Young Thug’s new album ‘Punk’ is ‘Icy Hot’

Rori Anderson

Jeffrey Lamar Williams, otherwise known as Young Thug, released his long-awaited album “Punk” on Oct. 15. Originally set to release in January or February of 2020, fans have anxiously anticipated the album that succeeds Young Thug’s two collaborative albums released in the past year.

“Punk” consists of 20 songs featuring collaborations with major artists Drake, Travis Scott, Doja Cat and Post Malone among others. The features make each song unique and stand out on their own. For example, “Love you more (with Nate Ruess, Gunna & Jeff Bhasker)” is a shockingly mellow song that relaxes the listener with its peaceful and rhythmic tempo. Ruess’ melodic vocals provide a break from the other more upbeat rap songs in the discography. This is a common theme in the album as Young Thug switches up the tempo of his music, improving the diversity of the album and making it more engaging to listeners.

Taking inspiration from Octavio Ocampo’s “Forever Always,” Young Thug poses for his album cover. (Photo courtesy of 300 entertainment)

In an interview conducted in October 2021, Young Thug said that “Punk” is “just real life stories,” and some of the album’s lyrics are much deeper than others. Songs like “Die Slow” have emotional undertones, as he sings about his personal life growing up. In the interlude, he raps “My momma had broke up with my dad for having another kid on her.” In other songs, Young Thug’s lyrics show a much different side of him. In “Hate the Game” for example, Young Thug uses explicit language and sexual innuendo to express the wild side of his life as a celebrity.

One problem with Young Thug’s lyricism is it’s repetition. While his language in some songs is extremely catchy, the consistency of repeated lyrics throughout the album make this tactic noticeable and predictable. In the song “Yeah Yea Yea,” the chorus consists of only the word “yea” repeated over and over again. While the other verses of the song brought listeners in with their fun lyrics, the chorus overwhelmed those sections and made the whole song sound basic. 

The main problem with this album is its ending. Despite not being an avid listener of Hip Hop/Trap music, I thoroughly enjoyed most of the songs on the album. However, the final song, “Day Before (with Mac Miller),” seemed boring and slow due to the melancholy and unchanging instrumentals throughout the song. To make matters worse, the song, and therefore the album, ended with whale-like noises. It makes an overall strong and engaging album end on a very low note which was disappointing. 

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised with the album and enjoyed many of the songs. I can’t wait to sing along to “Hate the Game” and “Icy Hot” in my car with the windows down. Others like “Recognize Real” are better to listen to on a rainy night. Young Thug fans and new listeners alike are sure to find a song on “Punk”that they can add to their favorite playlist.