Long Live Mexico
Not unlike that of the game-changing Gucci Mane before him, Young Thug’s commanding influence over hip-hop marks one of the most notable success stories in the genre’s history. While he began as an almost extraterrestrial presence in Atlanta’s trap scene, his idiosyncratic high-pitched delivery blurred the lines between rapping and singing in a way that ultimately became a viable and pervading format employed proficiently by a new generation of young hitmakers. Co-signed to Thugger’s own YSL imprint, Lil Keed executes that liberating style with a precision that belies his relative youth. Coming off the strength of last year’s Keed Talk To ’Em mixtape and its auspicious chart-topping standout “Nameless,” he all but matches the sublime cadence and manic tone flips of his Barter 6 benefactor on cuts like “HBS” and “Snake.” Yet unlike those in the game content to merely mimic, Keed makes the sound his own, which becomes evident when he contends with heavy-hitter guests like Moneybagg Yo on the luxe “Child” or Lil Uzi Vert amid the flute trills of “Pull Up.” Energetic and nearly effortless alongside his younger brother Lil Gotit on the ethereal drip of “Pass It Out,” Lil Keed seems close to fully outgrowing his rising star status.