Young Thug’s Forthcoming Album Punk Might Be Really Bad
The mutant Atlanta rap star Young Thug has been a prolific mixtape force for a solid decade, but he’s only categorized one of his releases, the 2019 hit So Much Fun, as a straight-up studio album. So it’s notable that Thug his now making another album — his second, at least according to him — and that he’s calling it Punk. (He first announced that album title in 2019.) Thug started out as a challenging, boundary-pushing presence, and he now appears to think of himself as a rock star. Paradoxically, an album called Punk seems like the most retrograde thing that Young Thug could do, especially since it seems like Travis Barker will be involved.
In a new edition of NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts series, Thug has debuted four of the songs that will reportedly appear on Punk. In the video, he performs in a beautifully manicured Los Angeles back yard. He’s backed up by Damnage Gooods, a live band that appears to be comprised entirely of LA studio musicians. The video opens with Thug telling a harrowing story of family strife. But the four songs that follow — “Die Slow,” “Droppin Jewels,” “Hate The Game,” and “Tick Tock” — are all fairly generic by Thug’s own standards.
But it’s the end of the video that’s most concerning. With Travis Barker sitting in, Thug does a flavorless rock version of “Ski,” a single that appeared on his recent label compilation Slime Language 2. It sucks really bad, and it suggests that Thug might be well on his way to making his own version of Lil Wayne’s notoriously garbage 2010 rap-rock album Rebirth. If you like, you can experience the whole Tiny Desk situation below.
If we can believe the vest that Thug wears in the Tiny Desk video, Punk is out 10/15.