Slime Season is in full effect.
Young Thug is one of the most prolific artists of our time. His relentless work ethic from 2012-2015 propelled him to the front of his class as he effectively ran laps around both his peers and his mentors. However, after the crippling hard-drive dump that stalled Thug's rising stock in 2015, Thug had to regroup with his camp in order to make sure such a massive leak would never again be possible. The following two years saw a new, more refined Thugger - Jeffrey as it were - where the emphasis was entirely on his increasingly sparse projects, and less on his tendencies to be a renegade.
Unfortunately, 2018 has already seen more Young Thug leaks than the past two years combined; the silver lining here is that a majority of these tracks are clearly old, meant to gather dust in his unfathomably expansive vault. As Thug preps Slime Language, the YSL compilation album that may be dropping this week, the 28 leaks listed below should do more than satiate your hunger for some new Thugger. Consider this list for cataloguing purposes, we'll leave it up to you to hunt for these rare gems. Good luck.
“I think my idol is a hater.” Rumored to be a scrapped Lil Wayne diss circa-2015 (Wayne is the only person Thug has ever referred to as his “idol”), this leak, produced by London on Da Track, sees Thug toying with an ostensibly anonymous target over an ominous beat that, at its climax, devolves into a demented build up of guitars, bird calls, and heavy metal inspired vocals. This is the epitome of belittling your opponent; not a real diss but a warning shot that was thankfully never necessary. At one point he even screeches that he’ll “Rick Ross y’all”-- take that as you may.
"Yes Indeed (Big Ol' Blood)"
There's an old snippet of this song where a blonde-haired, septum-pierced Thugger is casually delivering a triple time sixteen in under 22 seconds. Once one of Young Thug’s most anticipated snippets ever, “Yes Indeed” makes a strong case for 2015 being Thug’s peak. Nowadays he’s more straightforward, more readily digestible, but back then? Thugger was a true enigma. This track features some of his most deadly flows and is further proof that London On Da Track is his consummate producer.
"Give You More"
A Rich Gang era leak jam-packed with all the cartoonish tics that originally made him a one-of-one talent. It’s hard to overstate just how sublime Thug’s melodies were during his formative years; “Give You More” serves as a quick crash course for the uninitiated
Not to be confused with “Myself” or “Do it By Myself,” this is a relatively unknown leak produced by 808 Mafia. Although it’s fleeting, this is a brief glimpse at Slime Season meets Jeffrey, his old tricks being upgraded with a brand new sheen.
"Family Don't Matter (OG)"
We’re not sure how Thug found Millie Go Lightly, but this demo version of the intro to Beautiful Thugger Girls makes a great case for her talents. Millie elevates this admittedly solid reference track to a whole new level, allowing Thug to set the tone for the numerous pop ballads to follow.
"Say My Name (feat. Dae Dae)"
We’re not entirely sure if this is a leak, but it can’t be found on any major streaming platforms. Thug’s opening passage sports a whiplash flow that would make it the best verse on any other song. But, because it’s Thugger, it’s the second verse on here that brings the house down. It’s Thug at his very best - undeniably dexterous wordplay and an inimitable flow that begs to be marveled.
It’s crazy to see how much Young Thug's use of auto-tune has developed since the days of “Eww.” At times, the effect is pointed, purposefully contorting his vocals into something robotic and alien-like. But when it's used like it is on “Ooou,” it merely adds a lush texture to his already pitch-perfect vocals. This leak - probably recorded sometime during 2017 - is a soaring ballad, full of lustful declarations of love, affectionate endearments that paint him as one of the most romantic writers in rap ("I wanted to fuck you on the bleachers when we were in school/A n**** been dream, dream, dreamin' on fuckin' on you"). It also makes yet another case for London and Thug’s undeniable compatibility.
"Another Planet (feat. Lil Baby & Rylo)"
While both Lil Baby and Rylo hold their own on this elusively catchy joint, it’s Thugger’s shapeshifting vocals that ultimately bring the track full circle.
"Showed You OG (feat. Future)"
This is the OG version of the track that eventually found a home on DJ Esco’s Kolorblind, complete with an updated beat and features from A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie and Dej Loaf. This leak is the raw and uncut version with just Future and Thug flexing their respective pens.
"Bust Down (feat. Meek Mill)"
At one point, snippets for this song were coming from every direction; Meek Mill and Thug aside, freakin’ James Harden was openly bumping this shit, teasing the rest of us poor fools. Despite an odd sounding flaw in the beat (potentially an audio watermark by the leaker), the song entirely lives up to expectations. Thug matches Meek's defiant energy in the best way possible - by channeling the Harambe voice to bewildering effect.
"Sake of My Kids (In It For Love)"
A rough version of this leak, comprised of various snippets, has been floating around for a few years now. However, it’s a blessing to finally hear this incessantly teased joint in all its glory (“225 for the Stingray, that’s if you know biology” is one of Thug’s best aquatic-life themed boasts to date).
"The World (I Know)"
Occasionally, Thug slips into a trance and channels the essence of peak Lil Wayne, updating and refining the stylistic tics of his idol for the present day. “I know the world against me,” he croons, until “against me” starts sounding like “gimmick.” It’s an indictment on the fake, the phony, the fraud - amidst a world of copycats and biters, Thug feels like he’s the only true heir to the rap throne left vacant by Wayne’s premature departure.
"Fire Drill" is a prime example of just how easily Thug conjures up then subsequently discards potential hits. Never self-serious, Thug’s playful nature has always been one of his greatest assets.
"Hello Hello (feat. Gunna & Neechie)"
It’s probably safe to assume that before creating songs like “Oh Okay,” Thug and his YSL artists cycle through a bunch of in-studio exercise like this one. Work ethic and craftsmanship is a cornerstone of his label and Thug comfortably slips into the the role of mentor when it comes time to guide Gunna and Neechie.
"Money Turning Me On (All Da Smoke OG)"
One of the coolest things about Thug’s prolificacy during his formative years was his tendency to reuse verses he’s committed to memory, delivering them in new and original ways in order to match the beat at hand. It never felt like you were getting cheated - quite the opposite, actually. As he’s reeled back his output, these glimpses into his approach to songwriting became less frequent. This leak repurposes his contributions to Super Slimey highlight “All Da Smoke,” while also gifting us with an unheard of first verse.
“Breathe” is one of the best Thug songs to leak this year. The vocals are euphoric, the beat is exuberant, and Thug’s tempers his usual bravado with disarmingly touching lyrics (“You a diamond in the rough!”). On this one, Thug goes out of his way to rekindle a dying love with pleas for patience and compassion.
Thug’s ability to craft alternative dance, electronic, and EDM influenced vibes is often underrated. His suggestive lyrics (“If you think I’m gay you can come check my dick/if you think I’m sweet, I’ll let you take a lick”), animated tone, and elastic vocal performances always make for some unexpectedly infectious jams.
"Parking Lot (feat. Duke)"
Thug and Duke have been a powerhouse duo since the jump and this relatively unheard of leak is one of their best collaborative efforts to date. Hard to believe right? Don’t take our word for it, head to Youtube and confirm for yourselves.
The track takes off sprinting and Thug doesn’t even waste a second to catch his breath. We’re not sure when this was recorded, but it gives off some crazy 2015 vibes. From the free-form singing to the explosive hook, it’s all we’ve come to expect and grown to love about the blonde-haired oddball from another planet.
"My Bitches Love Me (feat. Migos)"
We’re not sure how else to say this: PLEASE GIVE US MIGOTHUGGIN. Their chemistry has always been undeniable and hopefully these recent detours into rap super stardom will only fuel their desire to create something special together down the line. The hook on this leak is only a small taste of the chart-dominating hits Thugger and Quavo could potentially whip up.
"Whole Lot OG (feat. 21 Savage)"
Despite declaring that his debut album would have no features, 21 Savage still kept Thug’s background vocals on this penultimate track. This leaked reference sees Thug searching for untapped pockets while conjuring up the very ad libs that would remain on the album version.
"Other Speed (feat. Gunna & Duke)"
This track is more or less YSL messing around in the studio. As expected, the results are still entertaining.
"Signs OG (feat. Drake)"
After Thug’s features on More Life, it’s clear that Drake understands Thugger’s versatility. “Signs” seems to come from those very sessions. Thug’s exotic inflection is a ready fit for Drake’s repurposed island vibes, and his great vocal range allows him to completely upstage his colleague.
"Upscale (Drip OG) (feat. Quavo & Future)"
Presumably an early demo of what eventually became Cardi B’s “Drip,” Thug’s abrupt whispering on here would make the Ying Yang Twins proud.
The snippets prior to this song tease a missing verse, as well as an additional verse from 21 Savage, but the leaked version has more than enough one-liners to hold us over until the full version drops. The verse that we did get sees Thug in punchline mode, making the whole thing play like one long quotable.
"Whole Lot (feat. Migos, Lil Yachty & Duke)"
This is another leak whose snippets betray a missing Thug verse. Still, the leaked version is great as is and makes us nostalgic for the days when MigoThuggin felt like a real possibility.
"I'm On (feat. NBA Youngboy)"
NBA Youngboy is a rising star that openly accepts Thug as one of his foremost influences. And although he shines on this recently unearthed collaboration, it’s the exquisite vibrato in Thug’s voice that ultimately steals the show. Thug’s vocals alone should be enough to make every current R&B artist trash their forthcoming EP.
"Barbie (Love Me) (feat. Gunna)"
“Barbie” is the most recent Young Thug leak and is coincidentally the only leak that sounds like it was actually recorded this year. Where the rest of these are at least a year old (some even a few years older than that), this beautiful collab with Gunna sounds fresh out the studio. It’s a shame this one got out, considering it could’ve made a perfect follow up to Drip Season 3’s “King Kong”. On here, we get a brief but powerful glimpse at the continued development of Thug’s ever-eccentric vocals, as his well as a taste of some newly discovered harmonies.