Friday, May 15, 2015

Song of the Day #139 - Young Thug - OD

Yeah, I show love for my partner!

So a bit ago something like 54 Young Thug tracks got leaked... I've been listening to them pretty nonstop, but I feel a little weird choosing one as "song of the day", 'cause like... I'm not really sure what they are? Unused scraps? Something from a future project? A lot of them are obviously unfinished - "If You Didn't", prolly my favorite, suddenly cuts off, and others sound like someone just recorded someone's laptop on their phone.

But regardless of all these, the song that still has my attention the most is the masterpiece "OD". The beat, especially in the intro, is probably the best sound of this form in this context since Lil B's "I'm God". You KNOW I don't say that sorta shit lightly. And his opener - asking for a lighter - has this sort of tragic fragility to it that makes me think of like... Monks, or something, maybe. Monks in a Dostoyevsky novel. It's like fully and eagerly embracing something so effervescent that most can't even perceive it before it disappears.

The emotional context of the song is something like... at the depth of depravity and desperation, where he's ODing on drugs and starting fights, he revisits the things that keep him going, the things that, despite all the evidence against it, implied and presented, he still struggles forward. This sort of assumed existential crisis, where you can ask someone "why?" in the abstract, and you both know what that means, it's beautiful, it's important, it's the very idea of communion.

And then for them to respond with a reason that is so complete, emotionally-resonant, empirically true... really, is there anything more you could want in a piece of artwork? And again - it's for your friends! Your partner! Unlike the hamfisted speeches of Natsu in the latest Fairy Tail, Young Thug makes you really feel it, like Hidamari or something.

I mean let's really break this down as much as it deserves. He starts by talking about his allegiance to his gang, the sacrifices he'll make, the endlessness of it. He talks about the tragedies of the streets, he's tired. Drugs and women are just a temporary release and relief. So why is he still grinding? Why is he still out there? It's for his family and friends! Seriously, his calling out his brothers and sisters and mother (and omg the fact he calls his mom Big Duck is the cutest thing ever) on this, his most important project to date, it's just... too beautiful for words.

Do you get it? No you don't, you really don't, I really can't tell it to you. I can tell you to look at the part in the hook where he jumps his voice up an octave or something and says "Yeah, I show love for my partner", and how great and transcendent it is, and how it feels like a victory over his doubts, or how there's that weird sorta videogamey sound on the beat that, if you focus on it as much as you can, gives you a really bizarre dreamy perspective on the song, or looking at the robot-y "shadow" under his voice on the verses - it's very subtle, you can hear it best at the end of the first verse, where it grows in intensity. There's dozens of other things like this, but the important part is how they all come together, how the whole track still moves with one unified feeling. That feeling is beyond my ability to describe.

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