album was released on October 15th this year. Young Thug is an artist with whom I’ve got a pretty rough history. I hated Barter VI, which is one of his most popular projects. However, I have to admit that I’d probably like it a lot more than I originally did if I listened to it now. With that said, I’ve never fully enjoyed any of Young Thug‘s work aside from Young Martha. I still listen to almost every project he releases because there’s always at least one song that I really like. I’m very curious about this latest project because the album cover is weird as fuck, and I enjoyed the lead single a lot. I think I might actually end up liking this album. We’ll see.

As always, I’ll write about the songs that I actually like before covering the material that I won’t be returning to. The album begins with a song entitled Die Slow, which features Strick. I think the slow, melodic, kind of somber production from Charlie Handsome is really goddamn good. That’s easily my favorite aspect of the song. I think Young Thug did a good job at matching the tone of the production though; the content is relatively personal. There are a couple strange lines, but for the most part the lyricism is pretty inoffensive.

I always knew I wasn't gon' be gay
I had her sendin' pictures to my mom's phone when I was like eight
I always knew that I'd be great
'Cause my coach told me I was slow, but I was runnin' in a fast pace

I feel like Strick’s contribution to this song is pretty unnecessary. He doesn’t really do anything that Young Thug couldn’t have done himself. I’m not gonna pretend to have a huge issue with Strick’s presence here though. The production is the main reason I like the song. I think the track is pretty good, despite the dearth of a memorable hook. I think Young Thug took a risk by not opening this album with a more explosive track, but this works well as an intro in my opinion. I fuck with it. The following track is also pretty good. It’s called Stressed, and it’s got a really nice, melodic, light, kind of airy beat from T-Minus, Tommy Parker, and Wu10. I love the bright piano keys here. The vocals from Young Thug on the hook are honestly kinda grating to me, but the melody is cool. I think the first verse from J. Cole is pretty great. None of the lyrics are really amazing or anything, but his flow and delivery sounded really good. He pretty much just bragged about being rich.

Well, it's that gap talk, pistol hold, nigga on your damn street
Pussy nigga usually pop a trigger if the hand speak
Lackluster, I'ma smack suckers this year
I'ma make a hundred thousand racks off of this here
Do the math, hundred million for the slow ones in the class
Type of bags I be gettin' be too big to pay in cash
Send it wide, send it fast, 'fore I might just change my mind
Nowadays a million dollars barely worth a nigga time

J. Cole‘s bridge here is pretty solid. I mean, it’s not really that impressive, but I feel like it’s better than having no bridge at all. The second verse is performed by an artist named T-Shyne, whom I was previously unfamiliar with. However, I think his verse was pretty solid. I typically don’t really like that melodic style of rapping, but I think he made it work. None of the lyrics really stood out to me, but he sounded okay. Overall, this is another pretty good track to me. The next track that I like is called Rich Nigga Shit. I really dig the production from Pi’erre Bourne, and I think Juice WRLD’s verse is really dope. Young Thug himself unfortunately didn’t really leave much of an impression on me, but he was fine. The hook is okay, and the first verse is solid. Juice WRLD’s lyricism wasn’t very impressive at all, but his flow was really nice. I’ve never been a fan of Juice WRLD in the past, but I might check out some of his work because I usually dig him on features. Anyway, I think the song is pretty good overall. Track 11 is entitled Scoliosis, and it features an artist named Lil Double 0, whom I was previously unfamiliar with. The song’s got a pretty solid Trap beat from Kuttabeatz & Nuki, and I actually like the hook from Young Thug a lot. His actual verse isn’t really anything special, but it’s solid enough. The Lil Double 0 verse is pretty bad to be honest. It’s just super sloppy. You can tell that he punched in damn near every single line, and it doesn’t sound very good. It’s not bad enough to ruin the song for me though. I think the track is entertaining overall. I fuck with it. Track 15 is called Droppin’ Jewels, and it’s got a really lavish, piano-driven instrumental from K-Notes, Turbo & Pro Logic. I think the production is really nice. The hook is pretty solid too. The verses aren’t really that great to me, but they aren’t particularly bad either. This line was pretty strange to me though…

She like, "how the fuck you ain't never wrote a song?"
Same reason your fine ass ain't never wore a thong

I don’t really understand what he was trying to say there, but I’m not gonna pretend to be super bothered by it. Aside from that one couplet, none of the lines really stand out to me in a good or bad way. They pretty much just go in one ear and out the other. I think he sounds good over this beat though, and the hook is nice. The song is pretty good to me. The first song on this album that I didn’t really like is called Stupid / Asking. To be fair, I don’t think Stupid is bad at all. I just don’t care for the Asking part of the track. By the time I got to this song, I was pretty surprised by the direction in which Young Thug seemed to be going with this album. I was expecting a Trap project, rather than a melodic Pop Rap album. Stupid has a very soft, melodic, acoustic guitar-driven instrumental from Metro Boomin’. This isn’t the type of production that I would typically expect from him, but it’s not bad. I kinda dig the minimalistic approach to the percussion. It sounds pretty great when the drums finally come in during the bridge. I unfortunately don’t really care for Young thug’s performance on this song though. Don’t get me wrong; I don’t think he sounds bad at all. He just didn’t really leave much of an impression on me. The hook is just okay, and same goes for the verses. The bridge is the best part of the song to me. It’s a decent song, but not something that I’d listen to more than once. I unfortunately like Asking even less. The production isn’t nearly as good on this part of the track in my opinion. I don’t really think Young Thug sounds that great over it either. Some of the lines were pretty strange to me too.

She done put her thong in my mouth and we made a song

Honestly, this part of the song sounds like a mess to me. I don’t care for the verse, and the hook isn’t very good to me either. I wouldn’t say this track is bad at all, but it’s just very mediocre to me. The following track is slightly better, but it’s still not something I would listen to again in the future. It’s called Recognize Real, and it has a very prominent feature from Gunna. At this point on the record, I kinda realized that I wasn’t going to get the Trap album that I originally wanted. This track has a very slow, soft, somber, acoustic guitar-driven beat from Charlie Handsome. There’s no percussion in this track at all. It’s not necessarily a bad instrumental. It’s just not what I want. I don’t really care for the melodic performances from Gunna & Young Thug on this track. They don’t really sound bad at all. I’m just kind of indifferent towards both of their verses. Pretty much all of the lyrics went in one ear and out the other. I don’t think the song is bad, but it’s just not something I’m gonna be listening to again in the future. It’s followed by a solo track entitled Contagious. This track has a slightly more interesting beat. It actually has some really hard-hitting percussion. I feel like the drums sound out of place over the slow, melodic piano loop. I don’t really care for the hook on this track unfortunately. I’ve realized that 9 times outta 10, if I don’t like the hook on a Young Thug song, then I’m just not gonna fuck with the track. The actual rapping on the verses never impresses me enough to make the song worth listening to more than once. There’s really not a single aspect of this song that impressed me to be honest. I mean, Young Thug’s vocals didn’t sound bad at all, but it’s not like they were any more impressive than they usually are. The song’s very mediocre to me. It’s followed by Peepin’ Out the Window, which is definitely one of the better songs on the album in my opinion. This song actually has some Trap percussion, which is cool. I still wouldn’t really say that I’m a fan of this production style though. The piano loop just sounds really generic to me. This is gonna be a shock to people that know my taste well, but I actually think Future is the best aspect of this song. His vocals genuinely sound really good to me, and that’s coming from someone who normally despises his voice. I think he did a great job with the hook. Unfortunately, I don’t really care for the verses from Young Thug and BSlime. Young Thug’s verse wasn’t bad, but it didn’t really leave much of an impression on me. I guess I could actually say the same for BSlime. He kinda reminded me of Lil Durk, which isn’t exactly a good thing for me. Overall, I think it’s an okay track. Again, Future is the main selling point of the song for me, so shoutout to him for that. Track 8 is called Livin’ It Up, and I honestly think it’s pretty bad. It’s just way too poppy for me. I don’t like the sung hook from Post Malone at all. I also don’t really like the beat at all. The vocal sample in the background is really distracting. Young Thug’s verse is definitely the most tolerable aspect of this song. I think A$AP Rocky’s verse is really lame. There’s really not a single aspect of this song that impressed me. However, I feel like this is probably gonna be a popular single from the album just because it’s so poppy. White girls are gonna love this track. I think it’s wack personally. The following track is a lot better. It’s called Yea Yea Yea, and it’s got a pretty nice beat from Wheezy, Hitmaka Millz, Charlie Handsome & Rex Kudo. I think Young Thug’s flow on the first verse is pretty nice. His melodic delivery sounds pretty good to me too. The hook is pretty much just Young Thug singing the word “yeah” over and over again, and it’s not particularly enjoyable for me. I wouldn’t say it’s bad though. It just doesn’t leave much of an impression on me. Same goes for the second verse. This song isn’t bad at all, but it’s just not something that I’m gonna be listening to again in the future. I think it’s okay. Track 10 is entitled Insure My Wrist, and it’s got a pretty lame beat from Taurus, DecayOnTheBeat & ProdByAlec. I’m not a fan of that vocal sample at all. The hook from Young Thug didn’t really leave an impression on me, and same goes for his verse. Honestly, that could be said about pretty much every aspect of this song. The whole thing just sounds really generic to me. Everything goes in one ear and out the other. Nothing about this song stands out at all. Honestly, I think the song’s boring as shit. The Gunna feature did absolutely nothing for me. The song is midpack. Track 12 is called Bubbly, and it’s a pretty frustrating song to me. I was excited when it started because it actually has some decent Trap production. This shit is not good though. I think Travis Scott definitely had the best verse. The lyrics are nothing special—there’s not a single standout line in the whole song—but he just sounded really good to me. Young Thug sounded decent on the first verse, and I guess the same can be said about Drake on the final verse. The song just feels really undercooked to me. The beat switch that occurs for Drake‘s verse feels really random, and the verse itself ends really abruptly. There’s no hook or bridge on this track. My biggest issue with the song is just the way it’s structured. Like I said earlier, when Young Thug’s songs lack catchy hooks there’s nothing left to keep me interested. I think the song is mediocre. Same goes for the following track, Road Rage. I actually like the piano-driven Trap production from Taurus & prodbysmo on this song, but Young Thug’s performance left absolutely zero impression on me. I guess the hook is okay, and neither of the verses are really bad in any way. They just don’t really impress me at all. I don’t even really have anything to say about this track because nothing about it stands out to me. The lyrics all go in one ear and out the other. I definitely like the production, and the hook is solid, but aside from that I’m not feelin’ the song. It’s mediocre to me. Faces is kind of an odd track to me. It’s got the most scant structure out of all the songs on the album. The whole thing is just one verse. There’s no hook or bridge or anything like that. He’s just melodically rapping the whole time. He sounds fine. I definitely don’t think the song is bad at all. I just feel like I would’ve enjoyed the song more if it was more fleshed out structurally. I actually think the production from Wheezy & Sean Momberger is pretty nice. I feel like I definitely enjoyed the song to some extent, but it doesn’t really have any replay value for me. It’s not something that I’m gonna be listening to again in the future. I think it’s pretty solid though. Same goes for Fifth Day Dead. I actually think this is one of the better songs on the album. I think the production from Louis Bell & watt is pretty nice. I like the hook on this track too. Honestly, there are a lot of aspects of this song that I like. The production and hook are good. I just don’t see myself returning to the song for whatever reason. Maybe if the verses were more interesting I’d dig the song more. Again, I definitely enjoyed the track to some extent, but it just lacks replay value for me. Icy Hot was a really disappointing song for me. I really thought I was gonna like it at first because the production from Wheezy is really good in my opinion. Unfortunately, the hook on this song is fucking terrible to me. I’m not sure what that vocal effect is, but it sounds absolutely horrible to me. Thankfully, Young Thug actually sounds really good on the verse itself. Again, none of the lyrics stand out at all, but his flow and delivery just sound great to me. I sadly didn’t really care for the second verse from Doja Cat at all. Her vocals didn’t sound very good to me at all, and I didn’t like her flow either. Overall, the song is a very mixed bag to me. I like the production and verse from Young Thug, but I hate the hook and the verse from Doja Cat. I think the track is mediocre as a whole. It’s followed by Love You More, which is easily the worst song on the album to me. I’m not sure who the fuck this Nate Ruess guy is, but he sounds fucking terrible on the hook. His whiny voice makes him sound like a bitch. Thankfully, the first verse from Young Thug sounds pretty good. I actually think the poppy production from Jeff Bhasker sounds nice too. I even like the bridge from Gunna. It’s really just the hook from Nate Ruess that I can’t stand. I think the song is wack. The penultimate track is called Hate the Game, and it’s another one of the better songs on the album in my opinion. I think the production from Louis Bell & watt is actually pretty good, and Young Thug’s hook here is really good. I even think he sounds pretty good on both of the verses. Nothing about this song really stands out in a bad way at all. I just don’t see myself returning to this song. It’s a bit too poppy for me. It’s not bad though. I definitely wouldn’t be in a rush to change the station if I was listening to the radio and this came on. I think it’s a very solid track. I unfortunately don’t care for the closing song, Day Before. It just sounds really undercooked to be honest. The song is just two verses one after another with no hook or bridge. I think the production is pretty good, but neither of the verses are particularly impressive. This is probably gonna be one of the most popular songs from the album just because the second verse is performed by the late Mac Miller, but it’s not like his verse was particularly good. The song lacks urgency, and it kinda just fizzles out without a strong conclusion. I think Young Thug could’ve at least added a hook to make this song feel less skeletal. It’s a really underwhelming way to end the album to be honest. With that said, I don’t think it’s a bad song. It’s just really mediocre to me.

This album is pretty disappointing to me to be honest. I mean, I don’t care for most of Young Thug’s projects, but I thought this would be better considering how much I enjoyed the promotional single. Tick Tock is better than anything that actually made it onto this album though. There are a handful of songs that I like here, but none that I love. I just really don’t care for the poppy direction in which Young Thug took this project. The majority of the beats are really underwhelming, and there’s a surprising lack of memorable hooks on this album. I definitely appreciate Young Thug for trying something new, but I unfortunately just don’t care for this style. I’m sure his fans will be satisfied, but I was hoping for a Trap album, and that’s not really what this is. I’m generally pretty averse to Pop Rap, so that’s probably why this album didn’t click for me, but I wouldn’t say that it’s bad at all. There are only a couple songs on here that I would say are genuinely wack. Most of the content here is just very middling to me. The album is mediocre in my opinion.

Favorite Song: Stressed
Least Favorite Song: Love You More


Watch the videos below for more thoughts on this album.

Grade: C-

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