He’s a Business, Man: Young Thug Redeems Chris Brown’s “Wrist”

A Chris Brown remix is a distasteful thing before you hear the words. Even if you can get past his transgressions, which should make you plenty uncomfortable, there’s the naked commerciality of the modern remix, where rappers staple guest verses to songs to sell them to different markets. It’s a practice slightly less cynical than political endorsements.

Young Thug upends all of that. He gives “Wrist” the personality it was missing when it was a catchy but mechanical Chris Brown vehicle in 2015. The pop hook gets a singular voice when Thug sings it in his scratchy ululation. His verse introduces and discards flows and cadences as if they were styrofoam cups. Thug is an infinitely better vocalist than Brown, who is relegated to backup singer on his own song. Thug and Jeezy’s adlibs alone redeem a track that’s otherwise fodder for Vine dance memes. A high profile placement and a nice check for most is an exhibition for Thug, who unmakes convention whenever he opens his mouth.

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