Essentials: Young T & Bugsey’s debut mixtape, ‘Plead The 5th’ is filled with catchy bangers

The work of two rap artists with incredible pop sensibilities

Even though we’re currently living in a solemn time, the world still needs its hits. “Don’t Rush”, the catchy banger by British duo Young T & Bugsey, has been inescapable since becoming the official soundtrack to, perhaps, the greatest TikTok challenge to takeover social media. It’s easy to see why it is the perfect companion for women blessing us with their before-and-after beauty: The song sounds like getting ready for, and enjoying, a night of unbounded fun—you know, something that could have happened in reality only a few weeks ago.

Well, the good news is, whether we get to hit the streets soon or have to continue partying virtually, Young T & Bugsey have packed their recently released debut mixtape, ‘Plead The 5th’, with more feel-good bangers. It’s is the work of two rap artists with incredible pop sensibilities, the type of summer-ready tape where you could pick out the next potentially big single by doing a blind raffle of its song titles.

The project had been a long time coming, serves as proof that they don’t want to be rushed. As far back as 2016, the duo scored their first hits, “Glistening” and “No Mickey Mouse Ting”, filling up the following years with follow-up singles and collaborations, all of which culminate into the refined abilities they put on display for their debut.

Across the project, there are occasional references to their gritty past, however, majority of the music is geared towards to head-bobbing, shoulder swaying and full-bodied dances. It’s crafted in such a way that more that half the songs are perfect for playlists like Apple Music’s ‘It’s Lit’, but none of them come off as contrived. The songwriting prioritises unforgettable hooks, which start and end every song, and range from bold to sleek.

With this song structure, their verses are allowed a high level of looseness. This means we get a lot of brags that aren’t always too imaginative, but very quotable and Instagram caption ready. On the first verse of “Bully Beef”, the duo play off each other, describing their flashy lifestyle of Audemars Piguet watches, AMG cars and Fendi loafers. Featured artist, Fredo follows in the same steps, spitting notable boasts like, “Dripping hard, find me a napkin”.

Although most of the songs on ‘Plead The 5th’ rethread familiar themes, the melodic variety and range of delivery keeps things from getting anywhere near stale. The consistently bright production also helps. Even with eight producers behind the boards across its twelve tracks, the beats all move in lockstep with the duo’s cheer-inducing atmosphere.

There’s impressive, maximalist moments, like the intro track “School Trip”, which contains its fair share of sweeping piano strings, and the Aitch-assisted lead single, “Strike a Pose”, where a whirring rhythm section is matched by a ‘Country Grammar’-type bounce. The minimalist cuts are also just as colourful: Jae5 laces “Madonna” with pretty piano loops and a languid percussion groove, while a glistening piano sequence drives the P2J-produced “Stand up Man”.

Young T also picks up a sole production credit, on “Energy”, the most personal moment on the tape. Over a wispy piano riff and gently thudding drums, both rappers count their blessings and reminisce on the days when they had to resort to desperate measures. It’s three minutes of honest reflection that adds an endearing layer of validation to the overtly celebratory tone of the project. What ‘Plead The 5th’ may lack in more affecting stories like “Energy”, it makes up for with a strong identity and impressive craft, resulting in an outstanding debut with a lot of replay value.

Listen to ‘Plead The 5th’ here.

Featured Image Credits: Instagram/youngtandbugsey

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Dennis is not an interesting person. Tweet Your Favourite Playboi Carti Songs at him @dennisadepeter