EP Review – On The Rvn

If you know anything about Young Thug, you’re probably aware that the rollouts leading up to his projects are not exactly regarded as good. He sometimes has bold tactics for the press, including things such as sending live snakes before the release of Slime Language. But in general, his label isn’t the best at promoting his upcoming projects. This is evident by the fact that we didn’t see any promotion for On The Rvn besides a couple social media posts prior to the release.

Young Thug released On The Rvn on Monday at midnight. This is a bit odd considering that most projects are released on Fridays to maximize streaming numbers. This is his third project of 2018, following the 3 track Hear No Evil EP and full-length album Slime Language. The project was supposed to drop on the 11th, but didn’t end up getting released until the 24th. Because this is only an EP, it’ll only give us a small taste, nevertheless, let’s dig in.

First Impression

On my first listen through this EP, I’m impressed with what Thug has for us. He goes back to his roots a bit on this project and I absolutely love it. We finally got some more glorious London On Da Track beats on a Thug project. The only negative I see so far is that we saw nothing new on this project. He went back to his old flow, which isn’t exactly the worst thing for a shorter project like this.

Lyrics/Flow

After taking a slight break from his usual flow on Slime Language, Thug is back on what made him stand out in the first place. The lyrics are typical subjects that he has rapped about before, so nothing really special in that regard. One thing that really stands out thus far are the beautiful melodies on some tracks. I’m glad that he’s started to incorporate them in his music during recent years.   

Score: 7.2/10

Beats 

As I mentioned above, we finally got some new Young Thug and London On Da Track. This combination is responsible for some of his best music, simply because of the production quality that London brings. We also get contributions from other frequent Thug producers Wheezy and Supah Mario. A downside of having these producers back is that they don’t bring many new sounds, even though Thug has made a name off of being experimental. Overall, the beats are good but nothing we haven’t heard Young Thug over in the past. The one beat that is completely different is for the song “High”, which samples the legendary Elton John

Score: 8/10

Replayability/Standouts

The best thing about EPs is their length. This project comes in at 6 tracks that span 21 minutes. There are different sounds, flows, and stellar features, making this project one that you can listen through multiple times. While I wish that we got more Young Thug, it is honestly a perfect length EP.  

I truly like every single track on this EP, but the songs you definitely need to hear are “On The Run”, “Sin”, and “High”.

Score: 8.4/10

Final thoughts

Young Thug’s music output in 2018 hasn’t impressed me much up to this point. I say that as someone who thinks that Beautiful Thugger Girls is one of the best albums of 2017. I liked Hear No Evil and Slime Language was alright, but neither of them did what I was hoping Thug would do: build on the new sound he brought out on BTG.

On The Rvn does exactly that. We get street Thug, melodic Thug, and even a bit of singing all in a short-but-sweet package. It isn’t perfect by any means, but I think this is the direction that Young Thug should continue to explore. It results in some amazing music that will be replayed countless times by his fans.

I’d recommend taking a listen to On The Rvn if you’re already a Young Thug fan or if you’re trying to get into his music. It’s only 21 minutes and it allows you to hear some of the things he does best. This is a solid EP and it deserves to be heard by the hip hop community.  

Final Score: 7.8/10

Image property of 300 Entertainment/Atlantic Records  

Homecoming Spotlight – Fictionist

It’s that time again to welcome back students and alumni to celebrate being a University of Utah Ute. Homecoming week will run from September 30th to October 9th. During this week, there will be many entertaining festivities from Songfest in the Union to the Crimson Rally on the Union Lawn. Let’s not forget the biggest highlight of Homecoming: the football game against Arizona. With all of the excitement, what better way to start Homecoming week than with the Student Dance featuring native Utah band Fictionist.

Hailing from Provo, Utah, Fictionist consists of singer and bass guitarist Stuart Maxfield, singer and guitarist Robbie Connolly, guitarist and bass guitarist Brandon Kitterman, and drummer Aaron Anderson. With the exception of Anderson, the band had been playing music together since their high school days in Salt Lake City. With their realistic lyrics, energetic melodies, and astonishing guitar solos by Connolly, the band has garnered lots of attention. Their first album Invisible Hand, released in 2009, won an Independent Music Award for Best Pop/Rock Song for their single of the same name. They yet again managed to win the same award in 2011 for their song Blue-Eyed Universe from their second album Lasing Echo.

During that same year, Fictionist received the great honor of being one of sixteens bands to compete in Rolling Stone Magazine’s “Do You Wanna Be a Rock & Roll Star” contest. The winner would land a coveted spot on the magazine’s cover and a record deal with Atlantic Records. Although they were eliminated in the fourth round, they left a positive impression and were still signed to Atlantic. Through their new label, they released a 6-track EP titled Fictionist – EP.

Things seemed to look up for Fictionist as they were working on new music and they even got to tour with Imagine Dragons and Neon Trees. All seemed to be going well, but unfortunately, the relationship with their record company was quickly deteriorating. In an interview with the Daily Herald, Maxfield is quoted saying, “In hindsight, everything about how things came together was wrong.” The band felt as though their label did not understand them as they were asked to rewrite many of their songs and omit many of their signature sounds. In the end, they never released their album and were dropped from the label, but the group was anything from sorrowful. They kept their head high and looked back at the experience with gratitude as it gave them more of an opportunity to rehearse and work on new material they were actually enthusiastic about.

Finally free from Atlantic, Fictionist has been rediscovering what kind of music they wanted to produce with the release of Free Spirit – EP. While being a relatively short EP, only consisting of four songs, it packs enough of a punch to leave the listener wanting more. The opening track Free Spirit sets the tone with an exceptionally cheerful tune that would have anyone jumping around. This song might be their farewell from their old label with the lyrics, “But you don’t have to stick around/if you don’t want to.”  We Can Sleep When We Die is one of the more mellow songs with a slower tempo. However, it never lacks the upbeat theme of the EP. High Society brings the funk with its moody bass and grungy guitar. Fictionist proudly closes with the most spirited track Right Now. Maxfield passionately sings throughout the song with triumphant electric beats wonderfully complimenting him.

Homecoming week kicks off on September 30th with the Student Dance taking place at The Depot at 8:00 p.m.