On paper, pairing recent Young Money signees Rich Homie Quan and Young Thug together for an 84-minute release seems like a half-baked idea. Though both rappers roots’ orginate in the variegated modern Atlanta rap scene, Quan is a rapper who rides the beat like Adrien Broner rides a speedbag, while the shape-shifting Thug is brilliant—future-sounding in the sense that no one on earth sounds like Young Thug—but unquantifiable. Though they’ve already got one totally great, totally anthemic single together, ”Lifestyle”, there was no guarantee that the arrangement would hold up over 20 songs that feature little else but Thug, Quan, and occasionally Birdman.
Luckily, Daddy knows best, and Tha Tour Part 1 is one of the year’s best tapes, a tape that exudes the electric chemistry between Young Thug and Rich Homie Quan for the great majority of its runtime. Though Rich Homie can play the role of a bruiser, he has a deft ear for melody, and the points where he locks in harmonically with Thug—”Tell Em (Lies)” is perhaps the best example—feel magical. Given that his counterpart is wont to do his own thing, Quan finds a way to match him stride for stride and Quan’s versatility leads to a number of standout features.
Thug, for his part, is coming off a string of loose hits that showcase just how much good will has buoyed the young, strange Atlantan whose swag is best described as “singular.” Bouncing off of Quan on Tha Tour Part 1, that groundswell of goodwill feels like a tidal wave, a rush that takes you to a new plateau for both artists, and especially for Thug. Most of Young Thug’s releases to this point have a good number of songs that feel unfinished, or sound like sketches that haven’t quite found their true form. Thanks to some truly confusing label drama, finding out when, where, or how a given Young Thug song was recorded is a confounding task. With respect to his breakout tape 1017 Thug, then, Thug’s approach has never been as polished and effective as it sounds on Tha Tour Part 1. Even though it’s still tough to figure out what Thug is talking about—”CREW CUT! CREW CUT!” he yells on “Flava”, about his preferred t-shirt style—never has his Vine-loop flow sounded so awesome.
This is 84 minutes of mixtape-rapping released by two dudes who have lucrative label deals in place, so naturally, there’s points where this release drags. Songs like “Throw Your Hood Up” dribble past the five-minute mark and come across as like experiments with delivery (“Scabies on your babiieeessss,” sings Thug), but when they strike the balance—”730”, “Tell Em (Lies)”, “Givenchy”, “I Know It”—it’s the stuff of vivid dreams. Operating over London on da Track’s bed of snappy, energetic-but-slightly-warped trap, Quan and Thug are basically the Larry Johnson/Priest Holmes backfield of rap, and they know it.
Birdman’s involvement on Tha Tour Part 1 is comparatively spare but serves an important purpose—to stamp the two latest stars of his stable with his invaluable seal. Young Thug is making the music that many imagined Lil Wayne could make, and it makes perfect sense that Birdman has thrown his weight behind what is probably the best free mixtape offered for download in 2014.
from Album Reviews – Pitchfork http://ift.tt/YVyvLi