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Young Nudy’s Gumbo: Fresh and Full of Flavor

By Reggie Goudeau

Features Editor

East-Atlanta rapper Quantavious Tavario Thomas, more commonly known as Young Nudy, has been on an upward trajectory for both his career and music quality in recent years. Very fittingly, Gumbo is a perfect mix of the many ingredients that make for a pleasant Nudy track. He’s well-known for his songs with food-related titles being bangers, such as “Loaded Baked Potato” and “Hot Wings.” This album is no different, featuring verses with nothing but momentum, excellent instrumentals, and spare but well-placed features. Even the cover art is fitting, featuring a snake on a table with various foods referencing the project’s tracks (and, of course, a gun). These portions all combine to make a fine meal for any trap music fan. I’m unsure of when he started cultivating his recipes, but Chef Nudy is undoubtedly cooking.

The project begins with a healthy addition to the mix of flavors here in the form of the track “Brussel Sprout.” It featured a technique typical in Nudy’s discography where his vocals are pitched down. The track has a laid-back vibe, while Nudy still rides the beat effortlessly. Like many of the following songs, it features his usual lyrics about gangbanging and getting money. Verse two notably had a more playful flow, and one of Nudy’s moments where he takes a break from rapping to talk shit over the beat. I understand that this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I like the almost slam-poetry energy that comes with it.

The second track, “Pancake,” had a low-key hook that was still effective, and it felt like Nudy announcing his plans of robbery and debauchery to his gang. Meanwhile, “Pot Roast” is the first certified banger of the project. The hook, Pierre Bourne’s instrumental, and Key Glock’s stellar performance each work together. Key Glock also made me laugh when he said the line, “Short lil thick bitch my little pony.” I’ve been enjoying a fair amount of Glock’s newest album, Glockoma 2, so maybe that’ll get a review before the end of the year.

By the time I was listening to “M.R.E,” which had a beat that made me feel like I was in outer space, I processed the incriminating nature of Nudy’s lyrics. I can only hope that he’s being mindful as Atlanta’s rap scene continues to suffer from the loss of Young Thug to the slammer. This concern aside, though, I’m absolutely here for how nice his scenarios of drive-bys and other various crimes are to listen to.

While I can’t review every track individually, I guarantee that there wasn’t a weak link among them upon my many listens to this. “Peaches and Eggplants” was another classic collaboration between Young Nudy and his cousin, 21 Savage. Hearing it made me once again question why they do not have a collab tape out yet, especially given their pre-existing relationship. Regardless, it was also one of many moments on this project where Nudy perfectly utilized onomatopoeia. Here, it turned a hook entirely composed of gun sounds into something compelling. Even the songs I wasn’t crazy about initially, like “Portabella,” grew on me with time. Speaking of that song, both it and the final one, “Passion Fruit” (which absolutely washes Drake’s version), mention taking shrooms. This makes me think that he was partially inspired by a shroom-induced epiphany, but this is only speculation.

The production across this entire thing was also phenomenal, and the producers nearly outshined the rapper here despite both giving their all. Most of them were produced by COUPE, a longtime collaborator with Nudy. Still, everyone else with production credits on here, from Pierre Bourne and Naestro to Cicero and Travis Marsh, did a fantastic job. It shows since I don’t think there’s a single weak beat on the project. Whether it be the dark and threatening atmosphere of tracks like “Okra,” “Pancake,” and “Duck Meat” or the psychedelic vibe of tracks like “M.R.E.” and “Portabella,” this project sounds very cohesive.

Nudy is well-versed in making satisfying, motivational, and catchy tracks, but even with these positives, he’s always had a blessing and curse by being the cousin of 21 Savage. While having that connection in the industry as a talented artist individually sounds excellent, it also set him up for inevitable comparisons with Mr. Savage. Thankfully, this conversation is finally shifting, with this album generally being received positively. Many users on social media platforms like Twitter note that Nudy is not just your average rapper or a clone of his admittedly more popular family member. He’s Chef Nudy, the Zone 6 Rich Shooter, and he’s quickly cemented his place in hip-hop with his recent track record.

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