On ‘So Much Fun,’ Young Thug delivers accessible trap to the masses
Patrick Witteman | Monday, September 2, 2019
“So Much Fun” is billed as Young Thug’s debut album. Considering Thugger has been releasing (quality) mixtapes since the early 2010s, influencing the likes of Playboi Carti, Trippie Redd and Lil Uzi Vert, “So Much Fun” shouldn’t feel like a debut album. Young Thug has had years to develop and tweak his sound, avoiding the music industry confines that come with putting out an official album. From influencing Carti and Trippie with the dark, pulsating “Barter 6” mixtape, to paving the way for Lil Nas X with the country twang and acoustic guitar-filled “Beautiful Thugger Girls,” Young Thug has remained a trend setter of the 2010s, Soundcloud-rap landscape.
“So Much Fun” is a departure from Young Thug’s previous work in the sense that it avoids taking large risks during its hour long run-time. “So Much Fun” has tracks that feel like watered down versions of songs that appeared on Thug’s more experimental mixtapes. The result is an album which, while enjoyable, is a regression to the mainstream in terms of production and atmosphere. In an interview with GQ, Thugger explained that he targeted the masses and “really focused on putting out what people like” on “So Much Fun.” Thug fans and casual trap listeners will find tracks that are appealing, although both groups may ultimately be left yearning for more following an album listen through. “Cartier Gucci Scarf” feels like a carbon copy of “Harambe” from Thug’s “Jeffery” mixtape, and “What’s the Move” feels like a track that didn’t make the cut on “Beautiful Thugger Girls.” That’s not to say that these tracks are bad by any means. Thug and hip-hop fans will enjoy this album, albeit less than some of Thug’s earlier mixtapes.
Although the album does less in terms of deviating from Thug’s previous work, the album does have one thing going for it; “So Much Fun” is really so much fun. The album features production from some of hip-hop’s most in-demand producers like Pi’erre Bourne, Southside and DJ Durel. This cast of producers give the songs that do incorporate elements of Thug’s previous work a more accessible, wide-reaching sound. On “Surf,” Thug and Gunna float over an airy, Pierre Bourne trap beat that mirrors the sound that Gunna established on his solo work. In typical Thugger fashion, the track is filled with adlibs like “whoa,” “wave,” and “totally, dude,” reinforcing the idea that Thug wanted this album to be fun and laid back. Gunna makes a second appearance on the track “Hot”, one of the more popular songs off of the album. The Wheezy produced “Hot” flaunts the lives of excess that both of the rappers live, indicative of the continued commercial success of Thugger and the newfound success of Gunna.
One of the standout tracks on this album is “Jump Out the Window,” a Thugger solo cut that is reminiscent of work that appeared on earlier mixtapes. Produced by long-time Young Thug collaborator Supah Mario, “Jump Out the Window” sees Thug at his most aggressive, with a flow that mirrors Mario’s driving bass and hi-hats. Thugger is clearly having fun, making music that is both comfortable and fun, all while having more mass-appeal than ever (see “The London,” which is one of Thug’s first big hits as a lead artist). As a Thug fan, it is great to hear his tracks on the radio, with “So Much Fun” being a watershed moment of mainstream success for Young Thug.
Artist: Young Thug
Album: “So Much Fun”
Label: 300 Entertainment/Atlantic
Favorite Tracks: “Jump Out the Window,” “Surf,” “Mannequin Challenge,” “Hot”
If you like: Playboi Carti, Travis Scott, Gunna
Shamrocks: 3.5 out of 5