It’s been a minute since Young Thug dropped a full-length—his last solo project was 2017’s excellent Beautiful Thugger Girls—but things have been good in the interim. His feature on Camila Cabello‘s “Havana” earned him his first No. 1 record on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 2018, and this year, he hopped on Post Malone’s “Goodbyes” to grab another top five hit. Thugger’s other notable moves include getting an Elton John feature on last year’s “High” and becoming another horse on the “Old Town Road.”
There have still been questions about Young Thug meeting his mainstream potential. Despite years of hype around his exceptional vocal creativity and his enigmatic persona, none of his albums (well, commercial mixtapes) have achieved RIAA certification. Hy!£UN35 still doesn’t exist.
So Much Fun has come to remind doubters that Young Thug is indeed a star. The project certainly has the artillery to do so, including a J. Cole executive producer credit and “The London,” Thugger’s first top 20 hit as a lead artist. Check out how its tracks stack up below.
808 Mafia’s brooding production is pretty much the only bright spot here. “Pussy” bottoms out with a gross ransom situation in the second verse.
18. “Hot” ft. Gunna
Young Thug and his progeny Gunna connect to toast to luxury with flows that sprint and stop on rhyme schemes obsessed with the vowel ī. But what stifles the track is the unimaginative production — the horns never spark enough hype to justify its repetition.
17. “Light It Up”
“Light It Up” features some of So Much Fun’s more glitchy, muscular production (it’s no surprise this is a Pi’erre Bourne beat). Young Thug doesn’t quite blend with the track’s sinew, and doesn’t throw enough weight on his hook’s repetition for it to become an earworm.
16. “I’m Scared” ft. 21 Savage and Doeboy
On So Much Fun’s street raps joint, Young Thug is anxious about committing felonies, but would like to exchange vows with Oprah. 21 Savage glares at clout-chasers and fake thugs (“We don’t go back and forth, dawg, we really shootin’ shit/Y’all riding ’round like killers, n—a, who the fuck you hit?”). “I’m So Scared” feels more like three minutes of catharsis than an actual song; the breezy production is atonal, and distracts from the trio’s menace.
15. “Cartier Gucci Scarf” ft. Lil Duke
Young Thug again plays with his voice’s extremes: he raps at his cartoonishly high pace on the hook and descends to a Howlin’ Wolf impersonation on the verse. The style switch may be divisive but it’s the center of the track’s kinetic energy. Lil Duke again returns with a snarling presence, perhaps thrilled that “they’re singing [his] shit all in Spain.”
14. “Just How It Is”
Unlike many other Young Thug efforts, “Just How It Is” starts things off on a more downbeat, introspective note. Thuggers pays Nipsey Hussle his respects and touches on his rags-to-riches story amidst some clean guitar strums. “I done did the robbin’, I done did the jackin’, now I’m full rappin’,” he raps. Although it doesn’t quite stand out on its own, “Just How It Is” does work as a tidy, foot-in-the-door intro.
13. “Jumped Out the Window”
He could’ve been emboldened by what’s So Much Fun’s most brolic instrumental, but “Jumped Out the Window” features some of the album’s highest taunts per five seconds. It’s hit-and-miss: Young Thug uttering the word “jabroni” and directing it at your dad is fine; his “Yellow diamonds on me, uh-uh-uh, but I’m not corny” line unintentionally has a meta-corniness. His “Black and white seats, Ore’/Five rings, Horry” is also erroneous. Robert Horry somehow finessed his way to seven NBA championships!
12. “Boy Back” ft. NAV
NAV’s nasally voice has been made to represent suffering from success, but he doesn’t tarnish the encircling single notes provided by DJ Mustard, despite the fact that he’s the majority of the song.
11. “Sup Mate” ft. Future
Despite what the title suggests, “Sup Mate” is short on Atlantian Cockney accents. The Super Slimey mini-reunion finds Young Thug looking like Future’s straight man: Hendrix brings back his falsetto and throws in a bizarre line involving an anus and ecstasy.
10. “I Bought Her” ft. Lil Duke
Young Thug’s performance excels on “I Bought Her” because of his sly use of pacing. He starts with an extraterrestrial warble and slowly gains clarity throughout his first verse, using space to end it with sung declarations (albeit lewd ones). DJ Durel’s plush, neon keys also elevate “I Bought Her.”
9. “Mannequin Challenge” ft. Juice WRLD
So Much Fun focuses mainly on excess—hence the title, So Much Fun—but “Mannequin Challenge” is where that theme is most imbued in the very sound. With a barrage of bass and chirps that’s shockingly produced by J. Cole and T-Minus instead of Pi’erre Bourne, Young Thug delivers his most blistering performance on the album. The debauchery perhaps should’ve been toned down a bit, though: Juice WRLD’s verse, which ends with some unsavory lines about grandmothers, needed a good edit.
8. “Lil Baby”
“Lil Baby” isn’t a Lil Baby tribute, but Young Thug does take time to shout out some of his peers. The mid-album highlight also features some of So Much Fun’s most entrancing production. Young Thug’s singsong sweetly lathers up against that background vocal, pitch-shifted to a baby cry. Also, if you’re wondering if Young Thug is still to be referred to as Sex, “Lil Baby” provides your answer.
7. “Bad Bad Bad” ft. Lil Baby
Lil Baby sounds like he’s going to be the standout of that upcoming Super Slimey 2 collaboration if it does see the light of day. On “Bad Bad Bad,” the signature slight coo of his performing voice meshes with the alien chants on the background. His boasts are also painterly: “N—-s stealin’ drip but it don’t matter, they don’t wear it right/They don’t even speak but I can see I got ’em terrified” is a sharp read because of the smirking apathy it pictures his rivals’ bitterness.
Young Thug the Stylist truly takes center stage on So Much Fun’s third track. His background vocals on the hook are near indecipherable, but they mesh with the bells in a way that makes it feel carnivalesque. Thugger’s amorphous flow on his verses also enlivens “Ecstasy” with a frenetic energy.
5. “Circle of Bosses” ft. Quavo
The acoustic guitar-centered production on “Circle of Bosses” is the closest So Much Fun has to Beautiful Thugger Girls‘ country sounds. Naturally, Young Thug dresses this track up with some of that yeehaw flow. Quavo tops this off with his trademark, freezing temperature-themed flexes (“Clear water on her neck, n—a, don’t see the shark”).
4. “Surf” ft. Gunna
It makes sense that a song featuring one of the men behind “Drip Too Hard” has an aquatic theme. While Gunna acquits himself well (“I copped a Bentley Mulsanne, the money been healin’ the pain”), Young Thug’s left turns are what make the song. There’s not a lot of artists who’d jump into horrorcore after uttering “Totally dude” as an ad-lib seconds earlier.
3. “Big Tipper” ft. Lil Keed
Out of all the collaborations, “Big Tipper” is the most seamless because of how it rests so squarely on teacher-protege chemistry. Lil Keed sounds effortless adapting to Thugger’s skill set, picking up the baton as the Artist Also Known as Sex slows down his rapid delivery. His pace ends up being just as blistering and fluid.
2. “What’s the Move?” ft. Lil Uzi Vert
Young Thug consistently sounds great over tropical, saccharine production, and that still remains a strength on “What’s the Move?” The song’s obvious crux is the strong chemistry between Young Thug and a giddy, “Richer than your first, richer than your last” Lil Uzi Vert. There’s also charm in the small quirks: like the impossible note he pulls out at the 2:24-mark of last year’s “Real in My Veins,” there’s a natural joy that emanates when Young Thug’s voice squeaks when he asks the title question.
1. “The London” ft. J. Cole and Travis Scott
The mid-level hit (and Young Thug’s biggest as a lead artist) actually sounds better in the context of the album. It’s So Much Fun’s most obvious banger, and Young Thug sounds thrilling when he swings into another octave during his verse. J. Cole sounds refreshing by virtue of being the only non-trap relient artist featured on this album, although whether “fuck your IG, I put somethin’ on your sonogram” is a good line is up for debate.