Young Thug hasn’t released a full album since 2017’s Beautiful Thugger Girls, but he’s kept fans appetites sated with EPs and collaborative albums like Hear No Evil, On The Run, and Super Slimey with Future in the meantime. However, according to Complex and sources close to Thug, there’s even more reason to get excited for his new album because it will apparently be executive produced by an unlikely hitmaker: J. Cole.
The pair first began their seemingly far-fetched collaboration when J. Cole added Young Thug to the lineup of his Dreamville Festival and KOD tour. Fans of either artist had plenty of reason to be skeptical or intrigued in equal amounts, considering Young Thug’s music reflects almost exactly the aesthetic that J. Cole spent most of his 2018 album KOD admonishing. However, Thug was later invited to participate in Dreamville’s Revenge Of The Dreamers 3 sessions, an inclusion that likely had a lot to do with the addition of native ATLiens JID and Earthgang to Dreamville’s roster in 2018.
Now, it looks like J. Cole will lend some of his iconoclastic star power to Thugger’s next project, which actually makes a lot of sense when you think about it. Both have largely eschewed the trappings of mainstream rap, embracing their own distinctive styles and refusing to fall in line with what’s happening on the radio or with their peers. They’ve also both been hugely influential to their own subsets of the genre, with Dreamville mostly following Cole’s lead and Thug’s YSL Records family spinning off of his own freewheeling, slippery style. However, Cole has been massively successful — platinum, no features — while Thug hasn’t quite seen the same level of sales success. Maybe having someone who’s used to bucking the system and still winning anyway along will help him achieve his final form. There’s no word if the album being produced is the previously announced Barter 7 or a whole new concept, but whatever it is, this combination is sure to have fans licking their chops for more news — and a release date.