300 Entertainment

Since Young Thug’s emergence onto the rap scene back in 2011, he has been hit with remarkably contrasting reviews. One school of thought casts him as being the essence of what is crippling hip-hop while the other praises him for an innovative sound and hyper creative output. But whether you like him or not, his impact on the current rap scene is undeniable. As the world waits on HiTunes, his second commercial album release, he drops the third installment to his coveted Slime Season mixtape series to tide over those fans that just can’t get enough.

Slime Season 3 is Thug’s 11th solo mixtape and follows up the release of I’m Up last month. This rapid rate of making music is why his fans and those who co-sign him commend him for. Unlike his last Slime Season release that had a 22-song tracklist, Slime Season 3 only consists of eight tracks, making it a way more concise project. With a run time just shy of 30 minutes, Thug’s edgy presence on the mic isn’t overbearing or played out. It’s the perfect dose of Thug’s creative, catchy and crooning style.

The tape’s opener, “With Them,” is Thug at his finest. The track was originally debuted at Kanye West’s Yeezy Season 3 showing at MSG and the CDQ version was spread far and wide by 'Ye himself on Twitter the night before SS3’s release. His cadence and rhyme stretching proves to be more powerful than actual rhymes themselves. At one point he twists, “She can't be my wife, I can't lay in there/Diamonds all black like I'm racist now” to rhyme almost seamlessly. This isn’t anything new for Thug, but it really does allow him to use all words to his advantage instead of getting trapped and limited in a specific rhyme pattern.

Contrary to what those apprehensive listeners may think, Thug doesn’t just make “bangers” -- it’s actually quite the opposite on Slime Season 3. There are lots of trap drums and rolling snares but most of the time, songs feature a mid-tempo structure and laid-back lyrics. “With Them,” “Digits” and “Problem” are the only tracks that really have the ability to rattle a car speaker; the other five cuts work better as low-key mood music.

“Slime Shit” is the only posse cut and unfortunately is the tape’s lowest moment. Yak Gotti, Duke and Peewee Roscoe don’t add much value to the song at all. Thug should have just gone for the clean sweep and kept every song a solo affair. What the tape is missing however, is a deeper narrative. Thug is a dozen projects into his career and he has yet to show a side of vulnerability or telling honesty. His subject matter surrounding women, gun-toting and drugs are all well and good right now but when his Auto-Tuned croon is no longer the pinnacle of “internet rap,” his offerings might not be sustainable.

Slime Season 3 would be been nearly perfect had there been a track that was just more profound than “I'ma pull up on a nigga bitch in my bitch whip.” He comes close on “Worth It.” the ode to his fiancée Jerrika Karlae. But candid lines like, “Goddamn, I'm sorry b, I know you'd accepted my apology,” are promptly followed up with the typical, “I know that ass fat, apple bottom please/I need a deep throat baby, swallow me.”

Most of the production is handled by London On Da Track, who is just as much the MVP of this tape as Thug. London has played a major part in recently curating what is considered the “popular trap sound” but he has never been able to take lead production on a full project. In the past, he's lent his instrumentation to a song here and a song there but never to a full-length effort. He doesn’t get 100 percent of the production credits on SS3 but four out of the eight tracks feature his production. It's clear he has absolutely mastered how to produce for Thug. The combination of his bubbling beats mixed with Thug’s poetically digitized voice makes for a strange super instrument that changes pitch and tone on the turn of a dime.

Overall, Slime Season 3 stacks up well against Thug’s colorful catalog and is undoubtedly the most listenable mixtape in the series thus far. This tape will definitely please those who already enjoy Thug’s music but by the same token, it won’t convert those who currently find him intolerable.

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