Young Thug & Kanye West Have 40 Songs Together

Thugger says he and Yeezy have been working together extensively for over three years. Really?

There's a certain amount of the population who will read that headline and launch into some sort of tirade against Kanye and Young Thug, they'll probably throw in a couple gay jokes they think are hilarious but aren't at all for good measure. I know those people. They frequent my Twitter notifications on a daily basis. This isn't for those people. 

This is for the people who read that headline and ask questions. Why would Kanye choose to work so extensively with Young Thug? 40 songs? 40?!?! What's that say about Kanye's recording process and his music? Is it true that people have to sign non-disclosure agreements when they work with 'Ye? 

We'll start with that last question first. Yes, apparently Kanye does make people sign agreements that only Kanye can talk about their work together, which is simultaneously kind of crazy controlling and completely reasonable. Maybe Young Thug wouldn't have 700 songs a month leaked if he did the same? As for why Kanye would choose to work with Thugger, Lyor lays it out pretty nicely later in the interview: 

"The way an artist of his [Kanye] stature stays relevant, is trying to understand who's out here. Kanye's a genius, and he's constantly looking for people who are creative risk takers, so perfect, call Thug."

That makes a lot of sense. No one's managed to stay as relevant as Yeezy over more than a decade now, and he's largely managed to do it by being a vacuum that sucks up new ideas and energies from not just other rappers, but other artists in any art form, period. Some might even say he exploits them, and in a certain sense yes, that's true. Kanye's got a certain Dorian Gray thing happening where he stays young and relevant by sucking up the energies of the young and relevant.

But that spirit of open collaboration is a core part of how Kanye makes music, and on the whole that music's better for it. That's how Chief Keef ends up on Yeezus, how Elton John, Alicia Keys and Kid Cudi all end up on "All of the Lights" together. So whether or not we ever actually hear a single song from the Kanye and Thug sessions, I'm all for it.

Plus, we all know Thug rocks some pretty cool pants, it's clearly a match made in heaven.  

[By Nathan S, the managing editor of DJBooth and a hip-hop writer. His beard is awesome. This is his Twitter. Thug photo by Chad Watka.]