Isn’t it nice when the title of piece of work is self-referential? Can the music industry get on that, so we can all stop paying attention to what music journalists and critics think and get back to paying attention to the music? Wait, ha ha, I mean… please keep reading?
Blending chunks borrowed from big room house, electro, trap, ambient chillout and modern rap, Yung Gud makes beautifully and wonderfully heroic synth-heavy tracks that really do sound like a product of his environment: Sweden. They’re all clean and rich and made of jagged ice, intense shades of blue and white too bright to look at, so you have to shield your eyes instead. The EP’s opening cut, “My Guns,” sounds like the iceberg that took out the Titanic while it points and laughs at anybody ballsy enough to say the word “unsinkable” while in its presence. “The Power” is vocal trance cut with the grit turned up, given a liquid cocaine injection and rushed to the set of Hollywood’s next blockbuster to soundtrack its car chase.
Gud is the comet in Armageddon, moving fast and poised to destroy Earth something fierce, and Yung Lean is Bruce fucking Willis. If that pop culture reference is too old for you (and if you’re in love with young Leandoer, it might be) then what I’m saying is this: Lean is fucking it up for Gud. By now he should have produced an entire record for A$AP Rocky and rocketed to the festival circuit, but the trap of being young and blowing up with the homies looks to have Gud snared. Clams Casino is an obvious influence to the style (which makes sense as Yung Lean owes Lil B his entire life) and Gud dependably pumps out the kind of majestic sheen found in Casino’s “I’m God” without down-tuning vocal clips into oblivion. This can rathole him into staying comfortable in his chord progressions and sound choices, but, you know… too much of a good thing and all that.
Whether or not he’s concerned with getting rich and famous is up in the air, but it’s refreshing to see a kid with the ability to do so sticking to his guns. Beautiful, Wonderful might spur more rappers to knock on his door and ask to borrow some ice to make them hot. Now that would be a beautiful, wonderful thing.