UK rapper slowthai has announced his third studio album, UGLY (an acronym for “U Gotta Love Yourself”), set for release on March 10. This follows last November’s one-off / Beats By Dre ad sync “I Know Nothing,” which is not featured on the tracklist. UGLY follows 2021’s Tyron and features production by Dan Carey and frequent collaborator Kwes Darko. Along with the news is a lead single, the chaotic, propulsive “Selfish.”
“The first album was the sound of where I’m from and everything I thought I knew,” slowthai says in a statement. “The second album is what was relevant to me at that moment in time, the present. And this album is completely me — about how I feel and what I want to be… it’s everything I’ve been leading up to.”
UGLY also features contributions from Ethan P. Flynn, Jockstrap’s Taylor Skye, Beabadoobee guitarist Jacob Bugden, drummer Liam Toon, and Fontaines D.C. on the title track. “They’re men after my own heart, they love what I do, I love what they do. Together it’s amazing,” slowthai comments.
The press release is peppered with additional commentary from slowthai, who says:
This album was me trying to emulate the spirit of the brotherhood ethos that bands have. Music is about the feeling and emotion that goes into it. Like an artist making a painting, it’s the expression of that moment in time. I really felt like I didn’t want to rap, whereas before, rap was the only way I could express myself with the tools I had. Now that I have more freedom to create and do more, why wouldn’t we change it up?
It doesn’t matter what or who people think you are, you’ve just got to stay true and respect yourself. I have UGLY tattooed on my face because it’s a reminder to love myself, rather than put myself down constantly or feel the impression people have of me should determine who I am as a person. At the end of the day, the art I make is for myself, and the music I make is for myself, if I enjoy it then who gives a fuck. So, the way I should live my life should be without any expectations of anyone else. I think it’s something that we all need to hear because everyone needs a smile, and everyone needs a bit of joy and you need to look in yourself to really feel it because no one else can give you the real feeling.
Listen to “Selfish” below.
04 “Feel Good”
05 “Never Again”
06 “Fuck It Puppet”
10 “Wotz funny”
12 “25% Club”
UGLY is out on 3/3 on Method Records/Interscope Records.