Label: 300 Ent., Atlantic
Released: Aug. 26

Young Thug has long been a creative power center for hip-hop. He outstripped his reputation as an oddity years ago to become an undeniable star, even as his public persona became bolder the longer he occupied the spotlight. 2016, even by Thug’s high standards, was a special year. Slime Season 3 is a bizarre bolt of songs stunningly devoid of precedents, but Jeffery is another beast entirely. While one could debate for days whether any of the songs on it reach the manic heights of “With Them,” Jeffery is, inarguably, Thug’s most cohesive, coherent album. It’s the first time I could play a Thug record for my mom (her favorite song is “Webbie”), and it lays out the best blueprint for how Jeffery—rap’s most outré star—could one day take over the pop charts. —Brendan Klinkenberg