Young Thug is always a step ahead. Where the title of his just-released mixtape was a vehicle to take shots at one of his heroes (and, after a lawsuit was threatened, to pledge a certain allegiance), the name of his proper debut is going to be entirely indecipherable. Due out August 28, Hy!£UN35 will aim to introduce the savant from Atlanta to corners of the rap-listening world that Barter 6 won't reach. Though details about the record are scant, if this latest mixtape and last year's Rich Gang project are any indication, Thug will continue his ascent to the top of contemporary rap. The album's title is likely meant to be read as HiTunes, a branding name the rapper has toyed with online for some time now.

In the press release that announces Hy!£UN35, Thug's label, the Lyor Cohen-, Kevin Liles- and Todd Moscowitz-led 300 Entertainment clarifies that Barter 6 is a mixtape as opposed to a retail album. Though the line between those two formats is liable to blur in 2015, it's an interesting decision with regard to the rollout of Thug to national audiences. His biggest mainstream break to date is "Lifestyle," released as Rich Gang with Rich Homie Quan, with whom Thug is pictured above.