Young Thug & Carnage: “Young Martha” EP Review

Written By: Ethan Griggs

My Music:

Originality: (4.0 / 5)
Vocals/Flow: (3.0 / 5)
Lyrics: (3.0 / 5)
Production: (4.0 / 5)
Average: (3.5 / 5)

I had a baby at fifteen and every since then I’ve been growin’ up”… By the time he released 2013’s 1017 Thug, his first critically and commercially successful mixtape, Jeffery Lamar Williams was a twenty one year old father, and whatever challenges that has brought him have been the drive of his passion and the key to his success. Coming off of his most recent success with the mixtape Beautiful Thugger Girls, Atlanta’s Young Thug has decided to pair with the prolific producer Carnage for a short but sharp follow-up EP. Young Martha is charismatic and defiant, a collection of four songs that exposes the rapper’s high notes – both figuratively and literally. 

Fortunately, the weakest track on the EP is dealt with quickly as its first: the Meek Mill featuring “Homie”. Carnage’s production is fun and spooky, and Thugger’s flow and vocals are at their most chameleonic, but Meek’s voice and verse are honestly difficult to listen to. He sounds like he’s working with Thugger for the lone sake of potentially reigniting his beef with Drake, who has collaborated with Thugger most recently as the executive producer of Beautiful Thugger Girls. He sounds overconfident and whack overall.


This early bump in the road is more than made up for on “Liger” – a high-stakes, strobe-lit trap track. Right here is classic Thug: the multiple personalities, the half rapping-half singing, and some great wordplay: “Bitch I’m rich, this ain’t luck/Bitch I’m climbing, why you stuck?/Bitch I’m yamming in your guts/Uncle Sam motherfuck ‘em, I ain’t gon’ pay ‘em n***a what?/ I got right with God, I know he gon’ keep me up”. It’s a confident track from an artist who really has little to prove at this point in regards to how hard he goes. The production is simple yet sharp, with Carnage supplying a dark blend of piano and keyboards.

“10,000 Slimes” falls into a similar sonic vein. If Thugger sounded confident on “Liger”, then his tone on this track could be describe as apprehensive without being downright paranoid. Beginning with a shoutout to Thugger’s longtime producer Wheezy, the rapper sounds both calm and collected as well as rough and assertive: “And I just heard what you get on a show, I get for my back end, n***a/And you know I’ma do my shows on the road, I got MAC 10s, n***a/You know you not scarin’ me, You know you not gettin’ at my dividends, n***a/I just might fuck on your bitch and just go cop the Benz with her”.

The closing track on the EP is also its main outlier – it’s its most introspective, and it may very well be one of the rapper’s most personal tracks. “Don’t Call Me” features a seductively sung chorus by British singer Shakka. His singing is spectacular and may even be on the level of contemporaries like Frank Ocean, but Hugger’s verses are what make the track a true gem: “I live a butterfly life/If butterflies couldn’t fly we wouldn’t live a good life/Well, bitch, stuck like a mothafucka, I really think that I am a butterfly/I’m at the top of the buildin’, lookin’ at the sky/Then I found out I couldn’t fly, so I died”. It’s rare to hear this artist taking a deep look into himself, but perhaps it’s a sign that is pointing towards a more thoughtful, cerebral Young Thug.