Young Thug might be notorious for his unique style of incoherent rapping, but he certainly falls flat as a performer. Over 3,300 people came out to Sunday night’s show at Barton Hall expecting a hype concert from the rapper. Slightly disappointed from the Urban Outfitters artist selections for this year’s Slope Day, Young Thug’s arrival was highly anticipated by many Cornell students who hoped to turn prelim season into Slime Season.
Young Thug’s eccentric personality certainly produced some moments of humor amongst the group of Ivy League students. As a cannabis enthusiast, Thugger entertained the crowd with questions like “how many of y’all smoke weed?” His styrofoam cup posse served as his background dancers throughout the show as Thugger performed smoker anthems like “Hookah” and “Stoner.” Despite his attempts to get us to “turn up,” there was an obvious disconnect between the rapper and the audience. At one point, I looked up to a poster that said “Speak clearly”; as spectators, we listened, but he simply did not communicate. In the midst of the confusing and haphazard noises echoing from the speakers, there was a brief moment of clarity when Thugger performed his hit “Lifestyle,” a more melodic tune that describes the rapper’s rise to fame and life of luxury. As the night went on, however, Young Thug’s incomprehensible raps sounded more like a mumbled stream of consciousness than a musical performance.
Unfortunately, the crowd was left waiting for a rap euphoria that never came. Young Thug failed to bring a powerful and positive energy needed to incite the electric feel among the audience. As a Hip Hop head, I was genuinely excited to have a rapper perform at an open space venue like Barton Hall where the crowd could have the opportunity to rage to some hype beats from a big name in Hip Hop. Instead, the disillusioned hearts of 3,000 Ivy League students poured out of the venue as the show came to an abrupt close and the walls of Barton echoed with the faint yowls of Young Thug. While his performance was a great way to diversify the music scene of our campus, I think Cornell students want someone who can bring positive energy to the stage and perform like they actually give a shit. Earlier this month, the pop punk band Wavves performed at Bailey Hall, where the group displayed a “genuine disinterest in the show and even in the music they had to play,” according to Sun writer Jack Jones ’18. So while April seemed to promise a feel good rock show by Wavves and a lit performance by Thugger, the artists came up short in their abilities to express enthusiasm in their music and in their audience. Looking forward, we need a performer who can bring great vibes and who can get us dancing — musicians we can connect to and who can connect with us.
Thugger is no doubt a playful and humorous lyricist and he usually lets his slurred syllables carry us into his trance of ad libbed poetry. The Atlanta rapper is certainly an enigma in the world of Hip Hop, puzzling us with his wailing cries that lack both rhyme and reason. Thugger has collaborated with some of the biggest names in the Hip Hop industry, making killer tracks with artists like T.I., Tyga and Nicki Minaj. Fresh off his new mixtape Slime Season 3, Young Thug is now at the point in his music career where he can take off as a highly successful independent artist. But after Sunday night’ concert, Thug came across as an amateur performer, unable to take command of the stage. Cornell was ready for Slime Season, but Young Thug did not deliver.
Annabel Campo is a freshman in the College of Arts and Sciences. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.