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It’s safe to say "The London" will be the summer anthem of 2019.

On Thursday, Young Thug released his new single “The London,” featuring J. Cole and Travis Scott. Earlier this month, the song was teased at Miami’s Rolling Loud Festival when flyers were passed around about the project. This is the first time Cole and Young Thug have released a song together, and according to a 2019 article on Billboard, Cole will be the executive producer of his upcoming album, “GØŁDMØÜFDÖG.”

This isn’t the first time hip-hop fans have seen Scott and Young Thug collaborate. As many of their fans know, they released songs like “Maria I’m Dunk,” “Skyfall” and “Floyd Mayweather.” These two artists have an extensive history together making popular singles and “The London” is no exception. Although these two titans of hip-hop are on the track, Cole is by far the standout.

Although Cole has risen above Scott and Young Thug on this song, Cole has given Young Thug rightful praise.

“If you wanna talk about Thug as like, an artist, he's an innovator,” Cole said in an interview with Angie Martinez. “You can call him a mumble rapper all you want, but if you know skills and the art of rapping, and you know like, how you put words together, you know pockets, you know flows, you know the things he does with his voice, dude is a genius."

Cole ventures far from his comfort zone of sweet melodies and conscious rapping. What the listener can hear from him now is a rapper who’s finally having fun and isn’t as focused on his technicality. Cole is an artist who knows how to make the most of a feature. He has a way of getting in quickly and getting out memorably, leaving a few punchlines in his wake. One example is when he raps, “I left a flock of rappers dead and buried / A verse from me is like eleven birds / I did the math, it’s like 2000 dollars every word.”

He uses several bird analogies to discuss his superior status by rapping about departing from a “flock” of rappers. He then correlates the value of his verses to that of cocaine, for which “birds” is a slang term. It’s also worth noting that the 11th track on “Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight,” Travis Scott’s 2016 album, is “pick up the phone,” the most popular collaboration between Travis and Young Thug.

In the song, Scott, Young Thug and Cole also continually reference “The London,” an all luxury suite hotel located in Midtown Manhattan. In the chorus, Scott follows a recently popular trend of looking at this height when standing on his money when he says, “You just send the pin, I can find you / 6'1 on the money, 9'2." This is similar to Lil Uzi Vert’s April 2019 track “Sanguine Paradise” when he says, “In reality, I’m 5'4" / Stand on my money, now I’m 6'6."  

Based on the track history and the popularity of these artists combined, it’s safe to say this song will be the summer anthem of 2019. If this single is any indication of what to expect from Young Thug’s upcoming album, it can’t come soon enough.   

Contact Devin Townsend at towns2dm@dukes.jmu.edu. For more on the culture, arts and lifestyle of the JMU and Harrisonburg communities, follow the culture desk on Twitter @Breeze_Culture.