Sunday, August 21, 2016

Song of the Day #334 - Young Thug - Dead Fo Real (ft. PeeWee Longway)

Young Thugger Thugger live the thug life with me

Song of the Day (and the blog in general) have been on a looong break, almost a month with no posts! It isn't so much that I've been busy as I have been... aggressively leisurely, first on vacation to Britain, then visiting some friends, then at my cottage for a week. And I've been making progress on some other big projects that hopefully you'll get to see soon, but SotD hasn't really fit into the schedule. And it probably won't in the near future either, orz. In September, I'll be back in school and back to some sort of routine, and hopefully that routine will involve blog posts. Until then hang tight.

In all honesty though it wasn't the lack of content on the blog in general that was troubling me, it was the lack of Young Thug content. If I don't keep up with some Young Thug reporting my dream of being the person who has written the most about Young Thug might slip away from me. There was a lot of Young Thug news while I was away... his new rap name is Jeffery (his real irl name), and he has a song with Wyclef Jean, and I haven't heard it yet but apparently it, and the upcoming mixtape also called Jeffery, are a whole new direction for Thugger? It might sound unfeasible, but then remember that Frank Ocean started in Odd Future (much more on this tomorrow hopefully). But I don't want to get into all of that right now. I want a Young Thug classic, from his breakout and maybe still best project, 2013's 1017 Thug.

Probably if you got people to list their favorite aspects of 1017 Thug, they'd probably say stuff like the transition into "Picacho", or the start of the first verse of "2 Cups Stuffed" (you know what it is). Even people with eclectic or obsessive interests in this mixtape like me will point to things like Gucci's ad-libs at the start of "Jungle" or the "beeeeah" noise Thug makes at the start of "Condo Music". PeeWee Longway's verse on this track prolly wouldn't occur to anyone until say, the mid-50s in this ranking, if it would at all... trying to actually list fifty things is pretty exhausting, lol, and not many albums demand it. But here, even if it is the fiftieth best thing about 1017 Thug, 1017 Thug is so good that there's way more than fifty great things that we ought to explicitly acknowledge about it. In fact I bet there's at least 1017 of them and a really good idea for me would be to compile a list of my top 1017 things about 1017 Thugs (actually a bad idea).

But yeah, this verse is insane... PeeWee goes way in on every track he's featured on, but here he hits another level. He sometimes does this thing where he staggers his lines so that it feels like he's somehow "rotating" around the beat (I think it's strongest on the end of his verse on Travis Scott's "Sloppy Toppy", if you want a good example) and that technique, combined with his triumphant lyrics, already makes it something special. But it's that little stutter they added to his final line, that tiny little edit, that suddenly floods the whole verse with this bursting life, really making you realize how crazy it had been... it is very mysterious, seems to be operating with some closed timelike curve.

Of course, it plays off perfectly with Thugger's infectious verses and hook. His bouncy intro, improbably but impressively rhyming all the way from "milli" to "jelly" and then hilariously flipping it to "", and playing from there. I remember the fact that he seemed to deal with "that" and "dead" as homophones in the hook was one of the first things I consciously noticed about Young Thug and thought "this is something new". And the way he flips up to his higher register halfway through the hook cements the idea. There's all these moments of Young Thug bursting the seams of traditional rap music on the project - he wanted to push all of his ideas, but wasn't willing to totally abandon the forms. I think that's why it'll always stand apart in some ways from the rest of his catalog. Definitely worth re-exploring. If there aren't any other SotD posts from me in awhile just keep listening to it on repeat.

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