Killer Mike recruits Young Thug for new song “Run”

Killer Mike recruits Young Thug for new song “Run”
The war-themed “Run” video also features an intro by Dave Chappelle.

By David Renshaw

July 04, 2022

Jonathan Mannion

Killer Mike has shared new song “Run.” The track, his first new solo material in a decade, features Young Thug and comes with a video that references the YSL crew’s current ongoing legal issues. It also features an introductory speech by comedian Dave Chappelle. Check it out below.

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“Run” marks Run The Jewels rapper Killer Mike’s return to solo duty for the first time since 2012’s R.A.P. Music. The video depicts a scenario in which fascists seek to return the South to the Confederacy-era, leaving Black people to fight for their freedom. A flag with the words “Free Thug, Protect Black Art, Free Gunna” is waved on the battlefield during Young Thug’s verse.

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Young Thug speaks from jail at Hot 97 Summer Jam

Young Thug speaks from jail at Hot 97 Summer Jam
In an audio message played on a festival screen, Thug thanked his fans for their support and urged them to sign the Protect Black Art petition.

By Raphael Helfand

June 13, 2022

Young Thug, Astroworld 2019.

 

Suzanne Cordeiro / AFP
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Getty Images

Young Thug has been virtually silent since his May arrest on charges of conspiracy to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act and participation in criminal street gang activity. He’s also been charged with seven additional felonies stemming from drugs and firearms found during a search of his Atlanta home the night of his arrest. Since then, he’s been incarcerated in Fulton County Jail, denied bond twice by judges in the county’s magistrate and superior courts. He’s let his attorney Brian Steel do all the talking this past month. But Sunday night, he sent an audio message to fans at the Hot 97 Hot Jam in New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium, thanking them for their support and urging them to sign Kevin Liles’ and Julie Greenwald’s Protect Black Art petition.

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“[Thank you] to all my friends and my family for coming out and supporting us,” he said, his voice playing over a Zoom screenshot from his most recent bail hearing. “Your support during this time means a lot to us. You know, this isn’t about just me or YSL. I always use my music as a form of artistic expression, and I see now that Black artists and rappers don’t have that freedom. Everybody please sign the Protect Black Art petition and keep praying for us. I love you all.”

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Watch a low-fidelity video of the statement, first posted to Twitter by HipHop DX, below.

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The case against Young Thug is part of a larger RICO indictment of 28 alleged members of Thug’s crew, Young Slime Life (adjacent to but not to be confused with his record labor, Young Stoner Life), which the state of Georgia has dubbed a criminal street gang. Also charged in the indictment are YSL-signed rappers Gunna, Yak Gotti, Lil Duke, and Unfoonk. Though Thug is charged with only two of the 56 counts listed in the indictment, he’s named in 35 “overt acts in furtherance of the conspiracy” within the initial RICO count. 10 of these “acts” refer directly to song lyrics.

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The Protect Black Art petition, co-written by 300 Entertainment CEO Kevin Liles and Atlantic Records COO Julie Greenwald, seeks to limit the use of rap lyrics as legal evidence of criminal wrongdoing — a longstanding, highly prejudicial prosecutorial strategy. It’s a cause that has gained traction nationwide and recently won a battle in New York, where S.7527/A.8681 (the Rap Music On Trial bill) was approved by the state senate and awaits a state assembly vote. If passed into law, the bill will limit the use of lyrics in the courtroom as character evidence by requiring prosecutors to prove they are directly relevant to the commission of a specific crime before they can be shown to a jury.

Young Thug denied bond for second time in RICO case

Young Thug denied bond for second time in RICO case
Thug’s trial is scheduled to begin on January 9, 2023

By Jordan Darville, Raphael Helfand

June 02, 2022

Screenshot from the 11 Alive Stream of Young Thug’s bond hearing.

 

A Fulton County, Georgia judge has denied bond to Young Thug, the Atlanta rapper born Jeffery Lamar Williams, for a second time in the ongoing RICO case against the rapper and his label YSL Records, which is alleged by the state to be a criminal street gang. His trial is scheduled to begin on January 9, 2023.

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Williams was arrested in May along with 27 other alleged YSL members as part of a 56-count indictment. He is accused of conspiracy to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act and participation in criminal street gang activity. A raid on Williams’ home conducted during his arrest led to the addition of seven new felony charges. On May 12, he was denied bond in Fulton County Magistrate Court based on these new charges. Thursday’s ruling was made based on the charges he faces within the indictment.

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At the hearing, an attorney from the state listed what the indictment alleges to be “overt acts in furtherance of the conspiracy” committed by Williams, arguing they amount to proof that Williams is the leader of YSL and, therefore, the most dangerous of all 28 defendants, capable of intimidating witnesses in the indictment and likely to commit further felonies if released. Williams is accused of 35 such acts, 20 of which are song lyrics or social media posts.

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Williams’ lawyer, Brian Steel, called witnesses to testify to the rapper’s character and to the security of the house arrest under which the defense proposed Williams should be placed as a condition of his bond. And his co-counsel, Keith Adams, made a forceful rebuttal of several key points in the state’s argument. Nevertheless, Judge Ural D. Glanville ruled in favor of the state, expressing concern that Mr. Williams would pose a risk to his community and to the integrity of the indictment if he were released from jail.

Sergio Kitchens, the YSL-signed rapper better known as Gunna, was also arrested and charged with one count of conspiracy to violate the RICO Act as part of the indictment. His motion for bond was denied during a May 23 hearing, and his trial has been set for the same date as Williams’ in January.

Local Atlanta news channel 11 Alive live streamed the full hearing, which is embedded below.

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Calvin Harris pairs Dua Lipa and Young Thug together on “Potion”

Calvin Harris pairs Dua Lipa and Young Thug together on “Potion”
The song will appear on Harris’ next album Funk Wav. Bounces Vol. 2.

By David Renshaw

May 27, 2022

Stuart C. Wilson/Amy Sussman/Getty

Young Thug and Dua Lipa are guests on the new Calvin Harris. Stream “Potion” below. The song will appear on Harris’ upcoming album Funk Wav. Bounces Vol. 2. The song is the first release featuring Young Thug since he was arrested on RICO charges earlier this month.

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Harris released Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1 in 2017. The album featured Young Thug on the single “Heatstroke” as well as collaborations with Ariana Grande, Pharrell, Travis Scott, Frank Ocean and Migos. Harris previously worked with Dua Lipa on “One Kiss.”

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In a recent interview with Apple Music 1’s Zane Lowe, Harris said he hopes his new album will have a raw quality. “I wanted the original essence and I want the layers and the grit and the dirt and I don’t want everything to be mixed perfectly,” he told Lowe. “I want things to be too loud and I want things to be like, you know, I want things to be like Sly and the Family Stone when it’s just mixed on the fly.”

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Young Thug denied bond in RICO case

Young Thug denied bond in RICO case
Young Thug is currently charged with nine felonies including seven new ones outside his initial indictment.

By Raphael Helfand

May 12, 2022

Still from Young Thug’s initial virtual appearance in Fulton County Superior court, captured by 11 Alive.

 

Young Thug was denied bond at a hearing on Wednesday following a Monday indictment that charged him — as well as Gunna and 26 other alleged members of the Young Slime Life crew — with felony conspiracy to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act. The celebrated Atlanta rapper, whose legal name is Jeffery Lamar Williams, faces an additional felony charge of participation in criminal street gang activity within the indictment and was hit with seven new felony charges outside the indictment after a raid on his home during his Monday arrest.

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At the Wednesday hearing, held virtually under the jurisdiction of Fulton County Magistrate Court, Judge Robert Wolf clarified that he could only rule on bond in the case of the seven new felony charges, as the initial indictment is under the purview of Fulton County Superior Court. The state’s prosecutor recommended that Williams be denied bond, arguing that he poses a flight risk due to his considerable resources. He also held that Williams poses a “clear risk to hinder the administrations of justice,” as not all 28 of the men charged under the initial indictment have been apprehended.

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Defense attorney Brian Steel told the court that Williams had deep ties within the Atlanta community and therefore did not pose a flight risk, also recounting Williams’ full compliance with the search of his home Monday, during which Steel was present. He further noted that Williams has never been convicted of a felony and implied that the open felony case against him stemming from drugs and firearms found during a traffic stop also involving Gunna — one of the predicate acts listed in the RICO case — is all but dead in the water after four years. Finally, he referred to Williams’ worldwide popularity, calling him “the Babe Ruth of the musical industry.” Based on these factors, he asked the court to grant Williams a signature bond, which does not require the deposit of any money or property as collateral.

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Judge Wolf sided with the state, denying Williams’ bond on the grounds of his flight risk and adding that he also would pose a risk of committing additional felonies if he were released, citing the four-year-old open case. Steel argued that Wolf’s ruling would set a precedent for the Superior Court to deny bond. Wolf disagreed: “I’m only making a decision today, based on what’s in front of me now,” he said.

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Gunna, whose legal name is Sergio Giavanni Kitchens, faces only the broad-strokes racketeering charge at this time. Judge Wolf mentioned during Williams’ hearing that Kitchens had appeared in his court earlier in the day and that his case is a “different situation” as his sole charge falls under the initial indictment. 11 Alive, the Atlanta news channel that first reported on Williams’ hearing, also reports that Kitchens was denied bond in his initial hearing, clarifying that the judge had said he would “absolutely… consider bond” based on the merits of the case, but that he doesn’t have the authority to do so before the Superior Court makes its ruling.

However, an attorney for Garland Samuel & Loeb, P.C. — the firm representing Kitchens — told The FADER Kitchens had not yet had his initial bond hearing, and declined to offer any further information. The FADER has also reached out to Brian Steel for comment.

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Young Thug’s prosecutors are using his lyrics against him. Where’s the free speech brigade?

Young Thug’s prosecutors are using his lyrics against him. Where’s the free speech brigade?

The rapper could go to jail for decades thanks in part to his music and social media presence. Yet there’s silence among those who claim “free speech” as their biggest priority.

By Jordan Darville

May 12, 2022

Young Thug. Photo via publicist.

 

Just over two weeks ago, free speech seemed to be America’s most pressing issue. At the end of April, Elon Musk’s $44 billion bid to buy Twitter was accepted, and all sides of the political spectrum were consumed by what this meant for the discourse. Musk is sympathetic to right-wing criticisms of Twitter as biased against conservatives (claims that are factually untrue) and has vowed to make Twitter a ​​“platform for free speech around the world” (of course, Musk recently stated that, under his leadership, tweets deemed “wrong and bad” could “be either deleted or made invisible,” so who knows). This issue has more or less faded from the news cycle, but a vision of lives destroyed for the wrong expression isn’t some dystopic future. As the recent arrests of Gunna and Young Thug prove, it’s happening right now.

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The 56-count indictment was handed down on May 9. It names 28 associates of Young Thug’s label YSL (Young Slime Life) including Thug and Gunna – according to prosecutors, YSL is a criminal gang founded in 2012 and connected to national Bloods crews. Each person in the indictment is charged with conspiracy to violate the state’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act. To prosecute someone under the Act, the state of Georgia must prove that a defendant has committed at least two offenses under the broad umbrella of “racketeering” and that they were perpetrated by at least two members of a criminal enterprise. If found guilty, a defendant can face up to 20 years in prison, a fine, or both.

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Young Thug is accused of over 30 RICO violations. Some are serious, like the charge that he rented a car used in the murder of a rival gang member. But on the whole, the indictment against Thug is built on the allegation that he used lyrics in his songs and his social media presence as recruitment tools for YSL and to direct violence. Vague Instagram threats, pictures and videos of Thug displaying alleged gang signs, and lyrics from songs like “Eww,” “Take It To Trial,” and “Slime Shit” are treated as transmissions from a criminal enterprise. (Young Thug’s attorney Brian Steele has vehemently denied any wrongdoing by his client).

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Other YSL rappers facing RICO charges are Unfoonk, Yak Gotti, and Gunna. Prosecutors have accused Gunna of nine RICO violations between 2017 and 2022 ranging from possession of drugs with intent to distribute, to an appearance in Lil Gotit’s video for “Fox 5,” where, according to the indictment, Gunna was wearing a “‘YSL’ pendant and a ‘Slatt’ pendant, with lyrics stating ‘We got ten-hundred round choppers.’” The indictment calls this behaviour, and all its other assertions, “an overt act in furtherance of the conspiracy.”

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, the chief prosecutor in the YSL case, confirmed this narrow view of the right to free speech at a press conference on Tuesday. “The First Amendment does not protect people from prosecutors using it as evidence if it is such,” Willis said. “In this case, we put it as overt and predicate acts within the RICO count, because we believe that’s exactly what it is.”

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Seeing these lyrics and social media presences in a court document that could destroy dozens of lives is both absurd and deeply chilling. It’s also nothing new. Rap has been criminalized for decades and by authorities across the world thanks to a view of culture profoundly shaped by the Broken Window Theory, which assumes any sign of anti-social behaviour leads to increased disorder unless it is stopped at the root. With its focus on the realities of the street, rap is an easy target from coast to coast. New York City Mayor Eric Adams has partially blamed the city’s violent crime rate on the rap subgenre of drill. And in Los Angeles, rapper Drakeo The Ruler saw years of his life stolen by prison as he was tried – and eventually acquitted – for murder in a trial that saw his lyrics entered as evidence.

Cases like Drakeo’s are what make policy like the Rap On Trial bill, currently being debated in New York City, so important. If adopted, the bar would be much higher for prosecutors seeking to admit rap lyrics and videos as evidence into court. Of course, it’s telling that hip-hop needs to be defended at all. “Every kind of art is drawn from life,” the bill’s co-author Jack Lerner told The FADER this year. “Just as in country music or any other form of music, rappers take on public identities and personas, but that doesn’t mean that’s who they are.”

Young Thug’s public identity, expressed in music and on social media, now threatens to help put him in prison for decades — a final brutal irony from a justice system that created the real-life cycles of violence that Thug tried to escape through his art. This kind of prosecution seems ideal for free speech advocates, fired up from their Elon Musk/Twitter win, to bring the momentum for their cause into the real world: speech is being criminalized in America right now, not in the “woke” future they so fear. But of course they will stay silent for the same reason that the NRA said nothing when a police officer shot Philando Castile, a licensed gun owner: The right kind of people are suffering, and they’re willing to bet the domino effect of these prosecutions will not eventually land on their doorsteps.

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Young Thug charged with seven new felonies after raid on home

Young Thug charged with seven new felonies after raid on home
The Atlanta rapper was arrested Monday as part of a RICO case against the Young Stoner Life crew.

By Raphael Helfand

May 11, 2022

Photo by Michael Tullberg/Getty Images.

 

Young Thug was arrested Monday night as part of an indictment of 28 alleged members and associates of the Young Stoner Life crew. The rapper, whose legal name is Jeffery Lamar Williams, initially faced two felony charges — conspiracy to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) and participation in criminal street gang activity — each of which can carry up to a 20-year prison sentence in Georgia. He is currently in jail awaiting his first court hearing, and today, he has been charged with seven more felonies, online documents reviewed by The FADER confirm. The additional charges are the result of a raid on his home in Atlanta’s Buckhead neighborhood, WSB-TV’s Michael Seiden reports.

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The new charges against Williams are as follows: possession of marijuana with intent to distribute; possession of a Schedule III, IV, or V controlled substance with intent to distribute; possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony; possession of a sawed-off shotgun, sawed-off rifle, machine gun, dangerous weapon, or silencer; and three counts of being employed or associating with a criminal street gang to conduct or participate in criminal gang activity through the commission of a crime.

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The FADER has reached out to Young Thug’s attorney Brian Steele for comment.

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Young Thug arrested, facing racketeering charges

Young Thug arrested, facing racketeering charges
The Atlanta rapper is one of 28 members of his YSL collective charged as part of a 56-count grand jury indictment.

By Jordan Darville

May 09, 2022

Young Thug. Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for BET

 

Young Thug a.k.a. Jeffery Lamar Williams has been arrested and charged with racketeering. The Atlanta rapper was taken into custody on Monday and is currently being held in jail in Fulton County, records show. He is accused of conspiracy to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act and participation in criminal street gang activity.

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Michael Seiden, a reporter for WSBTV in Atlanta, initially reported the 56-count grand jury indictment on Monday evening. Williams is reportedly named along with 28 members of his label and rap collective YSL (Young Slime Life / Young Stoner Life / Young Slatt Life). Gunna is also reportedly charged with one count of conspiracy to violate RICO.

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The document alleges that YSL is “a criminal street gang” that “claims affiliation with the national Bloods gang.” According to the indictment, Williams is accused of renting a 2014 Infiniti Q50 which was allegedly used in the murder of a rival gang member.

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Brian Steel, an attorney for Williams, claimed innocence on behalf of his client. “I’ll tell you the response to any allegation,” Steel said, “Mr. Williams committed no crime whatsoever and we will fight to my last drop of blood to clear him.”

The FADER has reached out to Williams’ representatives for more information. He will reportedly make his first court appearance on Tuesday, May 10 at 11:30 a.m. EST.

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JUST IN: @youngthug booked into @FultonSheriff on charges of Conspiracy to Violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act & Participation in Criminal Street Gang Activity. He will make his first appearance on Tuesday at 1130 am. @wsbtv pic.twitter.com/LRSeus8Lsc

— Michael Seiden (@SeidenWSBTV) May 10, 2022

Mariah the Scientist and Young Thug get married in new “Walked In” video

Mariah the Scientist and Young Thug get married in new “Walked In” video
The new visuals for the summer 2021 track seem engineered to fuel recent relationship rumors.

By Raphael Helfand

January 14, 2022

Photo courtey of RCA records.

 

Mariah the Scientist and Young Thug are married, according to a new (most likely fictional) video from the duo’s summer 2021 jam, “Walked In.” The track comes from Mariah’s sophomore album, Ry Ry World, released last July.

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The new video, in which the alleged couple celebrate their (probably pseudo) matrimony in an extremely Atlanta reception, features Gunna as Thugger’s (apparently fake) best man. Though it certainly isn’t proof of anything, it seems designed to stoke the flames of the relationship rumors that have been circling the pair for months.

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The FADER has reached out to representatives of Young Thug and Mariah the Scientist to confirm that their union is, in fact, fictional. Watch the “Walked In” video below, and judge for yourself.

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Gunna, Young Thug, and Future share “pushin p” video

Gunna, Young Thug, and Future share “pushin p” video
DS4EVER is out now.

By Jordan Darville

January 12, 2022

Since Gunna dropped his album DS4EVER last Friday, the title of one of his songs has left the internet nuts. What does “pushin P” mean? How does one push? Can anyone push? The song itself, which features Young Thug and Future, doesn’t provide any direct answers, but it is one of the best tracks on the project. Now, it has a music video.

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If you’re looking for a resolution, you won’t find any in the new visuals. The clip begins with examples of where and when Gunna might say “pushin p” – wrapped in a Louis Vuitton blanket, for example – before the song launches. Caleb Jermale directs the video inside the club, a luxury boutique, and a mansion, which leads me to believe that “pushin P” is simply just being rich with few inhibitions about showing it off. There’s still no explanation of Thug’s “I just fucked a cup of water” bar, but some things are too magical to be fully explained.

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Gunna shares snippet of new track with Young Thug and Future

Gunna shares snippet of new track with Young Thug and Future
The song will appear on his forthcoming album, Drip Season 4.

By Raphael Helfand

December 30, 2021

Photo by Cassidy Sparrow/Getty Images.

 

Gunna teased his forthcoming album, Drip Season 4, in a Wednesday Instagram post. The one-minute video features a snippet of a new track with verses from Young Thug and Future. DS4 does not yet have a firm release date, though it’s expected to come out early next year.

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The last time the three Atlanta rappers joined forces was on “Unicorn Purp,” a track from Future’s The Wizrd (2019). They’re a natural trio, ad libbing off each other’s bars like conjoined triplets separated at birth. Future and Thug don’t appear in person in the new video, but each of their voices comes through clearly, making DS4‘s drop an even more highly anticipated event.

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Watch the teaser below.

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A post shared by ❕WUNNA❕🥷🏻✝️ (@gunna)

Young Thug, Lil Yachty, and more will appear in HBO’s Chillin Island

Young Thug, Lil Yachty, and more will appear in HBO’s Chillin Island
The show is a TV adaptation of an online radio show from Despot, Lakutis, and Dap.

By Raphael Helfand

December 10, 2021

Young Thug and Lil Yachty. Photos by Paras Griffin and Rich Fury via Getty Images.

 

Long-time online radio show Chillin Island — created by Alec “Despot” Reinstein, Aleksey “Lakutis” Weintraub, and ex-Das Racist hypeman Ashok “Dap” Kondabolu — is coming to HBO. The pilot episode of the unscripted nature series will air next Friday, December 17.

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The group shared Chillin Island Season 1’s poster in an Instagram post today, effectively announcing a bevvy of high-profile guest’s set to appear on the show: Young Thug, Lil Yachty, Gunna, Killer Mike, Ski Mask The Slump God, Lil Tecca, Coi Leray, Rosalía, and Ezra Koenig.

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A post shared by Chillin Island (@chillinisland)

Chillin Island‘s trailer, also released today, features highly produced nature shots and a goofy, monotone voice-over interspersed by comments from Yachty, who says at one point, “I’ve done more in the time I’ve spent with you than I’ve done in my entire life,” to which Despot responds, “Yup.” Watch it below.

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Young Thug, Vince Staples, and the distinct sincerity of 2021 rap

Young Thug, Vince Staples, and the distinct sincerity of 2021 rap

The digital intimacy that Young Thug, Vince Staples, and Mick Jenkins create distinguish their albums from the melodic cries of pain music.

By Brandon Callender

November 24, 2021

(L) Photo by Josiah Rundles (M) Photo by Brian Lamb (R) Photo by Zamar Valdez

In advance of So Much Fun’s release, Young Thug talked about his plans to release another album in a few weeks. It would be titled Punk. “[Punk] means brave, not self centered, conscious. Very, very neglected, very misunderstood. Very patient, very authentic,” the Atlanta rapper said, further describing it as “music that the world is going to embrace.” The first half of the promise would be broken—at this point in Thug’s career, no one should have been heartbroken by that—but the latter half remains true. When Thug previewed a few of the songs that would become Punk this summer, it was clear the “embrace” he yearned for wasn’t a manifestation of commercial success. Instead, Young Thug wanted to be sure that he was heard.

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Recalling the acoustic warmth of 2017’s Beautiful Thugger Girls, Punk reshuffles Thug’s artistic priorities. Sprawling, detailed free-wheeling monologues bleed into some of his tightest and heartfelt songs in years. While there are still attempts at finding a song that fits perfectly into the rap-as-wallpaper aesthetic of RapCaviar (“Livin It Up,” “Bubbly”), it doesn’t particularly feel right to pick the album apart for singular tracks—it feels more apt to listen to short stretches or even allowing the sprawling album to play out in full to let it all wash over you at once.

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In that way, Punk mainly operates in a different space than pain music, the melodic and bluesy stain of rap that’s come to dominate rap. An entire cottage economy of type beats featuring dour guitars and somber piano melodies popped up in response to the rise of Polo G, YoungBoy NeverBrokeAgain, and Rod Wave. Certain cuts from Punk and Polo’s Hall of Fame likely wouldn’t feel too out of place next to each other on a playlist, but it doesn’t feel right to place these in the same sort of lineage. The slight difference in their approach makes all the difference— The Rod Waves of the world cry outwardly in hopes that their music finds someone who shares their burden, an inversion of the kind of digital closeness that Punk strives for.

This year in rap, Thug isn’t alone in making music that, while somewhat muted, maintains the intimacy of a late-night heart-to-heart on the porch. Albums from eccentric stylists like Sahbabii and Thugger and ambitious concept-driven artists Mick Jenkins and Vince Staples share an affecting directness that’s impossible to look past. These albums function as a release of emotions that have been brewing for years or were spurred by recent tragedies. They’re rapping with their inside voices—loud enough to be understood, but quiet enough to not draw unwanted attention. By stripping down their songwriting to its rawest form, they’ve each come with projects that stand out in their respective catalogs as hazy journeys in search of clarity.

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Vince Staples has spent the year in interviews speaking about how he creates without accounting for fan expectations. “I don’t really try to tell anyone what to do, or how to receive what I say or what I do,” he told NME. Like the buzzing, fluorescent lights of a hospital waiting area, his bleak self-titled album stretches 22 minutes into eternity. Vince’s reluctance to explain his work is understandable. Vince Staples is clouded by ennui and its low-energy emotional range—the irritated “ARE YOU WITH THAT?,” and anxiety-laden “SUNDOWN TOWN” come to mind first—doesn’t inspire short-lived action as much as it does rumination on the source of those listless emotions. Gravestones and eviction notices are recurring images in Vince’s music, but they sting a little harder when plastered onto Kenny Beats’ grayscale production. When you’ve seen as much loss and violence as Vince has and have spoken about it for years, what good does exerting more energy than necessary do when folks haven’t been paying attention?

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On Elephant in the Room, Mick Jenkins borrows a bit of Vince’s candidness. The Chicago MC made a name for himself in the mid-2010s with tightly-composed mixtapes that demonstrated a love of poetry and wide-scoped narratives. Elephant in the Room doesn’t attempt to match the thematic cohesion of The Water(S) or see Jenkins don his best Gil Scott-Heron impression for a skit, but it maintains him as an ever-effective storyteller. His writing, more lucid and than ever, explores love, the tension it comes with, and fatherhood. “We only talk ball,” Jenkins grits through his teeth on “Reflection.” “We only talk once a year, not even that, I don’t call. I haven’t called in like three.” The mundane images he conjures—the height difference between him and his father, the lip gloss his wife uses—are intertwined with slick wordplay and extended metaphors.

His use of simplistic detail makes me think of fellow Chicago rapper Polo G, whose vivid imagery builds relationships between the people he raps about and the world that surrounds them. Blocks attached to memories of days playing outside become memorials and all the funeral pamphlets and eulogies he’s seen begin to blend together. This is the core of all pain music—there aren’t singular moments of distress. The haunting recurring images they rap about become generalized to the point where they’re damn near numb to it all. When Young Thug’s howls are drenched in Auto-Tune, Vince Staples’ shrugs through his paranoia, or even when Mick Jenkins observes his life in meticulous detail, they don’t ring out with the same intensity; they flash across the sky for a brief moment before burning up like an asteroid. If you manage to catch a glimpse, it’ll stick with you forever.

New developments in Young Thug’s lawsuit over stolen bag

New developments in Young Thug’s lawsuit over stolen bag
The management firm that runs the rapper’s luxury apartment complex denies blame for the theft of a Louis Vuitton duffle bag containing cash, diamonds, and unreleased music.

By Raphael Helfand

November 23, 2021

Photo by Michael Tullberg / Getty Images.

 

On October 14, Young Thug filed a lawsuit against JLB Peachtree Management, the firm that runs the luxury apartment complex where he lives in Atlanta, for losses he incurred after company employees failed to return a duffel bag the rapper had left in the complex’s parking garage on November 1, 2020. These losses include the $2,500 Louis Vuitton bag itself, as well as $40,000 in cash, two pieces of diamond jewelry worth a combined $94,000, and a hard drive containing over 200 unreleased Thugger tracks worth an estimated $1 million, according to the initial filing made by his lawyer, Charles Hoffecker.

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But JLB Peachtree has filed for dismissal, claiming Thug’s “negligence and failure to exercise ordinary care” released them from any liability in the matter. The firm has admitted that one of its employees secured the bag after a resident reported that it was sitting next to the rapper’s car. JLB denies, however, that it had a duty to protect the property.

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Today, Hoffecker told Rolling Stone that Thug would continue to pursue legal action, adding that “the defendants’ employees acted to secure the property, knew whose property it was, committed to keep the property safe in a secure location, communicated to my client they would keep the property secure, and then released the property to an unknown person.”

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The FADER has reached out to Mr. Hoffecker and to representatives of JLB Peachtree Management for further comment.

Young Thug and Nicki Minaj join Elton John on new song “Always Love You”

Young Thug and Nicki Minaj join Elton John on new song “Always Love You”
The song appears on John’s new album The Lockdown Sessions.

By Jordan Darville

October 22, 2021

Young Thug fans will remember the sheer magic he made with “High,” a 2018 song that sampled Elton John‘s classic song “Rocketman.” John was more than happy with the collaboration, calling it “so cool and so good” when it dropped. The song is now ranked among Thug’s best, so it’s good news that Sir Elton and Young Thug have teamed up once more on “Always Love You,” a new song that also sports a feature from Nicki Minaj.

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Both rappers sound very much at home on this kind of boombastic, heartsick balladry (see the aforementioned “High,” and Minaj’s single “Pills & Potions”). For Thug and Nicki, the presence of John — and each other — seem to be pushing them to flex different flows and dive deeper into the beat. It may not be a resounding success like “High,” but there’s still a high level of skill involved that’s impossible not to appreciate. Listen above.

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Future Claims First Hot 100 No. 1 Song With Drake’s ‘Way 2 Sexy’ After 125 Entries

Future nabs his first ever Hot 100 song and break the record for longest wait to top the chart among artists.

The old adage goes, “If at first, you don’t succeed, Try, try, try again.” It looks like Future took that advice literally as he’s recorded over 100 entries before getting a number one hit on the Billboard Hot 100. Today his drought ended as he officially has the #1 song on the Hot 100.

He’s broken the record for the longest wait for a #1 as he finally climbed to the top position with some help from Drake. It may not seem like it adds up, considering the fact that Future has released some monster hits for the past decade. He almost tasted the pinnacle of the board with “Life Is Good,” another collaboration with Drake.

That track looked set to take the number one spot but fell off before claiming top credits. He’s shown great tenacity, though with an overall of 125 entries on the Billboard Hot 100, and now the Atlanta native has the #1 spot with another collaborative effort, “Way 2 Sexy.”

Billboard

The track, which appears on Drake’s new album Certified Lover Boy, uses a sample from Right Said Fred’s “I’m Too Sexy.” He joins forces with Young Thug to bring the track to life. While this is Future’s first, it’s Young Thug’s third No. 1 song on the Hot 100 chart and comes after his track “FRANCHISE” with Travis Scott and “Havana” with Camila Cabello.

Drake, on the other hand, is used to setting and breaking records. Earlier today, September 13, it was revealed that he did that once again by incredibly charting every single song from the album within the top 40. That’s not all, Drizzy also has 9 songs in the top 10 hottest tracks right now.

Guess who has the record as the rapper for the most #1 songs in history? Yup, that’s right, Drake has that one too. He claimed it after he got his ninth #1 this week.

Congrats to Future.

.@1future breaks the record for longest wait for a Hot 100 #1 hit, earning his first with his 125th entry.

— chart data (@chartdata) September 13, 2021

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Watch Drake’s new video “Way 2 Sexy” featuring Future and Young Thug

Watch Drake’s new video “Way 2 Sexy” featuring Future and Young Thug
The Dave Myers-directed clip is the first visual from Certified Lover Boy

By Sajae Elder

September 03, 2021

After dropping his long-awaited sixth studio album Certified Lover Boy early Friday morning, Drake shared the visuals for the Future and Young Thug-assisted track “Way 2 Sexy.”

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The Dave Myers-directed clip plays out like a variety show, seeing Drake go back to his acting roots by playing everything from an aerobics instructor to animated heartthrob to action star in the nearly five-minute clip. Future, Young Thug, and the L.A. Clippers’ Kawhi Leonard all show up as the ultimate R&B group, complete with white linen fits in the middle of the desert.

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First announced in May 2020 alongside the release of his Dark Lane Demo Tapes mixtape, the album was originally set to drop later that summer, before being pushed to January of 2021. Following a leg injury that required surgery, the album was met with another delay before the rapper shared a new release date, the album’s hilarious artwork and features, in the form of billboards in each artist’s respective cities, earlier this week.

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Certified Lover Boy, out today, boasts features from JAY-Z, Lil Wayne, Young Thug, Future, 21 Savage, Lil Baby, Lil Durk, Tems, Ty Dolla $ign, and Giveon.

Watch the video above.

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Stream Drake’s new album Certified Lover Boy

Stream Drake’s new album Certified Lover Boy
The rapper’s sixth studio album has arrived.

By Jordan Darville

September 03, 2021

Drake has finally released Certified Lover Boy, his sixth studio album. The project includes features from JAY-Z, Lil Wayne, Young Thug, Future, 21 Savage, Lil Baby, Lil Durk, Tems, Ty Dolla $ign, and Giveon; the appearances were announced on Wednesday with billboards bearing the artists’ names erected in their respective cities. The album’s cover art, designed by Damien Hirst, was unveiled on August 30.

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Drake first announced the new album in May 2020 with an Instagram post published alongside the release of the mixtape Dark Lane Demo Tapes, writing that the album would be out in summer 2020. Its first single, “Laugh Now Cry Later” featuring Lil Durk, came out in August 2020, with the album’s title revealed at the same time. Originally expected in January 2021, Certified Lover Boy was delayed after Drake suffered a leg injury, requiring surgery.

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In May, Drake shared the three-song EP Scary Hours II with features from Lil Baby and Rick Ross. He featured on the songs “Solid” by Young Thug and Gunna, “Seeing Green” by Nicki Minaj, “Having Our Way” by Migos, and on Brent Faiyaz’s “Wasting Time.” His verse on Trippie Redd’s “Betrayal” contained some disses aimed at rivals Kanye West and Pusha-T, and led to Kanye sharing Instagram posts which promised to end Drake’s career and revealed his home address in Toronto.

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Cryptic Drake billboards tease features from Young Thug, Jay-Z, more on Certified Lover Boy

Cryptic Drake billboards tease features from Young Thug, Jay-Z, more on Certified Lover Boy
Drake season is well and truly upon us.

By Shaad D'Souza

September 01, 2021

Rich Fury/Getty

Drake season is well and truly upon us: earlier this week, the Toronto rapper revealed the hilarious cover art for his forthcoming record Certified Lover Boy, shortly after announcing the record would drop this Friday, September 3; now, billboards have been erected in Atlanta, Chicago, California and New York teasing the features on the album. As Pitchfork points out, California’s shouts out Ty Dolla $ign and Giveon; Atlanta’s billboard references Young Thug, Future, 21 Savage and and Lil Baby; Chicago’s mentions “Laugh Now Cry Later” featured artist Lil Durk; and, most cryptically, New York’s billboard says that “the GOAT” features on the record, suggesting that Jay-Z will feature on the album. View all four billboards below.

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View this post on Instagram

A post shared by TheBig4L (@21savage)

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🐐 pic.twitter.com/ncD6WIwxZK

— TIDAL (@TIDAL) September 2, 2021

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pic.twitter.com/ZIcbr39Kvz

— Elliott Wilson (@ElliottWilson) September 2, 2021

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— Elliott Wilson (@ElliottWilson) September 2, 2021

pic.twitter.com/OUTO9qp7E8

— Elliott Wilson (@ElliottWilson) September 2, 2021

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DaBaby dropped from Lollapalooza lineup over homophobic remarks

DaBaby dropped from Lollapalooza lineup over homophobic remarks
DaBaby has been removed from the lineup of Lollapalooza mere hours before he was supposed to take the stage.

By Shaad D'Souza

August 01, 2021

Carmen Mandato/Getty

DaBaby has been dropped from the Lollapalooza 2021 lineup, mere hours before he was supposed to take the stage at Chicago’s Grant Park. “Lollapalooza was founded on diversity, inclusivity, respect and love,” the festival wrote on Twitter, “With that in mind, DaBaby will no longer be performing at Grant Park tonight.” As a replacement, G Herbo was added to the festival’s lineup, and Young Thug was moved into the headliner slot vacated by DaBaby.

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Lollapalooza was founded on diversity, inclusivity, respect, and love. With that in mind, DaBaby will no longer be performing at Grant Park tonight. Young Thug will now perform at 9:00pm on the Bud Light Seltzer Stage, and G Herbo will perform at 4:00pm on the T-Mobile Stage. pic.twitter.com/Mx4UiAi4FW

— Lollapalooza (@lollapalooza) August 1, 2021

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DaBaby’s removal from the lineup is likely a response to the homophobic remarks the North Carolina rapper made at last weekend’s Rolling Loud festival in Miami. “If you didn’t show up today with HIV, AIDS, or any of them deadly sexually transmitted diseases that’ll make you die in two to three weeks, then put your cellphone lighter up,” he said during his set, adding “Fellas, if you ain’t sucking dick in the parking lot, put your cellphone lighter up.” The comments were widely condemned by many in the music industry, including Dua Lipa, whose DaBaby collaboration “Levitating” is currently sitting within the Top 5 of the Billboard Hot 100, and Elton John. In response, DaBaby released a music video referencing the controversy, in which he holds up a sign that reads “AIDS”; at the end of the video, a rainbow-lettered message is displayed on-screen, reading “My apologies for being me the same way you want the freedom to be you.”

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The day before DaBaby’s set was supposed to take place, Kevin Abstract, the openly gay rapper who leads rap boyband Brockhampton, tweeted: “wow brockhampton and dababy really play the same day on the same stage tomorrow”. Over the course of the day, he proceeded to tweet jokes about sucking dick in a parking lot.

wow brockhampton and dababy really play the same day on the same stage tomorrow

— kevin abstract (@kevinabstract) July 31, 2021

JUS SUCKED A HUGE DICK IN PARKING LOT

— kevin abstract (@kevinabstract) August 1, 2021

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Listen to EST Gee’s new mixtape Bigger Than Life Or Death

Listen to EST Gee’s new mixtape Bigger Than Life Or Death
The project features Young Thug, Lil Baby, Lil Durk, Pooh Shiesty, Future, and more.

By Jordan Darville

July 21, 2021

With the release of his 2020 project I Still Don’t Feel Nun, Kentucky artist EST Gee became one of rap’s most promising and closely watched new talents. After signing with Yo Gotti’s label CMG and delivering a fiery guest verse on Lil Baby’s hit “Real As It Gets,” Gee is back with his new full-length tape Bigger Than Life Or Death, out today. In an indication of just how hot EST Gee really is, hip-hop artists both established and newly-popping line up to provide guest verses: Lil Baby, Pooh Shiesty, Young Thug, Future, Lil Durk, and many more feature across the 15 tracks. Dive in below via Spotify and Apple Music.

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Doja Cat shares new video “Need To Know”

Doja Cat shares new video “Need To Know”
The track serves as the second single from her upcoming album Planet Her.

By Sajae Elder

June 11, 2021

Doja Cat shared the intergalactic visuals for her latest single “Need To Know” on Friday. The track serves as the follow-up to the SZA-assisted “Kiss Me More” and will appear on her upcoming third album Planet Her, set to drop on June 25.

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The clip finds Doja as a blue-skinned being preparing for a night out with her girls; a clique that includes actress Ryan Destiny and singer Grimes, who both make cameos in the video. Eventually, they end up at the club where things start heating up.

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After sharing the official tracklist earlier this week, Doja revealed Planet Her boasts features from The Weeknd, Ariana Grande, J.I.D, and Young Thug.

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Watch “Need To Know” above.

Polo G shares Hall of Fame tracklist

Polo G shares Hall of Fame tracklist
The Chicago rapper’s new album is out June 11.

By Jordan Darville

June 03, 2021

Polo G. Photo by Daniel Prakopcyk for Sony Music UK

 

Next Friday (June 11), Polo G will share his much-anticipated new project Hall of Fame. It’s the Chicago rapper’s first full-length since The GOAT, the project that made him a hip-hop heavyweight, and he’s already proved his staying power with the Billboard-topping single “RAPSTAR.” Today, Polo has shared the full Hall of Fame tracklist. “RAPSTAR” is on there, as well as features from Lil Wayne, Lil Durk, Nicki Minaj, DaBaby, Young Thug, Pop Smoke, Roddy Ricch, G Herbo, Rod Wave, and more. With a lineup like that, it seems fair to say that Polo G is aiming for household name, ten-summers-conquering levels of fame and notoriety. He certainly has the talent to pull it off. Find the full Hall of Fame tracklist below.

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Hall of Fame tracklist

1. Painting Pictures
2. RAPSTAR
3. No Return ft. Kid Laroi & Lil Durk
4. Toxic
5. Epidemic
6. GANG GANG ft. Lil Wayne
7. Boom
8. Black Hearted
9. Broken Guitars ft. Scorey
10. GNF (OKOKOK)
11. Go Part 1 ft. G Herbo
12. Heart of a Giant ft. Rod Wave
13. Zooted Freestyle
14. Party Lyfe ft. DaBaby
15. Losses ft. Young Thug
16. So Real
17. Fame & Riches ft. Roddy Ricch
18. For the Love of New York ft. Nicki Minaj
19. Clueless ft. Pop Smoke & Fivio Foreign
20. Bloody Canvas

Lil Baby and Lil Durk share The Voice of the Heroes tracklist

Lil Baby and Lil Durk share The Voice of the Heroes tracklist
Travis Scott, Young Thug, Meek Mill, and Rod Wave feature across the 18-track project, out on June 4.

By Jordan Darville

June 02, 2021

Lil Baby and Lil Durk. Photo by Michael Thomas.

 

This Friday will see the release of The Voice of the Heroes, the anticipated collaborative project from Lil Baby and Lil Durk. And while a full-length tape from two of rap’s biggest names would be enough to make the release feel like a 2020 milestone, today the rappers have revealed the tracklisting of Heroes, and it sports some big features. Travis Scott will guest on “Hats Off,” Meek Mill shows up on “Still Runnin,” there’s a Young Thug verse on “Up The Side,” and Rod Wave will croon on “Rich Off Pain. All told, the project is 18 tracks long, and it will include the song “Voice of the Heroes” that dropped over Memorial Day.

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Migos share new song “Straightenin” and offer Culture III update

Migos share new song “Straightenin” and offer Culture III update
The rap trio shares its first release of 2021.

By David Renshaw

May 14, 2021

Migos have dropped a video for “Straightenin,” their first new song of the year. The Keemotion-directed video catches the Atlanta trio flexing their extensive collection of cars at various Atlanta locales, including the parking lot of a shopping center. Check it out above.

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“Straightenin” is set to appear on Migos’ upcoming album Culture III. The album has been in the pipeline since Migos released the second installment in the series back in 2018. Despite a long wait, Migos assured fans the album is still coming during an appearance on Zane Lowe’s Apple Music 1 show on Thursday.

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“We just had came off the tour and we was also doing other records and featuring on songs,” Quavo told the DJ. “So, we just started getting pulled away and just started grinding solo and it was for a good cause. Maybe these records can fit the three, but if it fit one of us, we could go to the moon, and we still going to pull each other, and still bring us to the top, and once we get together and do our records, it’s going to make it just even bigger. It wasn’t no strain on us. We just felt like it wasn’t time yet to put music out. We felt like we was just super grounded, and working, and always on the moon. We had to come back to Atlanta to get to work.”

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Since the release of Culture II all three Migos, Quavo, Offset, and Takeoff, have released solo albums. Last year Migos shared “Need It” plus “Give No Fxk” (with Young Thug and Travis Scott), “Taco Tuesday,” and “Racks 2 Skinny.”

Travis Scott announces Astroworld Festival 2021

Travis Scott announces Astroworld Festival 2021
The third edition of the festival takes place on November 5 and 6 in Houston, Texas.

By Jordan Darville

April 30, 2021

Travis Scott‘s Astroworld Festival is coming back to Houston for a third year. The 2021 edition has been expanded to two days and will take place on November 5 and 6. No line-up has been announced yet, but you can buy general admission and VIP tickets on May 5 at 10AM CT over at AstroworldFest.com.

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In 2019, Astroworld sported a lineup that included DaBaby, Megan Thee Stallion, Young Thug, Gucci Mane, and Migos, with a headline performance from Travis Scott. Kanye West also showed up for a surprise appearance.

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Scott’s last full-length release was the Cactus Jack records showcase JACKBOYS. In 2020 he shared the song “Franchise” featuring Young Thug and M.I.A., “The Plan” (from Christopher Nolan’s film Tenet), “The Scotts” with Kid Cudi, and the Rosalía collaboration “TKN.”

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Young Thug & Gunna Pay It Forward Post Bonds For 30 Inmates In Atlanta

Young Thug and Gunna spent their weekend bailing out inmates from jail in Atlanta.

Thirty inmates from the Fulton County Jail in Atlanta reunited with their families last weekend, thanks to rappers Young Thug and Gunna. The rappers paid it forward when they covered the bail bonds of the inmates who were in jail for minor infractions of the law. The lucky group consisted of both men and women who were unable to secure bail because they had no money.

While they did not reveal how much was spent on the initiative, the rappers’ label, YSL Records, revealed footage showcasing the moment when the thirty inmates were released from the jail. The video captured several emotional reunions with families and their formerly incarcerated loved ones.

The former inmates will reportedly be featured in a music video with Gunna and Young Thug for one of the songs on Thug’s “Slime Language 2” album, released on April 16.

Speaking in an interview on Sunday with WSB-TV, Young Thug told reporters, “We just woke up and went to the jail with the lawyer and you know DA’s and the prosecutors, you know, the bonding companies and just got as many people as we can out.”

Meantime, Gunna expressed concern about the high cost of bonds for some of the crimes committed.

He said, “There was people sitting out three or four years and couldn’t get out on a bond. If they did the crime, then they can do the time, then it’s all right. But it’s like you’re giving them a bond higher than what they stole.”

The rappers themselves are no strangers to jail, having run afoul of the law several times. Young Thug has spent time in jail on drug-related and illegal firearm charges, while Gunna has spent time for possession of a controlled substance.

The commendable move from Young Thug and Gunna comes at a time when the Fulton County Jail is housing 400 more inmates than its actual capacity of 2,500, making life extremely miserable for the inmates. The rappers revealed that they plan on repeating the good deed in the future while expressing hope that other rappers will come on board and follow their lead.

Gunna and Young Thug said most of them were being held on minor offenses but couldn’t get out because they didn’t have the money.

“You never know what somebody been through. There was people sitting out three or four years and couldn’t get out on a bond.” pic.twitter.com/9h7Xj43W96

— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) April 26, 2021

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Young Thug and YSL share deluxe edition of Slime Language 2

Young Thug and YSL share deluxe edition of Slime Language 2
The album’s original version dropped on April 17.

By Sajae Elder

April 23, 2021

Young Thug. By Andrew Chin/Getty Images.

 

Only a week after sharing the compilation album Slime Language 2, Young Thug and YSL Records have dropped the album’s deluxe version featuring eight new tracks. The updated version also boasts new features from DaBaby, Jim Jones, Nav, and more.

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The album’s original 23-track version already included appearances from Drake, Travis Scott, Future, Lil Uzi Vert, Skepta, Big Sean, and more. According to early sales projections from HitsDailyDouble, the album is expected to pull in 125,000-140,000 equivalent album units in its first week, possibly putting it on track to debut at the top of the Billboard 200.

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Most recently, Young Thug and Unfoonk shared the video for their joint single, “Real.”

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Lil Uzi Vert Names Mike Jones Among Top 5 Most Influential Rappers

Mike Jones gets his flowers from Lil Uzi Vert.

It’s always interesting when rappers reveal who the most influential voices were leading up to their success. Lil Uzi Vert revealed his influences while being interviewed on The Fat Joe Show on Instagram Live last Thursday night (Feb. 11). Uzi made the appearance, of course, sporting his $24 million diamond forehead piercing. During the interview, he revealed the top five artists that helped make him the rapper he is today. The first rapper he mentioned was Mike Jones.

“The first rapper that I ever learned lyric for lyric was Mike Jones. That’s the first rapper I learned everything lyric for lyric, and I wanted to be like him. I had a Boost Mobile and my mom would give me $15 and I’d get phone cards and shit and I would spend all my money calling Mike Jones’ number ’cause I wanted to talk to him,” he said.

He even remembered the Houston rapper’s phone number and shared it with fans. “I remember the number by heart. Right now, to this day: 281-330-8004. I felt that star power from him. He had that star power.”

As he moved through his list of influences, he mentioned Lil Wayne, whose style he admitted he actually tried to emulate. “I wanted to be Lil Wayne. When I was younger, girls would say I looked like Lil Wayne, so I would run with that. And I would wear the fedoras, and I would wear the tight Polo tees with the skinnies, and wear the Vans and sh*t,” he added. He also said that he ordered a fake piercing off of Amazon, which had a magnet. He wore the fake piercing below his lip every day so that he could feel more like Lil Wayne.

He also praised his aunt Remy Ma, for some of his success. “I got a gangsta aunt and my aunt definitely a little different. She one of them girls from the hood that was the DMX fan and the Remy Ma fan,” he said.

Another rapper that had a major influence on him was Kurupt, who Vert said had that “East Coast mentality but that West Coast swag. He also mentioned Young Thug, who he described as a “mythical creature.”

“This was later in my life. So, I used to listen to I Came From Nothing, I Came From Nothing 2. I used to watch on YouTube when Young Thug used to perform at the little like skating rink shits. The reason that he was such an influence to me was because he was almost like a mythical creature back then,” he said.

He continued on to say that he always knew that Young Thug would be successful. “I actually knew before the public. Not even before the public. I’m not from Atlanta, so everybody out there knew about that man before me. Atlanta and around Atlanta, Georgia or whatever. But, just where I was from, I felt like I was the first person in the fu**in’ world that was listening to him. I felt like that.”

You can take a look at the full interview below.

T.I. Asks Young Thug If He Wore A Dress For Attention, Here’s Thugger Response

T.I. asks Young Thug about his infamous dress while suggesting that it was all for attention.

We live in changing times. Gender expression is becoming increasingly fluid, and this trend is breaking into an arena that is traditionally about as masculine as it comes—hip hop. Young Thug has been able to break boundaries in an unexpected way with his ability to play with feminine fashion choices while also maintaining his credibility in the rap game, but it seems T.I. suspected the Atlanta artist did it all to turn heads.

Speaking with Thug on his podcast, ExpediTIously, Tip first commended Thugger’s ability to do what would have once seemed impossible, saying, “You were so confident in your skin that you put on a f***ing dress but maintained your status as a real n***a.”

T.I. went on to agree his other guest, Benny The Butcher, who suggested that move was a publicity stunt. “This n***a put a dress on for attention, tell the truth. You did that sh*t for attention.” Young Thug stood his ground, however, responding nonchalantly by saying that the extravagant baby-blue dress featured on the front of the JEFFERY mixtape simply matched his shoes. “That motherf*cker matched,” he said. “This on my kids.”

While his explanation seems a little too easy, it is likely that Young Thug was making a larger statement about his right to put whatever he wants on his body for whatever reason he wants. Hip hop and fashion have always intersected in a huge way that continues to make a large cultural impact, and musicians across all genres have often played with gender norms in their fashion choices. It seems only right that even the grittiest hip hop artists should also be able to express their femininity if they so choose. T.I. might want to take note of Thugger’s incredible level of comfort in his own skin.