Young Thug is less than 48 hours away from releasing his new album Punk.
As he was finishing up the project in Atlanta, the “Tick Tock” rapper opened up to Complex about his new music, influence on today’s rappers, and recent collaborations with Kanye West and Drake.
Thug can be heard alongside Kanye on “Remote Control.” When asked how he ended up on the DONDA track, Thug said it wasn’t even a question.
“I just hit Kanye like, ‘Bro, if I ain’t on the album, we are not speaking,’” he said. “What n****s don’t know about Kanye West is he’s a real n***a. He’s a billionaire, and all that shit is cool, but in real life, he could survive in the trenches. If he go to the trenches, the jungle, he could survive. He a real n***a.”
He also revealed how he inspired “Way 2 Sexy,” his chart-topping collaboration with Drake and Future, by just showing up to the studio.
“I think I was fresh as hell, and that n***a Pluto was like, ‘Man, you on some sexy shit today. You coming in with your lotion on…’” he recalled. “Then we just started making music. He always tells me everything to do throughout a song. And it’s the same with me, I tell him everything, too.”
While Thug has taken inspiration from Lil Wayne, he says it doesn’t compare to the influence he’s had on rappers like Lil Baby.
“It’s not like me being like, ‘Wayne made me want to rap,’” he said. “No, I was really rapping before I knew about Lil Wayne. Before I was old enough for my momma to let me hear ‘Hot Boy,’ I was already rapping, so he didn’t really make me rap. He gave me different types of swags with rap, and he made me want to be like him when I rap, but he didn’t make me want to rap. But there are ni**as in the game who I really made rap. I made Lil Baby rap. I made all these guys rap. I am telling them how to think about this shit.”
Thug, who aspires to be the “richest Black man in the world,” has big plans that go beyond rap including his own city. He received 100 acres of land in Atlanta as a birthday gift from his manager and plans to turn it into “Slime City,” where he will build homes, a waterpark, campground, and more.
And it doesn’t stop there. “I want to be bigger than Tyler Perry and Bill Gates,” he declared. “I want to be bigger than any of these n****s, to the point where the police work for me. Like, n***a, I really rule the world. I am bigger than the president.”
Punk, Thug’s most personal album yet, arrives Friday. “It will surprise some people that I am speaking on what the youth is speaking on,” he shared. “I always had that mindset, like, ‘I’m not rapping about what everybody else is rapping about.’ No matter what is popping. But this time, it was just like, ‘You know what? I’m going to do it.’ Just to show n****s I can do it.’ This sh*t is easy.”