Mumble rap enthusiasts everywhere rejoiced at the release of Young Thug’s new album, Slime Language, on Thursday, Aug. 16. The artist has come a long way in terms of production value and technique since his first mixtape series — I Came From Nothing 1, 2 and 3 — while also staying true to the unique style that first captured the attention of Gucci Mane in 2013, and led to his signing under 1017 Brick Squad Records. Slime Language, released under Thug’s label Young Stoner Life Records, delivers the kind of hype music fans have been waiting for so desperately, and conveniently just before college parties are back in session.
The album is comprised of 15 tracks and features a number of talented rappers like Lil Uzi Vert, Gunna and Lil Baby, as well as rising artists like Lil Duke, Karlae, Hi Doraah, Tracy T, Lil Keed, Jacquees, TrapBoy Freddy, Strick, Dolly and Nechie. Yet none of these artists can distract from Thug’s offhand flow and dope rhymes, in a voice that’s eerily similar to car tires screaming on the pavement — in a good way.
Slime Language is just under an hour’s worth of drug talk, boasting about women, cars and expensive clothes, and Young Thugs abilities to outperform other artists in the rap game. In the hip-hop industry these are all common themes, yet Thug’s precision in terms of rhymes, metaphorical language and hilarity makes this album different from many others.
Many people assume that Thug’s lyricism takes a back seat to production because of his lack of enunciation, which makes it difficult to understand just how calculated his flows are. However, after a deep dive into the lyrics from the most popular songs on Slime Language so far, it’s clear to see that he has a gift for witty punchlines and complicated rhyme structures.
According to Apple Music and Spotify, “It’s a Slime (feat. Lil Uzi Vert)” and “Chanel (Go Get It) [feat. Gunna & Lil Baby]” have risen as the most popular tracks on the album among streamers. “It’s a Slime” is a quaint little diddy about all the themes mentioned above — women, cars, money, drugs and the high life. Perhaps the best lyrics in the song are Young Thug’s when he says, “Got a tall Asian drink, sippin’ red b***h/Put the blue on the floor like a Maverick.” This alludes to “blue bills”, A.K.A. $100 bills, and the fact that the Dallas Mavericks basketball team has a home court that’s painted blue. In “Chanel (Go Get It)”, Young Thug flexes on us poors by talking about the kind of high-end brands he gets to flaunt with his girl. Both songs are very similar to the rest of the album and even to other songs on past albums, like Beautiful Thugger Girls, Jeffrey and his collab album with Future, Super Slimey. Yet Slime Language might be a bit disappointing to fans who have been waiting to hear something new from the artist, as this album is a reincarnation of his many others.
It can easily be said that Young Thug has been highly influenced by fellow artist Future, also labeled as a mumble rapper who often uses the same sonics in his own music. The two have collaborated on a number of projects together over the past years. Young Thug is also on a long list of artists who have been influenced by T-Pain’s implementation of autotune, and uses it frequently throughout the album to match the synthetic background instrumentals.
Despite these observations, perhaps the real question that’s lingering on listeners’ minds is, what exactly does “slime” mean? One might assume that it’s an actual gooey substance—one that we don’t need to elaborate on.
In reality, “slime” means friends, or homies. In this way, Slime Language may refer to Thug’s mode of speech and how it’s more laid-back, as if he’s talking to his friends while they kick it at his house. Thug has never been one to change his speech for the public, even after facing criticism for helping popularize mumble rap, which many people believe is a sign that rap is changing for the worse. Slime Language shows just how much Thug’s career has impacted hip hop and how unapologetic he is for that. Overall, the album deserves a solid 3.5 out of 5 stars.
Carla Suggs can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @c_swayzy.