Friday, January 29, 2016

Song of the Day #261 - Young Thug - Fuck Cancer (ft. Quavo)

Ay fuck cancer, shoutouts to Boosie!

Okay we've finally hit a lull in AnCo/Kanye/deeplearning news, so let's return to the blog's default setting, which is Young Thug. 2016 seems like it'll be another banner year for our beloved Thugger... Slime Season 3 is coming on February 5th, MigosThuggin is still in "Soon" hell but I have faith, MetroThuggin seems unlikely but I can't give in, and HiTunes is lurking in the distance. "Fuck Cancer", a recent single from SS3, reconfirms that he's still everything we wanted and more. It's sorta like when a top player enters a tournament - you aren't surprised by their placing, or any wins they get, and you know there'll be a bunch of cool moments, but each and every cool moment itself is still surprising, still defies your expectations. And with Quavo, it's like PewFat up in here.

The combo video this time has like... "I got a lot of wings surrounding my body", which is some weird folding thing where extremely oblique slang also ends up being very poetic with a surface understanding... "Energizer Bunny, you see these carats, ho/I'm Rey Mysterio, my life on HBO" and "You know I got bread like a croissant, son", classic Thug outsider/insider observations. Also classic Mike Will production, the little "pulling" sound - idk how to describe it, it shows up at like 0:20, it's panned to the left ear a bit - is super addictive, up there with his "flute" sound. Quavo's flow is as smooth and precise as anything we've ever heard from him, the way he goes into double speed is nothing less than graceful. The pinnacle here is still the hook, though, where Young Thug sounds like he says one continuous line, and feels like something like light is flowing through your veins.

No, no, the real standout here is the title, it has to be. I've talked before about how Young Thug songs are often not really about anything as much as they just demonstrations of flows and melodies, and that any sort of "themes" or "messages" given particular focus are just a sort of functional necessity, as he can't actually talk about nothing. And this leads to the prevalence of Young Thug songs titled after whatever he says most during the hook, or near the start, no matter what percentage of the rest of the song has to do with it. With "Fuck Cancer", this "algorithm" becomes immediately obvious on a sort of "misfire", where instead of some innocuous thing it's... "Fuck Cancer". With my fervor about AlphaGo I've been reading a lot of stuff about machine learning, and I find that whenever there's a sort of "misfire" of a complex system that had been doing consistent impressive things before, it's really hilarious and somehow "endearing". And thinking of this title coming from some "Young Thug Song Name Generator" has all of that feeling for me. I dunno if I can describe it well.

But perhaps even more endearing is the real story, that this song is a tribute to Boosie Badazz, who's been dealing with kidney cancer. We learn this in the opening line, but then hear... absolutely nothing about it for the rest of the song. Like that's kinda funny too, just the idea of opening a song with "ay fuck cancer" and then going off about the same sorta stuff as always... but like, what, is Young Thug gonna make a touching inspirational sensitive track? Would anything less than just doing what he loves and what he's best at really be any sort of tribute? Wouldn't that be letting cancer win? I dunno if this makes sense. I just want to see Thugger make a series of songs with titles of causes I support and maybe one line and then absolutely no other reference to the cause. That would make me happy.

No comments: