Young Thug is famous as one hip-hop's greatest experimental vocalists. He takes the elastic, spazzy antics predecessor Lil Wayne and twists his own tones into wildly cartoonish, primal and even mechanical squeaks and squawks that dazzle the eardrums. And wouldn't you know it, his lyrics are pretty fire in themselves.
That kind manipulative technique is what first appealed to A-Trak, the legendary turntablist and producer who heads dance and rap label Fool's Gold, and who discovered and started working with the Atlanta MC even before Birdman's Rich Gang welcomed Thugger into its fold.
There are tons unreleased material from the two friends and collaborators, and today, fans get a taste that stuff with “Ride for Me,” an insane bit music co-produced by Fool's Gold family member Falcons, featuring additional vocals from California's 24hrs.
“When we did ‘Ride for Me,’ I was in complete awe Thug’s unique] vocals,” A-Trak says in a press release. “No one’s ever heard him sound like this. I’m really into sound manipulation — I’m a scratch DJ. Hearing Thug’s voice be so elastic, so malleable, testing the limits what a human voice can sound like is incredible to me. I love how he jumps from this self-distorted screaming style to his familiar squeaky bouncy voice. I was sitting on the song for a little while, trying to figure out a structure to it. Eventually I got 24Hrs to come in and round it out.”
“Ride for Me” opens with some throaty monster stomps from Thug over a boss-level, machine-gun beat. It's dark, stormy and tough. Don't be scared: It's also funky and fun.
It's the first quite a few collaborations A-Trak has planned to unleash in 2018. It follows his incredible work on the Skat Men EP with long-time friend YehMe2, formerly Flosstradamus. The pair are on tour in support the EP with a quick run four dates. Check that out if you can, and listen to “Ride for Me” below, out everywhere now on Fool's Gold.