BUSINESS IS BUSINESS
Young Thug fans know all too well why it’s been so long since the Atlanta pioneer dropped a new album. Scarcely seven months after releasing the curiously progressive Punk, a May 2022 arrest as part of a sweeping federal RICO case abruptly ceased the trap superstar momentum he’d generated over the preceding decade. As such, those looking for BUSINESS IS BUSINESS to directly address Thug's current woes likely won’t find closure here. The provenance of much of this material logically precedes his pre-trial detention, evident on tracks like the Future-infused “Cars Bring Me Out” with its pandemic-hustle nods. Nevertheless, the quality remains exceptionally high, the contents dutifully delivered in the same fan-service spirit as his onetime mentor Gucci Mane, who similarly kept the streets fed with new music during his own incarceration. Assuredly a testament to his studio work ethic during better times, the strength of his verses on “Mad Dog” and “Uncle M” align with so many of his career signatures. Case in point: “Gucci Grocery Bag” exemplifies the way Thug continually redefines flexing, while the quirkily organ-led “Money on the Dresser” lurches like the Addams Family. Despite the coldness of its title, BUSINESS IS BUSINESS is made downright convivial through the contributions of some of the artist’s dearest industry friends and YSL Records signees. With longtime studio partner and international hitmaker Metro Boomin at the helm as executive producer, the album and its guest list demonstrate the power and respect Thug continues to command in the rap game. Drake makes two appearances, most memorably on the ethereal trap standout “Oh U Went.” So, too, do heavyweights 21 Savage and Travis Scott, who combine formidable forces on “Wit Da Racks” alongside another incarcerated YSL spitter, Yak Gotti.