Review Summary: I forgot about superstardom.
It’s a shame that Thugger isn’t using Hear No Evil
to do anything particularly special or different. He doesn’t sing, and then gloriously snap, like he did on “Heatstroke,” and he isn’t growling and grunting, like he did on “Homie” or “Ride wit Me.” Instead, he’s resting on his usual rhythmic yelping, cruising through the same beats everyone else is rapping on. Which is disappointing, considering Young Thug has always delighted in doing everything a little weirder than everyone else; rather, Hear No Evil
embodies the simple pleasure of hearing Thug spitting enigmatic non-sequiturs for a few songs more.
It’s perfect for fans of No, My Name is JEFFREY
, because it’s not as indebted to Thug’s weirder instincts as much as his melodic impulses; the drawback, however, being that these songs are hardly as memorable or as plainspoken as anything on that album. “Anybody” is probably the only song that is, wherein Nicki Minaj and Thug get into back-and-forth mimicking flows and contorting voices just to prove that they can. The other two songs— the overlong and repetitious “Up” with Lil Uzi Vert, the deadened thump of “Now” with 21 Savage— wouldn’t sound out of place as a highlight on their respective features’ albums, in turn sounding fairly weak under Thug’s name. He’s the dominating presence on all three songs here, but the reason for that isn’t so much because he is actually dominating the song, but because everything else— the beats, the features— are so reductive that he has no choice other than to shine. And, much like JEFFREY
, the supposed inspiration of family doesn’t carry much influence over what is actually on record. In total, it’s little more than a chance for Thug to flex on his contemporaries and meet market demand between tapes. That makes sense— the bills don’t pay themselves— but one can’t help but be cautiously optimistic that this was made for spontaneity’s sake, and is not indicative of any further creative rut.