Young Thug Paid Lil Baby To Rap Because He Feared The Younger Artist Would Go Back To Prison

Young Thug, who just released his new album Punk, has become one of the most influential rappers from Atlanta over the past several years, both artistically and culturally. Not only has his slippery approach to melody and rhythm inspired imitators and a legion of successors, including Gunna, Lil Keed, and more, but he has also helped launch the career of Lil Baby, who is currently Atlanta rap’s people’s champ, becoming an influential and beloved figure himself over the past two years.

In a prior interview with T.I., Young Thug confirmed that he had to pay Lil Baby to leave the hood behind for the rap game, corroborating Lil Baby’s own recollection to The Breakfast Club radio show that the elder rapper had put up an impressive sum to convince him to leave the streets alone. Today, Young Thug appeared on The Breakfast Club himself to promote Punk and revisited that story to provide a little extra context, explaining just why he felt the need to invest so much money into the burgeoning younger rapper.

“I just didn’t want him to go back to prison,” he admitted. “I was scared for him to go back to jail because he had just did a bid. He got straight out of jail and went straight back to the same neighborhood, the same house, that the police busted him and locked him up…. He was popular too. Before rap, he was getting a lot of likes on Instagram.” Thug also explained that he brought Lil Baby with him to show him the alternative lifestyle and show him that “it was easy.”

You can watch Young Thug’s full Breakfast Club interview above.