Saturday, September 21st, 2019

Young Thug ft. Gunna – Hot

Fly like you do it, like you’re high, like you do it, like you – *sigh* – like you do it like you’re Gunna…


Alfred Soto: The production, horn chart, Thug — everything is running at a narcotized speed. This creates tension for a while: when is it going to take off? Then I realized the title was a joke. 

Ryo Miyauchi: It still hasn’t been the easiest thing to reconcile my feelings with this more consciously restrained Young Thug. Restraint can be another means of control, but it’s frustratingly unclear whether it’s that or pure lack of inspiration with “Hot.” The frustration applies as much with Gunna, whose own restraint at times glosses over the sheer ridiculousness of a line as if words are unimportant: he raps “I told her to gargle and work on her thighs” with the same sleepy-eyed voice used to deliver stylish nonsense like “upgraded my wrist, put baguettes in the sky.” Thug previews some chaos brewing in him in the bizarre vocalizing interlude where he’s stricken by hunger too overwhelming to contain, just as it seemed back on Barter 6. But while it does seep over to the first few bits of his verse, he retreats to cliches about copycats and Cartier. There’s a more unhinged song here, and it’s maddening that the rappers step away from it.

Joshua Minsoo Kim: Thugger getting his first number one album with songs as safe as this? We failed him.

Josh Love: I wish Thug the rapper from 2015/16 could go in over the beats from So Much Fun because I think they’re the best of Thugger’s career, but unfortunately he’s dialed back his own elastic yawp by about 20%. As Future proved with “Mask Off,” though, you can never go wrong with a menacing flute sample that sounds like it was taken off an old kung fu flick.

Oliver Maier: Thugger, sabotaged by an anaemic verse from Gunna and a sluggish marching-band beat, salvages things somewhat with his rubbery triplet flow and screeching adlibs.

Nortey Dowuona: Gunna is a pointless, dull and soulless version of Thugga, who keeps him on a long leash and lets him clog up the first half of this shifting yet flat song, filled to the brim with waterlogged, melting synth melodies, while Thugga comes in on one of his dullest, limpest flows.

Jacob Sujin Kuppermann: Parents play favorites all the time. Take Young Thug: of his three most obvious “children” featured on So Much Fun (Gunna, Lil Baby, and Lil Keed), Gunna clearly gets the most shine. He gets two features (this and the much better “Surf”), and on “Hot” he gets the lead-off verse. And yet, despite the ample room that Thugger gives his protege, Gunna is a totally inert force here. It’s not that his verse is Nav-level unlistenable or filled with Big Sean-type corniness, but that he makes no particular impression at all. Even Wheezy’s production does him no favors, with MIDI horns swallowing up his creeping hook, charging forward while his triplet structure collapses in on itself. Fortunately, Young Thug’s croak serves as a welcome reprieve — the master has an ability to stretch and manipulate his syllables to break up the monotony that his students have not yet developed.

Reader average: [8] (2 votes)

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