Album Review: ‘On The Rvn’ uses “unconventional rhymes” as an art form

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Young Thug’s lyrics and musicality flows seemlessly through out his EP. (Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

Francesca Keeler

Young Thug’s latest EP, “On The Rvn,” is a short but no less satisfying journey where the Atlanta rapper takes a more mainstream route, featuring artists like 6lack, Jaden Smith and Elton John.

It strangely works, but it still raises a question: where does he go from here? 

Thug’s defining characteristic since his early days of rapping has been his knack for experimentation, his informal speech and his ability to make and release music in record time. This extended play (EP) is no exception.

In 2014, Young won the BET Hip-Hop Award for category “Best Hip-Hop Style” for his work “Stoner.” In 2016, he won Best Mixtape for “Slime Season 3” and “Best Friend,” according to Aceshowbiz’s website.

The EP comes only 27 days after the release of his 15-song album titled “Slime Language.” He flows seemingly nonstop over meticulously engineered beats and his unconventional rhymes transition flawlessly into clever tag-lines, while his melodies change constantly.

His imperfect and slightly slurred speech creates a feeling of informality and the listener can feel the emotion he puts into his songs. These attributes have earned him a following from within the rap and hip-hop community, but never receive the commercial success many think he deserves.

“On the Rvn” proves that more mainstream-sounding songs are within Thug’s broad range. Over half of the EP features other artists, and they contrast and compliment Thug’s sometimes slurred vocals perfectly.

One feature that stands out in this sense is “High” featuring Elton John. It is arguably one of Thug’s best songs. The song samples “Rocket Man,” John’s song from 1972. Its excellence undoubtedly comes from its display of how far music has come in almost 50 years since the original song came out.

Thug transitions between rapping and singing. His unpolished, auto-tuned crooning over Rocket Man’s chorus creates a soothing, atmospheric tone that displays a surprisingly good pairing between the two artists, considering the difference between their sounds.