New Music: Freddie Gibbs / Young Thug / A$AP Ferg – Old English

‘Old English’ really shouldn’t work. A track which features such disparate vocal talents – Gibbs’ guttural gangsta rap growl, Young Thug’s unhinged yelp and A$AP Ferg’s demented bark – with such different approaches in their own music – it’s hard to imagine that hip-hop traditionalist thinks much of Young Thug’s ‘Picacho‘ – shouldn’t work, but instead ‘Old English’ is one of the tracks of the year. Much of the praise for this has to go to producers Salva and Nick Hook, who produced a dark and sparse beat which all three MCs feel at home on. The real strength of ‘Old English’ lies in how each artist interacts with each other, both Young Thug and A$AP Ferg step up their lyrical content to match Gibbs and Gibbs mirrors Thug’s flow for the hook in his verse. Marrying old school substance with new-school style ‘Old English’ is a triumph, setting a high bar for the rest of the competition on the ‘Mass Appeal’ compilation.

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