Nothing in life is deserved, everything is earned. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Generic work-hard platitude out of the way, Young Thug’s “RiRi” deserves to be a pop music smash. Over a restrained, wriggling beat by the aptly named Billboard Hitmakers, Thug (or call him Jeffery for the time being) “SKRT SKRT SKRTs” and “WORK WORK WORKS” his way into unadulterated infectiousness. Whatever dark burbles exist in the booming bass are brought into the light by Thug. The diamonds, or boogers as he calls them, are dancing on his Apple Watch. You can hear him gleaming as he gives his mom a ring worth 60 racks. Him and his girl go for a cruise in a drop-top Audi during the day, then give their boxspring mattress some work at night. Everything here is some Ice Cube, “today was a good day” type shit.
And if Thug’s latest “Good Times” anthem does indeed crash the Billboard party, dude’s earned it. For three-plus years, he’s flooded the mark with music that ranges from good to great. It’s music that can show up on mixtapes for a sweetheart, come blasting out of car speakers, appear in strip clubs and wrap up messy livestreams from certain paradigm shifters. Hell, often one track can cover all of those bases. Thug’s versatile like that. So even if “RiRi” doesn’t follow its namesake’s path to pop glory or win Jeffery a Vanguard award, it’ll be fine. This song’s too ebullient and Thug’s tastes are too disparate for any one thing to stop him.