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Review: Young Stoner Life, Young Thug and Gunna’s “Slime Language 2”

The modicum of hits brought to the table on “Slime Language 2” are unfortunately outnumbered by the utter duds.
Image by Mary Ellen Ritter

Trap titans Young Thug and Gunna have once again assembled the members of their record label, Young Stoner Life (YSL), to bring us a follow-up to their 2018 project “Slime Language.”

Alongside the YSL roster, “Slime Language 2” features a laundry list of notable artists including Travis Scott, Lil Uzi Vert and more of some of the heaviest hitters in the rap scene today. While the tracklist has several standout songs and quality moments from Thug, Gunna and the rest, the end result leaves much to be desired. Try as they might, the group fails to hold our interest for the hour and 15-minute runtime.

Thug’s mission to highlight the lesser-known members of YSL has proven once again to be a swing and a miss. Verses from the likes of Lil Duke, T-Shyne and Yung Kayo are forgettable at best and are grossly overshadowed by the big names on the project.

Right off the bat, the first two songs, “Slatty” and “Ski,” remind us of the reason we were excited for a Thug and Gunna project: unrelenting heat from the duo. The album’s opener is hard-hitting from the instrumentals to the verses, and the bouncy synth-string beat on “Ski” compliments Thug’s high register bars and Gunna’s patented laid-back flow.

Where the album is consistently strongest is in its production. With several exceptions in the 23-song collection, the beats, mixing and overall engineering behind this project are superb. The song “Real” perfectly combines lovely guitar lines with lively drum sounds, all blending beautifully with vocals from Unfoonk and Thug. On top of that, the song “That Go!,” reminiscent of an early Chief Keef beat, drives everything home with its low synths and dancy flute sample.

Yet, as we get further in, the magic starts to wear off. Despite a feature from Drake, the song “Solid” is anything but. The nondescript bars fail to land as one MC after another sleepwalks their way to the end of the track. Listeners will eventually come to realize that a majority of the songs on “Slime Language 2” fail to stand out in any way, leaving us wondering what Thugger and the others were going for in the first place.

Tracks like “Moon Man” and “Superstar” prove to be one-dimensional with their run-of-the-mill beats and even more inconsistent performances, regardless of guest features from Kid Cudi and Future.

While this over abundance of middling tracks can be hard to look past, credit should be given where it’s due. Despite its many flaws, there is still fun to be had with this album. “Came and Saw” is a punchy and dynamic bop, while “Diamonds Dancing” is sure to be a fan favorite with its playful beat and tremendous feature from Travis Scott.

The songs “GFU” and “Proud of You” featuring Lil Uzi Vert may not be the most conventional bangers but are without a doubt the most memorable and cohesive. Flashy, focused and fun, these tracks stand out because they make choices. There are clear ideas and intentions being demonstrated, where other tracks on the album exist as “songs for the sake of songs.”

All in all, “Slime Language 2” is worth giving a chance. Out of the 23 songs, you will be hard-pressed to find at least one that doesn’t pass the head bob test. The real question is, will you have the time and patience to sift through all of the “blah” just for a few diamonds in the rough? At the end of the day, a handful of hits does not make up for an overall lack of vision.

Grade: C+

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