Much has been made about Young Thug's rapid recording process. When Kanye West flew the young rapper out to Los Angeles to work with him, he was reportedly stunned by how quickly the Atlantan was able to turn out new work. Pitchfork spoke with a number of his collaborators who described his in-studio work ethic in similar terms, saying that Thug's work, despite being wildly innovative--often densely so--comes together in short order. For more evidence, one can always turn to his recent freestyle on live French TV. On Morning ce Fran, he can be seen in the booth, coming up with a song on the spot: where most rappers would step up to a microphone and rattle off some unheard bars, Thug instead improvises melodies on the spot.

Thug's first proper release this year was April's Barter 6, a tape that was uncharacteristically restrained. (This despite its title, which was seen by many as an attempt to provoke Lil Wayne, whom Thug has often cited as an influence.) Shortly after, he suffered a catastrophic leak, in which dozens of his unreleased songs and half-finished demos were dumped unceremoniously onto the Internet. Thug decided to make the best of it, combining leaked material with new songs to issue two installments of his Slime Season mixtape series. (Be El Be, Thug's principal video director, has hinted at a nascent third installment.) His retail debut is expected some time in the first half of 2016.