Tuesday, June 11th, 2019

Young Thug ft. J. Cole & Travis Scott – The London

Hottest rap hotel anthem since “Holidae In”?


Jacob Sujin Kuppermann: If Young Thug and J. Cole, who at this point are less rappers and more symbols of certain opposite paradigms in modern rap, decide they should link over a skeletal Travis Scott hook for the sake of Song of The Summer positioning, then so be it. “The London” is neither as stylistically daring as Thugger’s best or as heartfelt as Cole’s, but at least it’s not as scattershot or corny (respectively) as their nadirs. Most of all, it’s just pleasant, the kind of radio rap single I can listen to endlessly without being moved all that much in any direction.

Ashley John: “The London” is the summer rap equivalent of a Forever 21 romper: a dumpster of a season’s trends, each of which is nothing special on their own but in sum is overdone. 

Alfred Soto: “A verse from me is like eleven birds” is the most interesting lyric J. Cole’s written in years, but he’s gotta boast his hard credentials while Thug’s in the title hotel ordering surf ‘n’ turf. I suppose this is the best we can expect from the pop one per cent.

Katherine St Asaph: A pleasant enough pensive beat, that two out of three rappers handle perfectly well.

Nicholas Donohoue: Young Thug wipes the floor with his featured artists who just serve to drone and annoy but definitely did their job of making the song bigger. A point off for the heavy reverb which weigh down the track more than they impart what was suppose to be a more clout-y ritzy trap.

Julian Axelrod: This is Young Thug’s highest-charting single as a solo artist, which would be more exciting if it wasn’t one of his least Thug-centric songs. On the whole, this is a remarkably egoless posse cut, with three huge names blurring the margins and cribbing liberally from each other’s styles. Cole runs Thug’s spastic yelps through Travis’s sad-robot filter, while Scott and Thugger aim for Cole’s carefully cultivated balance of horny and introspective. Even the beat feels like it’s trying to make itself scarce, dicing one of the 2010s’ last unused flute loops into gauzy ribbons. It’s compulsively listenable and pleasantly forgettable, a chance for three of rap’s biggest personalities to leave their personalities at the door.

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