Young Thug has a new tape out.
It’s called Slime Language.
The best, most overwhelming song on it is “Audemar.”
It’s actually his best, most overwhelming song in two years.
Prior to “Audemar,” it was a song called “Harambe” from a mixtape he released in 2016 called Jeffery.
Slime Language is good; possibly “very good.”
This isn’t a thing about Slime Language, though.
And also, I suppose, about Young Thug.
Or, more specifically, about why Young Thug is so interesting.
Because he is definitely that.
He is extremely that.
Let’s start there.
Permanence has never been the point for Young Thug: only right now; only this instant; only this very moment; only this day, this hour, this minute, this second.
The most impactful version of his music exists in much the same way a puff of expensive perfume does: concentrated and powerful and beautiful and inescapable when you find yourself in its cloud, and then, in all instances and with all the certainty of every eventuality, completely gone and impossible to summon back into existence after it dissipates. There are tiny, imperceptible particles of it that still float around in the atmosphere, sure. And sometimes you can rev up your brain enough to remember what the scent felt like in your nose. But that’s as close as you can get to re-creating it. That is (I would argue) what makes Young Thug so exceptional, and certainly what makes him so interesting.
It is also, ironically, the reason he has stayed relevant, and the reason his mark will, in fact, be permanent. His gooey flow will be fossilized, and his eccentricity will be fossilized; more importantly, though, his willingness to present both of those things unfettered and without compromise will be fossilized.
“Audemar” is very great.
On “Audemar,” Young Thug does all of the things you hope Young Thug is going to do on a song, given that you are a fan of Young Thug songs, which you should be, given that you do not have a head full of concrete.
He says silly things that are clearly silly.
(An example: “I’ma come through like Aladdin.”) (I have very little idea what that means.) (Does he mean, like, on a flying carpet?) (Or maybe dressed like he lives in Agrabah?) (Or maybe with an actual genie?) (It’s all in play, really.) (Because if you were like, “Hey, did you see that one rapper who showed up to the awards show with a real genie,” I’d be like, “Man, how did Young Thug pull that one off?”)
And he says silly things that feel brilliant and profound.
(An example: “I bought me the new Hellcat / I’m blowin’ in a new Hellcat / I walk in the club, Hellcat / 85 racks, Hellcat.”) (I know exactly what that means.) (And even if you don’t know exactly what that means, you at least know what it includes.) (A Hellcat, FYI.)
He has a bit where he turns the erosion of his voice all the way up to the max, and it sounds like the ground is going to deteriorate underneath your feet while you’re standing there listening. And he has a bit where he turns the warble up on his voice all the way to the max, and you listen to it and it sounds like the way it felt in middle school when you’d spin a classroom’s globe too fast and you were certain it was going to shoot off its axis, or it sounds like the way it looked when a person would get very drunk at a high school party and then stumble around the backyard, and with every step you were certain they were going to fall over but they never actually did.
He does the thing where he removes all of the seriousness out of his heart and all of a sudden it sounds like an adult-child is bragging about something (this happens when he says, “The gang came back with racks / I’m ridin’ ’round town with a gat,” and somehow it turns an otherwise ordinary line into something wildly inventive). And he does the thing where he multiplies all of the seriousness on the planet over onto itself, and it causes him to literally growl his words out (this happens when he says the words “bat” and “tag” in the chorus, and it is, without debate, exhilarating).
“Audemar” is very great.
A neat trick in “Audemar” that you may not realize until you listen to it on repeat rather than in the flow of the album is that the song starts with the exact same series of sounds that end the song (it’s this odd, not-quite-scratchy, definitely gulpy sound like what someone in a movie makes after they’ve been shot in the chest and are gasping for a breath of air that they can never all the way process because their lungs all of a sudden have bullet holes in them). Because of those sounds and because there are three seconds of emptiness at the end of the track, “Audemar” loops itself together perfectly. It’s weirdness in perpetuity, like aiming two extremely ornate mirrors at each other. Every time it restarts, it becomes a little more bizarre, a little more intricate, a little more self-sustaining. Remember the part in Ant-Man when Ant-Man goes subatomic and everything gets extremely strange and impossible to decipher, but also everything makes sense because being subatomic means you’re no longer part of the terrestrial world as you know it, and so you stop expecting things to be a certain way and begin to just experience things without care for rules or boundaries or the rigidity of sophistications? It’s like that, except it’s Young Thug.
“Audemar” is very great.