Young Thug Proclaims Himself ‘The New ‘Pac’

Young Thug dropped his Beautiful Thugger Girls album over the weekend, with the release seemingly coming out of nowhere. Late Saturday, Thugger gave a brief explanation for the timing of his release via Twitter.

“I dropped E.B.B.T.G on 2PAC'S bday because I'm the #newPAC,” Young Thug wrote. “I feel like I am the thug he didn't get to become #SoImGoinFinishWhatHeStarted.”

From Max B calling himself “Biggaveli” to Kodak Black releasing Lil B.I.G. Pac, and Troy Ave naming an album NuPac, there are several examples of artists invoking the name of the late Tupac Shakur to promote their projects. 

June 16 marked not only the late Shakur’s birthday but an official Tupac Shakur Day recognized by Oakland, California Mayor Libby Schaaf. One can point to a rather direct correlation between Shakur’s frequent practice of calling himself a thug and using the acronym T.H.U.G. L.I.F.E. and Young Thug’s rap moniker. 

However, many took issue with the statement. Shakur fans and Young Thug supporters found themselves clashing in Thugger’s mentions after he posted the tweet.

This wouldn't be the first time Thugger has name checked one of his influences. Jeffery was peppered with the rapper's inspirations, with artists like Swizz Beatz, Wyclef Jean and Kanye West working their way into song titles. Young Thug’s Beautiful Thugger Girls is available for purchase and streaming now.

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Joe Budden and DJ Akademiks Debate Who’s a Bigger Star: Future or Young Thug?

On today's Everyday Struggle, Joe Budden, DJ Akademiks, and Nadeska run through the day's hottest topics including Tory Lanez dropping racks, 6lack dissing a Twitter follower, Lil Wayne dissing Birdman, and much more. The star conversation continues with a hearty debate about Young Thug and Future and who has more star power at the moment. 

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Trending Topics: DJ Carnage on Donald Glover, Young Thug, and Game of Thrones

DJ Carnage is a name equally respected in dance and hip-hop circles. He's an established name on the live festival circuit, even starting his own, RARE, in Orlando. That's where he met Young Thug, and the two linked up for an EP that's coming soon. Carnage's other upcoming collaborations are no less impressive—Lil YachtyMigos, and Meek Mill are among those who have recently blessed a Carnage beat, and the results are massive. 

Those tracks are on the way, but when DJ Carnage stopped by the offices, we wanted to talk about the here and now. For the latest episode of Trending Topics, we asked the artist about that Thug EP, the many talents of Donald Glover, and what it takes to enjoy a festival the right way. Watch Carnage's Trending Topics above, and check out last week's cut with Ryan Hemsworth below. 

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A Recent History of Kanye West’s Music Leaks

Truth be told, music leaks every day, and while some artists' pre-release material might move the news cycle for a bit, no one can dominate a conversation quite like Kanye West. Over the years, his leaks have become the thing of legend, with entire sections of the internet dedicated to cataloging the build-up of new Kanye music, watching it evolve from demos and pre-release material to the finished product (or, in the case of The Life of Pablo, the songs' evolution).

This is something to ponder as we try to figure out what his most recent leaks will end up being. Boasting features from Young Thug, Migos, and ASAP Rocky, the songs have been teased for over a year, with no clear cut indication on where they'd end up. Judging by Kanye's leak history, we might not even get the same songs that we heard this week.

Let's look back at Kanye West's leaked track history in recent times.

May 28, 2010: No one man should leak all that “Power”

Long before we knew what a powerhouse of an album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy would turn into, Kanye fans were just hoping he was on his way back toward traditional hip-hop after 2008's 808s and Heartbreak.

When “Power” leaked in the spring of 2010, it was all the evidence we needed to declare Kanye was back. There weren't a whole lot of changes in the song in the time between the leak and the album's final release, but the initial product was so good that it didn't really matter.

May 31, 2013: Q-Tip introduced us to “Mama's Boyfriend”

A track by the name of “Mama's Boy” had been rumored amongst Kanye fans for years, and was allegedly rapped a capella at the Facebook offices during the promotional tour for MBDTF. It didn't end up on the album, and a fake version would eventually surface on the internet in 2011.

Mercifully, Q-Tip freed what sounds like a final version of the song titled “Mama's Boyfriend” while lecturing at the Red Bull Music Academy in 2013. The upbeat snippet didn't sound like it would have fit on MBDTF, but at least it was finally confirmed to be a real track.

Aug. 12, 2014: Someone recorded “All Day” on their phone

The fight to be first on the internet is real, and it was part of the reason “All Day” hit the streets long before the scheduled release date. The leaked version was reportedly unfinished, and Kanye claimed to continue working on the song until March 2015.

Despite the shoddy quality and incomplete nature of the original “All Day” leak, it managed to rise to No. 1 on Billboard's Twitter Trending 140 for five hours. That's the power of Kanye in a nutshell.

March 11, 2015: Kanye thinks Kim Kardashian is “Awesome”

Kanye first played this song for a Met Gala crowd way back in 2013, but it took another two years—and a stolen Kanye laptop—for this song to hit the internet. “Awesome” is believed to be a salute to his wife, Kim Kardashian, but the response to the song was nothing like the title.

Fans have warmed up to Kanye's use of Auto-Tune over the years, but things went into overkill on this one. “Awesome” was never released officially, and maybe that's for the best.

April 11, 2015: Kanye's got the “Midas Touch”

Dropping seemingly out of nowhere, this gold-themed song was speculated to be a reference track for Rihanna, in the same vein of her song “Bitch Better Have My Money.” Her name is all over the track, and Kanye was working together with Rihanna at the time, with their song “Four Five Seconds” releasing months prior to the “Midas Touch” leak.

That's all speculation, however, because there has been no indication since the leak about what the song was supposed to become. Consider this a partially-unsolved mystery.

Jan. 21, 2016: Miley Cyrus hops on “Black Skinhead”

Kanye loves boasting about his ability to mix untraditional combinations of artists—call him Kwa-li or Kwe-li, he'll put him on songs with Jay-Z—and putting Miley Cyrus on a song called “Black Skinhead” certainly qualifies. Cyrus sang lyrics from Tears For Fears' “Everybody Wants to Rule the World,” while West switched up the delivery of his lyrics, mixing in Travis Scott vocals alongside a toned-down inflection.

Mike Will hinted the song was in the works dating back to 2013, and hopefully you took advantage of the leak when it finally emerged, because it's a difficult track to hunt down these days.

Feb. 18, 2016: Reddit user releases a whole lot of Pablo tracks

The Life of Pablo is more of a “living” album than a traditional release, and one rambunctious Redditor thought he'd join the creative process for Kanye's latest solo album. Just days after Kanye released Pablo, original or demo versions emerged, including the original version of “Wolves,” full versions of “Waves” and “Fade,” and new tracks like “Only One,” “New Angels,” and a remix of “All Day.”

Kanye wasn't shy about telling the public he had a whole lot of unreleased music in the vault during TLOP, but he didn't comment on this particular leak.

March 31, 2016: Apple Music accidentally leaks “Saint Pablo”

Rappers are always happy to tell you when a record label or third party screws the pooch, and Kanye had a case to make when “Saint Pablo” leaked in early 2016. Ye's link up with Sampha was accidentally posted on Apple Music for a few hours in March, taken down, and then eventually added to Pablo in mid-June.

It wasn't an unknown property when the tech giant let it fly—Kanye had been performing it at shows prior to the leak—but come on, Apple. You only had one job!

Oct. 6, 2016: A Young Thug-assisted version of “Famous” hits the net

Kanye's controversial Pablo track came under fire for targeting pop icon Taylor Swift, but an unreleased version of the song that surfaced later in 2016 changed the formula entirely. Rihanna and Swizz Beatz' vocals got dropped from the track in favor of Young Thug, and West name-dropped his ex, Amber Rose, rather than firing shots at Swift in the track's intro.

The Kanye-Thug collaboration sounded like it was unfinished, but I guess we'll never know—we're still waiting for an official release of this one.

June 4, 2017: Collaborations with Young Thug, Migos, ASAP Rocky, and Travis Scott surface

Individuals behind a site called Music Mafia allegedly hacked Drake's Twitter and afterward were able to get their hands on two songs from Kanye—”Hold Tight” featuring Migos and Young Thug and “Euro (Switch Hands)” featuring ASAP Rocky—as well as a preview of another track with Travis Scott. 

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Two Kanye West Tracks With Young Thug, Migos, and ASAP Rocky Surface

SOS—new music from Kanye West surfaced Sunday afternoon. Two star-studded full-length tracks and one solo snippet arrived online.

The first track, “Hold Tight,” features Migos and Young Thug. Ye holds down the chorus with a catchy, auto-tuned “hold tight.” Fans have been awaiting Kanye's collab with Migos for over a year. Race is a frequent theme on this track. “I be acting like I’m white,” is repeated, as is, “don’t make me show my ass, that’s a black side.”

The other full track, “Euro (Switch Hands),” features ASAP Rocky. “Man I'm motivated, Man I'm underrated, Over, overstated,” Ye raps.

A snippet surfaced as well. This 36-second preview comes from “Can U Be,” which Travis Scott teased with a video of Ye dancing to it on Instagram nearly a year and a half ago.

 

CAN U BE SNIPPET. TAG A FRIEND. #kanye #kanyewest #swish #yeezy #snippet

A post shared by travisscott (@scottypope) on Jan 16, 2016 at 3:56pm PST

The tracks are tagged with “Music Mafia,” which is likely where they came from. Music Mafia—which releases snippets of unreleased songs—is the same site that hacked Drake Friday, directing people from his Twitter account to musicmafia.to.

Twitter
Image via Twitter

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Wiz Khalifa Drops Surprise ‘Pre-Rolleds’ EP

To keep his fans happy as they patiently wait for his upcoming studio album Rolling Papers 2, Wiz Khalifa dropped Pre-Rolleds, a four-song EP produced by Sledgren, on Friday night. The project includes two guest appearances by Chevy Woods, as well as one from Kris Hollis

 

New project produced by @imsledgren download on Taylorgang.com #prerolleds

A post shared by Wiz Khalifa (@wizkhalifa) on Jun 2, 2017 at 9:58pm PDT

Wiz has been steadily delivering new music over the last couple of months. The rapper hopped on remixes of The Chainsmokers' hit single “Closer” and SahBabii’s “Pull Up Wit Ah Stick.” Khalifa linked up with Young Thug, 2 Chainz, and PnB Rock for “Gang Up,” off The Fate of the Furious: The Album, dropped a verse on YFN Lucci's “Everyday We Lit,” and made a guest appearance on “Bet They Know Now” by Raven Felix. In April, the Pittsburgh native celebrated the seven-year anniversary of Kush and Orange Juice by releasing three new songs on his website that could be streamed for just 24 hours. Late last month, Wiz put his own spin on Childish Gambino's “Redbone,” as part of his ongoing Weedmix series. 

While fans are happy to hear Khalifa practically everywhere these days, they aren't letting it distract them from the fact that Rolling Papers 2 is nowhere to be seen, er, heard. We have been waiting a little over a year for a new Wiz studio album, so what's another couple of months? 

Stream the Pre-Rolleds EP below. 

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Before ‘Teenage Emotions’: How Lil Yachty Got Here

Lil Yachty takes a huge step forward in his career with the release of his debut studio album Teenage Emotions. But what got us to this point? How did Lil Yachty become the phenomenon that everybody's talking about? Here are some of the high points of his journey to stardom.

January 2014: Yachty shares his first IG post

Yachty is nothing if not a master of social media. He currently has nearly three million Instagram followers, and gained much of his following via IG and other social media platforms. But it all started on Jan. 8, 2014 (175 weeks ago, in Instagram terms), when he posted this BRE (Before the Red hair Era) photo. 

 

trapaholics nigga I shoulda been had onna deez

A post shared by KING BOAT #fortheyouth (@lilyachty) on Jan 8, 2014 at 1:56pm PST

As the son of a prominent hip-hop photographer who was a veteran in front of the camera by the age of four, Lil Boat was a natural fit for Instagram. 

August 2014: He drops his first song on SoundCloud

Yachty didn't really break through until late 2015 (more on that later), but he had plenty of music before then. While some argue that his debut track was “Bitter Sweet,” the very first track he posted on SoundCloud on Aug. 10, 2014 was the confusingly-spelled “I Got the Baag.” Check it below.

Summer 2015: Yachty moves to NYC

In the summer of 2015, not long after adopting his nickname and nautical-themed style, the teenager formerly known as Miles McCollum moved to New York City with one simple plan: meet famous people. As someone with an eye on the fashion and streetwear worlds, Yachty wanted to meet and impress people like “fashion influencer” Luka Sabbat. “They're the cool kids all the kids listen to,” Yachty told Rolling Stone. “It was strategic. They helped my name build.” 

August 2015: Busted for credit card fraud

While back in Georgia that same summer, Yachty and a 21-year-old friend named Clarence Logan were busted at a mall with over three dozen fake credit cards between them. They were charged with forgery, fraud, and counterfeiting, and Yachty was let go on $11,000 bail.

December 2015: “One Night” used in popular comedy video 

Yachty's first big break arguably came at the very end of 2015, when his song “One Night” was used in a comedy video by Caleon Fox called “When Bae Hits You With That 'So What Are We?'” Almost immediately, YouTube commenters started asking what the song used in the skit was.

February 2016: Yachty models at Yeezy Season 3 show

By early 2016, Yachty had become close with the controversial tastemaker Ian Connor, who last year was accused of rape by multiple women. Connor played some of Yachty's tunes for Kanye West, which led to Yachty being invited to model for Kanye's Yeezy Season 3/album release show at Madison Square Garden.

March 2016: He drops his debut mixtape 'Lil Boat'

Yachty released his debut mixtape Lil Boat in the weeks after the Kanye show. The project proved the teenage rapper had a unique style that went beyond his social media presence.

April 2016: Collaborates with D.R.A.M. on “Broccoli”

April 6 was the release date for the hit collaboration with D.R.A.M., “Broccoli.”

May 2016: Works on Chance the Rapper's 'Coloring Book'

Chance the Rapper's Coloring Book featured Yachty alongside Young Thug on the track “Mixtape.”

June 2016: Yachty Spits a Hot 97 Freestyle

That June, Lil Yachty appeared on NYC radio station Hot 97 with Ebro Darden. When asked if he was a rapper, he said, “No. I don't know.” And then, as if to prove his point, he wiped out during a freestyle

The back-and-forth with Darden and Hot 97 continued, with Yachty releasing a song aimed at them in July. He then joined Ebro again on the latter's Beats 1 show in November for something resembling a reconciliation.

June 2016: Signs With Quality Control and Capitol

June was a huge month for Yachty. In addition to the Hot 97 appearance, he revealed he was signing to Atlanta powerhouse Quality Control. That was quickly followed by the announcement of a joint venture between Capitol and QC for Yachty's next project. Also that month? Yachty made the XXL Freshmen list

July 2016: 'Summer Songs 2' Drops

Yachty keeps the music coming in July with the release of Summer Songs 2 and an accompanying short film called Keep Sailing.

August, 2016: Yachty disses Biggie, Pt. 1

In an interview with Billboard, Yachty says he “honestly couldn't name five songs” by either 2Pac or the Notorious B.I.G. Outrage follows.

October 2016: Want a Sprite?

Yachty teams up with LeBron James for a Sprite ad featuring Yachty's hit “Minnesota.”

November 2016: Expands into fashion

Yachty's nautical fascination finally pays off when he's asked to model a collaboration between Urban Outfitters and Nautica.

November 2016: Yachty disses Biggie, Pt. 2

During an appearance on Pitchfork's “Over/Under” series, Yachty refers to Biggie as “overrated.” He quickly apologizes.

December 2016: Links with Kyle for “iSpy”

Towards the end of 2016, Yachty teams up with Kyle to release “iSpy.”

February 2017: Getting that Target money

Yachty has never been one to shy away from endorsements (“endorsement money is huge,” he noted in a 2016 New York Times profile). So it was no surprise that he did an ad for Target. What was a surprise was a) it was a collaboration with Carly Rae Jepsen and b) it featured a remake of Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock's 1988 classic “It Takes Two.” 

March 2017: Named one of Forbes' 'Cash Princes'

Yachty's newfound commercial and financial success is celebrated by Forbes, who names him one of the magazine's Cash Princes alongside Desiigner, D.R.A.M., Noname, and others. That same month, he teams with Nautica for a second collection.

It will be interesting to see where Lil Yachty takes his career from here. Man cannot live on controversy and cool hair alone, so we'll be looking forward to seeing what happens when he becomes a little more established and no longer has to defend his every move against criticism from rap purists. What will Lil Yachty be like in a world where he's not constantly battling for acceptance—a world where, perhaps, there may even be a teenager or two rebelling against him? Whatever happens, we'll be listening.

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Joe Budden and DJ Akademiks Discuss Lil Uzi Vert’s Style and Share Their Favorite Rap Movies

On today's Everyday Struggle, Joe Budden, DJ Akademiks, and Nadeska introduce a new quick hits segment where they run through Iggy Azalea, Young Thug, and T.I. news. Later, they break down Lil Uzi Vert's style choices and react to the viral sea lion video. To wrap, the crew dive into a debate over which comedians have had the biggest impact on rap and then list some of their favorite hip-hop movies of all-time

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Young Thug Goes Country in New Snippet From ‘E.B.B.T.G’

Young Thug is channeling an unexpected genre for his upcoming Easy Breezy Beautiful Thugger Girls project.

E.B.B.T.G

A post shared by ""JEFFERY"" (@thuggerthugger1) on

On Monday night, the Atlanta rapper hit up Instagram with a preview of one of the album’s tracks. The video shows Thug sitting inside a car, jamming out to the song, which features acoustic guitars and a country-tinged flow. Social media wasn’t mad about it. In fact, many fans applauded the sound.

There aren’t many details about E.B.B.T.G., but what we do is pretty interesting. Thug announced it would be a singing album executive produced by Drake. Engineer Alex Tumay later confirmed the project was dedicated to Thug’s fiancée, Jerrika Karlae, and reassured fans it was not a joke. Tumay also said he and Thug have recorded and scrapped about a dozen songs, one of which features the rapper delivering a 24-bar verse that “sounded like Kendrick [Lamar].”

We just have one question now: When will E.B.B.T.G. finally drop?

Thugger promised fans the album would roll out weeks ago; however, we’re still waiting on an official release date. While you wait for more details to trickle in, you can check out the latest preview above.

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Rich Homie Quan Addresses What’s Really Going on With Young Thug

Rich Homie Quan clarified the current status of his creative relationship with Young Thug in a new interview Friday. Speaking with Fader, Quan addressed Thug's recent Instagram post featuring what sounds like an unreleased Quan x Thug track and confirmed there's no “bad blood” between the Rich Gang: Tha Tour Pt. 1 collaborators.

“It was never no bad blood, it was just on pause,” Quan said of his current relationship with Thug. “Whenever he wants to press play, I want to press play. I wish him the best and he wish the same for me.” The article notes that Thug's Instagram clip was shared the same day the interview was conducted. According to Quan, that's definitely his voice in the clip. The song itself, however, isn't new.

“The song old, though, so I don't know if he was just playing it,” Quan said. “I'm new to seeing the video today too.” Quan added that the track was recorded during Rich Gang: Tha Tour Part 1 sessions. A sequel to the tape was supposed to happen, but never came to fruition.

“But I saw that he put at the bottom of his thing Eazy Breezy Beautiful Thugger Girls so I don't know if it's gonna be on there because I haven't been called to clear it yet,” Quan said, referencing Thug's album. Thug's Instagram video, Quan said, is “probably just his way of saying, 'Yo what's up Quan.'”

In an interview with 99 Jamz earlier this month, Quan said he and Thug “don't talk.”

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