Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Young Thug & Bloody Jay

  • Black Portland [self-released download, 2014] A

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Consumer Guide Reviews:

Black Portland [self-released download, 2014]
It's catchy. It's amoral. It's seductive. It's funny as shit. It's mixtape-era Lil Wayne sans, er, redeeming social value, by which I guess I mean wordplay. Over beats both spare and weird, greatest alien alive Thug trades japes with the lower-pitched and more consonant-friendly ATLien Jay: vile promises as regards sex, violence, and the joy of cooking, some brutally boilerplate and some scabrously imaginative, delivered with purple-derped, rosé-dazed, dizzed-out, carpet-soiling, carpet-chewing insouciance. It's so far beyond Thug's strangest full-lengths--although not works of genius like "Picachu" or "Angry Sex"--that I was tempted to credit it to Bloody Jay until I gave up on his Get It in Blood mixtape halfway through. True, Jay does deliver such indelible hooks as "I don't give no fucks" and "We bang we bang we bang," but musically these sound like Thug's even so. Jay does, however, embody the overarching theme: Bloods the gang rather than blood the squandered bodily fluid, the kind of Bloods who pronounce "cool" "bool" because hard C's are bursewords, or so Thug tells us. You should be glad you can't make out the lyrics. Bloods, Crips--most humans don't see much difference. A