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September 04, 2018 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily

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8A — Tuesday, September 4, 2018
The Michigan Daily — michigandaily.com

The most impressive music
careers are those that convey an
evolution in a creative sense: The
Beatles and their growth from
Please, Please Me to Sergeant

Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,
Kanye West and his growth from
The College Dropout to Yeezus.
Ideally, a musician’s respective
genre should follow their creative
advances, making for a fascinating
display of an artist’s capability to
mold peers and followers and to
guide an entire genre toward a
more creatively inspired realm.
Similar to The Beatles’ impact on
rock and Kanye’s impact on hip
hop, Young Thug has been on his
way to trap immortality as his
artistry has evolved and the genre
has responded with appeal.
From his debut on Rich Gang’s
2014 single, “Lifestyle,” that had
listeners marveling at the warbling
vocal style that would become
Thug’s most iconic trait, to the
lavender dress worn on the cover
of 2016’s JEFFERY, Thug has
planted himself at the vanguard
of trap music, constantly breaking
conventions to advance the genre
from generally nonmusical and
femininity. His discography is
covered in hard trap, groovy
funk and homey country, and has
become increasingly complex with
each release (he has even received
nods from Kanye and Elton John
for his originality and capacity to
push hip hop’s envelope.)
That these trendsetting and
creative characteristics are so
ingrained in Thug’s artistry makes

his most recent release, Slime
Language, a bit of a head-scratcher.
The mixtape is bogged down by
beats and a lack of thematic focus.
Even its cover, with green and red
slime oozing over hands miming
the words “Young Stoner Life” in
sign language, is confusing and
Slime Language’s first knock is
its features. In such a collaborative
era in hip hop, it’s never a surprise
to find a few featured artists on
an album. In fact, it’s actually
quite rare to come across a
featureless project (see: J. Cole’s
trend). Oftentimes, collaborating
with other artists on a track
allows a rapper to pool various
fan bases and create a super-team
effect. Because hip hop is such a
star has a unique voice and style,
so listeners find a little extra
excitement in hearing how their
favorite personalities tackle a track
together. The formula is typically
fun and successful, but only when
the personalities merged on a track
each provide something different
and impressive; on Slime, this
almost never happens. Thirteen
of the tape’s 15 tracks feature an
artist other than Young Thug.
What’s more, nearly every featured
artist seems to be doing their
best Thug impression, sounding
indistinguishable from him and
the other featured artists and
accordingly eliminating the multi-
personality benefit of features.
Additionally, for an artist who
is perhaps most known for his
catchy hooks, Thug outsources
the choruses of his Slime tracks
to other artists too often, leaving
listeners craving more of his
anthemic vocal acrobatics.
Slime also falls short in the
music department. Nearly every
track has a beat loop with loud
808 bass tied to each kick drum, a
template popularized by producer
Metro Boomin in trap’s early days,

but one that more complex and
musical methods of production
have left in the dust. Ironically,
Thug was one of the artists to
transcend this simple template,
incorporating elements of funk
into JEFFERY and elements of
country into Beautiful Thugger
Girls. With Slime, though, the
beats seem to have slipped back
into 2015, a concern especially
noticeable in the wake of Travis
Scott’s ASTROWORLD, a project
that raised the bar for trap’s
musical standard just a few weeks
prior. (Perhaps Thug could benefit
from Scott’s eclectic production
While the actual content of the
project is nothing special, Thug did
manage to bring progress in one
regard: women. Trap has always
been and still is a genre dominated
by men, often braggadociously
rapping about how they mistreat
women. Thus, female features
are almost unheard of. On Slime,
however, three tracks feature
female artists, and not in the
conventional way with sung hooks
in a pretty voice to counterbalance
the masculinity of the verses; these
female rappers have full verses
and rap about fucking shit up
and making money behind heavy
autotune. So, even with a sonically
lackluster project, Thug continues
to make some waves.
does have a handful of bangers.
Just because it sounds outdated
and simple doesn’t mean it won’t
augment your party playlists;
“Audemar,” “Chanel (Go Get It)”
and “Scoliosis” are highlights
that provide the raw vocals and
hype-inducing flow that Thug fans
crave. Still, in the broader lens of
music as something that breathes
and grows with time, it seems
like the rest of the trap world has
finally caught up with Young Thug,
leaving Slime Language stale and
unoriginal. We’ll just have to wait
for the next slimey project to see if
Thugger can still turn heads.

Newest Thug is mediocre

Daily Arts Writer


combine all the underutilized token
Asians from sitcom television into
one movie? Pure comedy gold.
From established actors like

and Michelle Yeoh (“Star Trek:
Discovery”) to the up-and-coming
misused supporting characters like
Ronny Chieng (“The Daily Show”)
and Jimmy O. Yang (“Silicon
Valley”) to the face of a new era of
Asian-American representation on
television, Constance Wu (“Fresh
Off the Boat”) — “Crazy Rich
Asians” has them all.
The movie, based on the 2013
book trilogy by Kevin Kwan,
follows Rachel Chu (Wu) as she
accompanies her boyfriend Nick
Young (Henry Golding, “A Simple
Favor”) to his home country of
Singapore. She soon realizes Nick
is not your average New Yorker,
but the heir-apparent to one of the

richest real estate families in Asia.
Traditional and modern values
clash as Rachel, an ABC (American-
born-Chinese), tries to fit in with
Nick’s family — particularly his
At this point in Hollywood
representation, the main focus still
lies on undermining stereotypes,
rather than making race secondary
to the characters themselves. In
an ideal world, an Asian character
would just be a character, free of
the burden to hold up a positive,
progressive image of their race.
selling point of a movie returns the
target audience to white people or,
in the case of “Crazy Rich Asians,”
all non-Asian demographics.
While non-Asians or non-Asian-
Americans might view some of
the caricatured supporting cast
in the Kevin Kwan adaptation as
defying stereotypes, this is not
quite the case. Instead, the film
mines deeper caves for stereotypes,
some recognizable only to those
who have been immersed in Asian
culture and heritage.
Of course, stereotypes are a
trademark necessity of filling out
the cast of a romantic comedy,
where screentime for sidekicks
are minimal and, as a result,

flaws of “Crazy Rich Asians” has
everything to do with the rom-com
format itself and not the fact that
Asians helm every aspect of the
There’s the predictable plot,
refusal to engage in serious politics,
but also the impressive aspects of
rom-coms: Gatsby-esque set design,
believable chemistry between the
leads and zingy one-liners.
“Crazy Rich Asians” feels at
times like an opportunity for non-
Asians to venture into an “exotic”
world Hollywood has ignored
since its beginnings. However, the
all-Asian cast in a blockbuster film
made buying a ticket to this film
still incredibly emotional.
eggshells around this film, refusing
to strike down the issues with
rom-coms in fear of undermining
the importance of this turn in
For people looking for a solid
rom-com, “Crazy Rich Asians”
the pressure of a history of
in terms of the quality of the film
itself, “Crazy Rich Asians” is just
another rom-com, though that may
be its greatest accomplishment to
on the road to equality.

‘Crazy Rich Asians’ soars

Daily Arts Writer

Warner Bros.


Slime Language

Young Thug

300 Entertainment

“Crazy Rich Asians”

State Theater

Warner Bros.

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