Discussing current trends in hip-hop inevitably comes around to highlighting the importance of Future and Young Thug, the Atlantan rap titans whose postverbal eccentricities elevated their auto-tuned slurs from the exception to the norm. As featured artists, their names are good indicators of songs with intoxicating, if sometimes oblique, flows (Ty Dolla $ign’s “Blase” or Drake’s “Sacrifices”), ad-libs a plenty. As a duo, they’ve been proven to be slinky cohorts. It was inevitable, then, that the two would pair up for an album that would (in theory) enliven the genre with sticky hooks and bouncy trap anthems.
“Super Slimey” may not be the greatest output Hendrix and Thugger could have actualized, but it makes clear that they have a chemistry that goes beyond what was hinted at in their shared past. During its peaks, “Super Slimey” trades fluid, sober verses between the two that shed light on their rocky relationships (“Real Love”), though they shine brightest in their natural habitat when Thug’s playful hollering foils Future’s gun-toting braggadocio. Thankfully, the album’s valleys aren’t intrusive enough to spoil the experience, merely padding out an otherwise thoroughly enjoyable collection of songs with a few throwaways native to half-album mixtapes.
In hindsight, maybe “Slimey” would have been a more apt title: There isn’t anything exceedingly invigorating enough to be deemed “super.” Solid, sometimes great songs, come close, but it’s telling of each artist’s individuality that the tape’s best cuts come courtesy of their own solos.
The London On Da Track-produced “Killed Before” is the best “Beautiful Thugger Girls” song not released on “Beautiful Thugger Girls.” The track finds Thug crooning over a sun-kissed guitar loop, his buoyant cadences blissfully underscoring his ability as a singer. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Future goes in on “Feed Me Dope,” produced by Willafool. It’s a quick, less-than-three minute cut with a deep impression and even deeper booming bass; the track’s hook — an effortless feat from the confident Future — is catchy, making it a lean-soaked banger and standout track in spite of Thug’s absence.
With both their powers combined, Thug and Future feed off each other to mostly great results. Southside plays host to the two’s strongest cut together, the opening track “No Cap.” It’s a guitar-driven battleground where the two boast back-and-forth about women and material wealth. But what it lacks in substance it doubles down with swagger, competition and — because this is a Future-Thugger mixtape — flow. The sole track to feature another artist, “Patek Water,” another Southside-produced firebrand, invites a determined Offset to share the stage. Helming the hook is an exuberant Future who withholds a verse while Thug and Offset take center stage. Likely a result of how tightly wound Offset’s verse is (a perfect display of the ubiquitous Migos triplet), Thug underperforms by comparison, though the end product stands out as a sleek, hook-heavy pleasure.
Up until the unimpressive “Drip on Me,” “Super Slimey” is mostly a string of earworms that, at the very worst, have less-than-stellar beats despite exuberant back-and-forths (“200,” for instance). It’s not to say that the second half is bogged down by either artist coming at a creative standstill; together, they get candid on “Real Love,” though their solos resonate more on an emotional level than that song could. “Mink Flow” fails to leave a lasting impact, though, and Future’s strained rapping on “Group Home” is disconnected from his polished, albeit rugged, delivery throughout the album. Throughout “Super Slimey,” both artists near vulnerability beyond superficiality (“I don’t care to find out you was creeping ‘cause I was doing the same thing”), but the scattering of these thoughts doesn’t lend to the thematic cohesiveness they intended.
Verdict: While “Super Slimey” doesn’t show either Atlanta rapper reach their fullest potential, it’s still an impressive feat that finds two of hip-hop’s most innovative voices discovering some space to excite.
Best Tracks: “No Cap,” “Patek Water,” “Killed Before,” “Feed Me Dope”