Country has become one of the most divisive genres in popular music, you either love it or you hate it, but thankfully Young Thug
has begun bridging this musical divide. If you imagine a combination of country music and rap then you'd probably end up with something like Hick-Hop (which is unfortunately a real genre), but thankfully this album isn't centered around going to the lake, driving a big truck, or any other tired Country trope; instead Young Thug experiments with new instrumental and vocal techniques creating something singular in the process.
When Young Thug released Beautiful Thugger Girls
on Friday, Twitter went into a frenzy with claims that the superstar Atlanta rapper was converting them into Country fans.
But how Country is it?
Beautiful Thugger Girls
earns its first Country point with its album cover. Thugger is draped over an acoustic guitar, the only problem however is that the guitar is upside down. This is either a nod to Jimi Hendrix's famous upside-down guitar or they couldn't find a lefty guitar in time for the photo-shoot. I guess he tried?
"Family Don't Matter (feat. Millie Go Lightly)" opens the album, the track starts as a duet between Thugger and the widely unknown london singer Millie Go Lightly. They both sing over an acoustic guitar, until Young Thug lets out his most iconic ad-lib to date "Yee-Haw." The track goes on to boast more acoustic guitars, tambourine, and Young Thug adopting a hill-billy drawl while rapping about "country billy." This track is the most overtly country track on the project, the melody of his hook "what's poppin', what's the deal?" as well as Millie's bridge at the end of the song sound like they could fit into a Florida Georgia Line song.
The next overtly country portion begins when Thugger samples Bright Eyes "First Day Of My Life" on his song "Me Or Us." This song relies heavily on melody as Young Thug shows off his vocal chops, just about abandoning his rapping. Most of the album is like this which follows through on the tweet he sent out in April claiming that he was releasing a "singing album." Young Thug has always toed the line between singing and rapping, but he seems to be focusing on his rough around the edges voice on this project more than anything. "Me Or Us" is much different than the rest of his catalogue and stands out on the album as being his most intimate song.
The album has subtle melodic nods to country music, as well as instrumental choices which I have rarely heard in Rap, but that's about as Country as it gets. While it's apparent that Thugger is experimenting with new sounds, it's not by any means a country album, nor are any of the songs country songs. Beautiful Thugger Girls
still consists of the trap crooning that gained him such a large following, but with this follow up to his landmark Jefferey
we see a weirder, more intimate side of Thugger.