The "thug life" expression is pretty much a boring cliché at this point, yet the debut EP from Philly rapper Abrax Phaeton, THUGLIFE, is brilliantly, ironically titled. That's because it's an acronym for "The Hate U Give Little Infants Fucks Everything," a thesis statement for the rapper's debut EP, in which he describes his early years growing up in a dysfunctional home. While so many rappers strive to exaggerate and make themselves larger than life, Abrax Phaeton has no need to; his life has been plenty crazy, and every line he speaks has an undeniable air of authenticity.
THUGLIFE contains four thematically-related tracks, all produced by Abrax Phaeton himself. On "The Formula" he recounts the consequences of being given prescription meds at an early age, rapping over a dark, nauseous beat that perfectly matches the lyrical content. The epic, nine-minute "Saturday Morning Cartoons and Domestic Disputes" compares the negative influences of bad parenting and television, and the vicious cycle of negativity they create. These issues, often ignored by rap artists, are picked apart by the rapid-fire flow and emotive delivery of Abrax Phaeton, a unique new voice that you're likely to hear much more about soon. Check out the full EP stream below.
'THUGLIFE' EP [Premiere]