After a decade of being one of the most popular and influential figures in Texas hip-hop, Slim Thug has settled into a more restful existence; but just because he is done hustling does not mean he has nothing left to say. The Houston kingpin no longer has to worry about his day-to-day survival, so he has more time to reflect on the choices he’s made to become successful, on younger hustlers and how they can follow his example, and on the problems facing society and the world at large. On Hogg Life Vol. 4: American King, Slim Thug’s eighth studio album, out today, the rap game Boss Hogg saves most of his energy for his bars, which are as strong today as they were on his debut. Featuring two appearances from Boosie Badazz, as well as contributions from X.O., and Nikki Lactson, Hogg Life 4: American King is a quality addition to Thug’s inimitable discography and a shining example of grown man rap, showcasing an accomplished man in a life of comfort, reckoning with his past demons and celebrating the choices he made to make it to this position.
Last week, Slim Thug released “King,” the album’s opening track, which sets the tone for the album as he reflects on his past, recognizes his blessings, and encourages everyone to live like him, like a king. “King” followed the release of lead single, “Peaceful,” a melodic, guitar-led rumination on his rarified position in the hood, and the anti-police brutality condemnation “IDKY,” which he released in response to the murders of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling. In July, Slim released the video for “Doing Me,” which doubled as a “collection” video where the booming-voiced emcee could show off his most valuable items, as well as Thug Thursday 3, which finds the rap legend taking popular industry beats, including Noah “40” Shebib’s beat for Drake’s “Grammys” and Mike WiLL Made It’s beat for Gucci Mane’s “First Day Out the Feds,” applying his signature drawl, and making them his own.
Slim Thug is a leading voice in Houston rap, dominating the game since the mid-’00s. Born Stayve Thomas, Slim Thug earned the nickname “Boss Hogg” in high school from driving around a boxframe Cadillac. He earned his break as a rapper when he freestyled in front of legendary Houston DJ Michael Watts, who helped him move thousands of mixtape CDs out of the trunk of his car. Featured alongside Paul Wall on Mike Jones’ seminal single “Still Tippin’,” Thug became one of the brightest stars in Hip-Hop with his 2005 Neptunes-produced album Already Platinum, which featured hit songs such as “Like a Boss.” Slim Thug earned a number one Billboard hit when he collaborated with Beyoncé on “Check On It” in 2006. Slim Thug continued his momentum with 2009’s Boss of All Bosses, which debuted at number 15 on the Billboard charts. Slim Thug released the first three volumes of the Hogg Life series of albums in 2015, cementing his role as a premier elder statesman in Houston and a mentor to young Houston rappers such as Sosamann, Beatking, and Sauce Twinz. Hogg Life Vol. 4: American King is now available to purchase on iTunes and stream on Spotify.