Counting down the best collaborations to come from Thugger & Friends.
There’s no end to the list of rappers in the game that Young Thug can claim as his offspring. It’s no longer controversial to deem him one of the most influential artists of the past decade. However, there’s a pack that Thug has put effort into raising in his own image, whose members can be differentiated from his off-brand clones. Thugger’s label, YSL Records, houses talents that possess the same brazenness as the head honcho himself, but they all manage to carve singular identities. When these voices come together on a track, sparks fly. In the list below, we will explore the most electric collaborations to come out of this camp and dissect what each Slime brings to the table.
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8. "Family" - Young Thug feat. HiDoraah and Dolly White
YSL is all about family, both biological and chosen. Two of Young Thug’s siblings are in his crew: HiDoraah and Dolly White. I’m Up may not be the most highly-regarded project within Thugger’s oeuvre, but he and his sisters come together for a nice moment on “Family.” They all rap about a shared characteristic that connects them as strongly as blood ties: dedication to the hustle. HiDoraah captures it well in her verse: “I get it from lil’ Thugger, you know relations / Grind, grind, grind, that motivation.” Thug ignites this drive in all of his comrades. It’s what keeps them soaring upwards and their songs feeling so elevating.
7. "Ain’t Slime Enough" - Young Thug feat. Karlae & Lil Duke
In August 2018, Young Thug presented Slime Language, the first compilation project from YSL Records. It commenced with a Young Thug solo cut, which is fair, considering he is the ringleader of the whole operation. However, the second track on the project, “U Ain’t Slime Enough”, is the true opening. It captures the spirit of YSL much better than “Tsunami” by providing a fierce rallying cry: “These bitches not Slime enough!” Aspiring artist and Thug’s longtime girlfriend, Jerrika Karlae, repeatedly shouts this slogan in the chorus and it guarantees to convert anyone into a supporter of the YSL movement.
6. "Understood" - Lil Duke feat. Young Thug & Gunna
Lil Duke has a discography filled with memorable YSL moments. If you dig back to 2017, you will discover “Understood” on Blue Devil. It’s produced by Billboard Hitmakers, who may not be responsible for many YSL collaborations, but they furnished the perfect beat for one to thrive on in this instance. It rests on a skeleton of tiptoeing synths, similar to the mesmerizing guitar loops that have brought us gems like “Oh Okay” and “Anybody” (spoiler alert). However, the drums are heavy on this one, forcing energetic performances out of the rappers. “Understood” dates back to when Gunna barked with tenacity, opposed to the tranquil delivery he prefers to rely on as of late. Thug only pops in for a spoken outro, but he emphasizes that the “YSL Slime bosses in town” like a proud parent.
5. "Chanel (Go Get It)" - Young Thug feat. Gunna & Lil Baby
While we might have expected Slime Language to provide some massive posse that united all the Atlanta Avengers, no song exceeded a three-artist lineup. When you consider all the songs together though, you grasp the strength of the squad. Slime Language introduced several of their emerging talents, but one track featured a cast of established names. “Chanel (Go Get It)” gathered Thug, Gunna and Lil Baby. Lil Baby is not only being placed under the YSL umbrella to beef up this list. He may be signed to Quality Control, but he will always be an honorary Slime. No trio could make a more magical hedonistic anthem. Young Thug chirps through the chorus, Gunna’s nasally murmur buzzes like ambient noise and Lil Baby’s flow spastically bounces around like a ping-pong ball. Magic.
4. "3 Headed Snake" - Gunna feat. Young Thug (Prod. Wheezy)
Wheezy can 100% be considered a YSL member, hence, “3 Headed Snake” 100% qualifies as a posse cut. If you take any issue with that, you can speak to my lawyer. The “Wheezy Outta Here!” tag has blessed the majority of the YSL conglomerate’s output. Despite Wheezy often getting Gunna to sing over whimsical guitar, he set him up for a banger with the “3 Headed Snake” beat. Gunna and Thugga trade bars like a hot potato while Wheezy’s production swirls around them, tying them all together into a single indefatigable creature. It’s the stuff of legend.
3. "Life Goes On" - Lil Baby feat. Lil Uzi Vert & Gunna
There was zero chance I was going to leave this masterpiece off the list. Yes, Lil Uzi Vert is an honorary Slime too! Check the Slime Language tracklist. Two out of the three artists on this song may not be signed to YSL, but it packs the same spirit as all of their posse cuts. “Life Goes On” feels like speeding through some Tron-like landscape with vibrant lights flashing all around you. The fact that Lil Baby jumpstarts the track by spitting “Trackhawk Jeep go too fast / I don’t even wear no seatbelt”, amplifies the adrenaline rush. Lil Baby, Uzi and Gunna have collaborated with one another several times, but this was the first and only official release on which all three of them joined forces. We’ll likely see this lethal trio reband again in the future, but for now, we must savor this historical song.
2. "Anybody" - Lil Keed feat. Lil Duke & Gunna
“Anybody” could be considered as the sequel to “Oh Okay,” but they can certainly be judged on their own merits. The similarity primarily stems from their guitar-driven beats, but how many artists have entered the musical canon by relying on nothing other than a guitar? If Gunna, Lil Keed or any other YSL signee wishes to milk this formula, let them go in. They’re the new generation of rockstars pouring their hearts out over twinkling strings. Lil Keed’s sing-songy chorus on “Anybody” is exquisite. His squawking is contrasted by Duke’s hoarse tone coming in on the first verse. Gunna slides through at a level that sits between the pitches of his collaborators. This song is a paradigmatic example of the versatility and chemistry within the YSL collective.
1. "Oh Okay" - Gunna feat. Young Thug & Lil Baby
An ear that has yet to be seasoned by the YSL family’s discography might not be able to discern the different artists squealing on “Oh Okay.” This task is not made any easier by the fact that Thug and Lil Baby share a verse. They both let the tail-end of their bars stretch out like… well, slime. The pitter-patter of the hook and the lilting of the verses are sprinkled across an entrancing loop of guitar-plucking. There’s a celestial quality to the song that is undoubtedly heightened by the fact that Gunna, Thug and Lil Baby all approach music like they’re from another planet.