A Future & Young Thug joint release is seemingly perfect on paper, but “Super Slimey” is not.
Let’s make one thing clear from the start. Super Slimey is not Watch The Throne and it’s not What A Time To Be Alive. Those efforts resulted in more than just a collaborative album, they became moments in history. Moments that brought internet-era ‘dream collaborations’ together for a full-length body of work, to the genuine enthusiasm, curiosity, and high expectations (which were ultimately satisfied) of the fans. As fans, we got to experience both the frustrating Funk Flex “Otis” premiere and the What A Time To Be Alive OVO Sound Radio debut together. Super Slimey wasn’t a project where two artists were coming together after an iconic decade-long working relationship, nor was it the two hottest rappers on Earth locking themselves in a studio for a week and cranking out an irresistible embracement of each other. Super Slimey is Young Thug and Future, uniting in the midst of a great year, for a project that’s sole purpose seems to be filling the absurd release expectations their fans have. It’s something that makes sense on paper, to be sure, but the result doesn’t stack up alongside any solo album released by either party this year.
Super Slimey isn’t bad. With two artists as talented as Future and Young Thug, it’s nearly impossible for a collaboration between the two to be subpar. Still, their 2017 output prior to Super Slimey was already impressive; Young Thug coming off of his ambitious “singing album” Beautiful Thugger Girls, and Future, who had the most dominant two-week period of the year, releasing Future & HNDRXX back to back. Perhaps then, their great year leads to a minor disappointment here, because they strayed from their independent formula and merged camps.
Super Slimey, then, has its strongest moments when both artists are on their solo tip. “Cruise Ship,” which is the first of two solo Thug songs on the album, is fairly common territory for Thug but it’s done extremely well. The Bl$$D (who also has a credit on Thug & Future’s “Relationship” off BTG, adding to the idea that these are leftover album session cuts) and Chef production is bright, and hearing Thug go through all of his flows and vocal tics will make you dream of the long-gone Rich Gang era. Thug raps about nothing, but there aren’t many rappers more engaging than Thug even when he doesn’t know what to talk about, managing to make every line irresistible (“If I wouldn’t have rapped, I’d still be rich (still rich)”). The second solo Thug track is just as memorable. Channeling his Beautiful Thugger Girls spirit, again adding even more strength to the thought that these are Beautiful leftovers, he links up with the strangely under-utilized London On Da Track for “Killed Before.” If “Family Don’t Matter” taught us anything, it’s that Thug crooning over an acoustic guitar sounds way better than it has any right to be, and on top of that, Thug takes the opportunity to expand his already extensive vocals. Thug also provides the album’s most majestic moment on this track when he screeches “Different color diamonds I’m a peacock/Different color diamonds I’m a peaaaacock.”
Future’s two solo tracks on Super Slimey may not stand out as much as Thug’s but they’re still reasonably better than some of their joint offerings. The first is the Will-A-Fool produced “Feed Me Dope” which sounds like a Future outtake (see previous theory), resulting in the typically quick and catchy Future hook. The second “4 Da Gang,” is stronger even so, and features a homage to Future’s Freebandz friends, and recently deceased engineer Seth Firkins, making it more of an emotional outing. It also features a few great Future lines and ad-libs: “You see my plain Patek cost Jerry Rice nigga,” while “She spoiled!” and “When her Mama gave birth” both vie for ad libs of the year. Dull Fuse drums that are seemingly found on every Future project diminish the impact of the beat.
“200,” the Wheezy and Tre Pounds-produced collaboration, shows us how these two can truly compliment each other when it’s a fully-realized and polished song. On HNDRXX Future perfected a flow where it sounds like he’s always near tears, and he carries it onto this track as he whines about his self-inflicted issues (“I just got an Iphone 8 and already stored it with 200 hoes”). Thug rides the beat without a hitch much like Future, although he’s way less in his feelings (“I bought my moms a car it felt amazing”).
The remaining collaborations on Super Slimey don’t have the same spark as “200,” although the dripping “Patek Water” does rival “200,” with an Offset feature being the only external presence on the album. Quickly, however, it becomes clear that Future and Thug may not have as much chemistry as it would appear on paper. Many of the great rap duos either bounce off of each other effortlessly (G Herbo & Lil Bibby) or fit together so well that much of the time they’re finishing each other’s lines (Rich the Kid & Jay Critch). Thug and Future don’t really do either. Instead, it feels more like a mixed bag collection of songs, some feeling unfinished and barely mixed (“Three” is definitely not the work of Alex Tumay), some feeling more formulaic (“insert verse here” type). Future and Young Thug should have chemistry, easily, which is all the more reason that they should have pushed themselves a step further.
The production on much of these collaborations feels soulless, the three by-the-numbers Southside beats will have you begging for new producers to show up by the end. They opt to go with the major names, including Mike Will Made It, who incorporates a soothing vocal sample on “Mink Flow,” that is dragged down by the drums, but regardless Thug floats over it and Future stumbles his way through it. TM88 & Fuse team up for the finale “Group Home,” with something so generic it feels more like they typed in “Future type beat” on YouTube. Future’s voice is at odds on the track, evidently he lost his voice somewhat when recording, resulting in added hoarseness; it winds up being interesting than Future’s repetitive vocals on most of the other songs.
What Super Slimey needed was some new life breathed into it, from the first two tracks “No Cap” and “Three,” it instantly felt like a regurgitation of music we’ve heard before, all too familiar territory for two artists that are as creative and inventive as Future and Thug. It’s clear that as a collaborative project, it wasn’t taken as seriously as a focused, solo studio album, so why not take the opportunity to have some fun with it and invite a few new producers into the mix, like a Pierre Bourne or Danny Wolf, to bring a new dimension? But that’s just wishful thinking. Super Slimey may not create the same sort of moment in rap history as WTT or WATTBA, but from two artists who have made so much great music over the past couple of years, it’s going to hurt them either. Now, this brings a larger question to the forefront. As rap fans, should we stop tirelessly asking for these dream collaboration albums? If they pan out, they pan out. Do we want haphazardly-released ones, just because? Unless it’s Rich Gang Tha Tour Pt 2. We’ll take that any which way.*