Image via iTunes
It's been as mystifying to watch Young Thug's career over the last year as it is to listen to one of his twisting, gurgling, explosively weird verses: Thugger went from being an enigmatic ascending star with hit singles "Stoner" and "Danny Glover" to half of the year's best new duo with Rich Homie Quan as Rich Gang—who had the year's actual biggest hit, "Lifestyle," and the year's best album—to who knows what. He reportedly fell out with Rich Homie Quan and then maybe didn't and then maybe did, and he went on tour with Travis Scott. He's gone from Lil Wayne's biggest fan to Birdman's new muse—to the point that Lil Wayne finally lost patience with Birdman and sued him for more than $50 million—which has set him on the path of succeeding Lil Wayne.
Which, weirdly, has meant that for the last few months rap fans have watched in confusion as Young Thug claimed he would be releasing an album called Tha Carter 6 to pick up where Wayne left off (extra weird considering that Tha Carter 5 does not technically exist yet and that the aforementioned drama stems from it not existing). Plus, also in recent months, enough Young Thug tracks have leaked to make up an album on their own. Then, in the last few days, news broke that Thug's album would actually be called Barter 6. And then it sort of leaked and sort of came out on New Zealand iTunes this morning, and now it's halfway on US iTunes and Spotify and who even knows. Oh yeah, also, in the latest update to Thugger's byzantine label arrangements, this is out jointly on 300 and Atlantic, which confirms that all of those label things are still in place, somehow.
Are we all still on the same page here? Great. The bottom line is that you can listen to Barter 6 right now, and it is dope. Young Thug, as the above saga suggests, is as hard to pin down as ever, and that's what continues to make him rap's most exciting star. Ironically, the whole buzz around this project feels a lot like the leadup to the release of Tha Carter 3, which was filled with countless leaks and rumors and scrapped timelines and controversy from rap traditionalists crying foul. It's a throwback to the more chaotic days of the music internet, before everything was a perfectly coordinated branded project. It's ideal: Young Thug doesn't give a shit about anything except making cool music and enjoying life—expectations of what an artist should be like be damned. That's dope as hell, and it's what makes him so good.
As for the music? Obviously it's awesome. T.I. and Boosie and Young Dolph and Birdman are on it. Young Thug already invents a new way to pronounce "nerd" within the first five minutes, which is convenient because you're definitely a nerd if you react to this album in any way other than playing it right now and enjoying the shit out of it. With no further ado, here it is on Spotify, plus it's sort of out on iTunes and maybe leaked somewhere online, too. Who knows!
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