Review Summary: Truth in advertising
In case you weren’t able to tell from the elaborate album cover, So Much Fun
is a bit of a victory lap for Young Thug. While it doesn’t bear the surprising emotional sprawl of Pretty Thugger Girls
or ambitious vocal experimentation of JEFFERY
, what it does contain is a highlight reel of eccentric lyricism and spirited performances from all involved. After quietly shifting the pop-rap landscape to fit his own image over the last decade (another sentiment hinted at in that subtle cover), Thugga is still able to showcase himself as the proverbial cream of the crop through exquisite quality control and effortless cool. Think of So Much Fun
as a legacy album: not moving the goalposts like prior releases nor stagnating in former glories like a half-baked greatest hits collection, he simply delivers a summer blockbuster block party that still contains all the hallmarks of his signature style. Diaphanous vocal runs that glide through verses buffeted by alien ad-libs? Present. Ambiguous but well-meaning gender politics colliding with hilariously lusty and sex-positive antics? Check. A big and bright union of trunk-rattling trap and radiant pop songcraft? You get the idea. While a number of iconoclastic artists fall into the trap of irrelevancy due to relying on strengths that inspired younger artists, Young Thung is still king of the hill, and So Much Fun
is a relaxed but unmistakable statement that he won’t be beat at his own game.
Quality is immediately evident, whether it’s the forlorn guitars that run through ‘Just How It Is’, in which a laser-focused Thugga drops impressive lines but still can’t help but make the most memorable moment be when he rhymes “shooter” with “Ryu, Ken” seamlessly, or the Thug/Future tag team of ‘Sup Mate’, all funereal organ and hopscotch 808’s soundtracking a deliriously playful anthem housing the giddiest Future performance since he used his moment in the cultural zeitgeist to tell unassuming moviegoers to slob on his knob. ‘Surf’ bounces along on pixelated video game synths while Thug races through flows and hysterical lines one after the next. Who else could rap “I chop off the top of the Benz and all it gets fierce, they can't wait to shred, I told 'em to chop off your penis, you keeping your head
” and then abruptly close out the verse with the sobering “Couple things I done seen in the dark, I know I gotta die with it
” and make it sound like a fluid and genuine sentiment? There’s simply an incredible display of tonal and vocal variety on display from Young Thug all over this project, and while, as previously mentioned, it doesn’t quite reach the diaristic and vulnerable heights of Thugger Girls
, these lyrical and vocal performances are too dialed-in and vivid to be dismissed as party rap trifles. While it feels at times as though Thug has cast too wide a net to create something as memorable as his more conceptual releases, So Much Fun
gets to have its cake and eat it too, presenting all of the artist’s strengths without feeling like an empty grab-bag of fleeting parlor tricks.
It all adds up to an exceptional win for the restless Young Thug and his devoted fan base. While I only highlighted earlier cuts, it is an impressive ride throughout, and I could write an entire additional paragraph highlighting individual tracks and features. Gunna is almost impossibly smooth and charismatic for his two appearances. ‘What’s The Move’ packs in tropical drums, finger snaps, slithering laser synths and Thugga jubilantly exclaiming “lets get it, fuck all the skits!
”. It speaks to his uniquely honed-in mindset, able to maintain a tireless work ethic without diminishing returns through diligence and something altogether indefinable. Closer and lead single ‘The London’ is a perfect summation, garnering the most memorable J. Cole verse in half a decade just by being adjacent to ‘Big Slime’, featuring a concise and dreamy Travis Scott hook, and a caterwauling Thug verse blanketed in velvety narcotized keyboard warbles. So Much Fun
proves you don’t have to rest on your laurels while luxuriating in a self-made empire; there’s still plenty joy to be found in the hustle, too.