Today, an article published in BuzzFeed reported that Young Thug has been signed since 2013 to Atlantic Records, and that he received a $15,000 advance. One source even said he'd be "surprised" if Young Thug's total Atlantic deal was "more than $50,000 total.”
This is in stark contrast with deals given to other buzzing stars like Chief Keef, who obtained a deal worth $6 million from Interscope in 2012 at the height of his media attention.
Through the use of often-anonymous sources, the article goes much deeper, as does Young Thug's convoluted history: signed at one point to Atlantic through Gucci's 1017 imprint, then signed again to Atlantic through its Artist Partners Group imprint, Thug has ended up in something like a major label stasis.
"They thought Gucci was crazy and that he didn’t actually have paperwork signed with Thug...Then Gucci produced the paperwork."—Anonymous source.
One telling anecdote comes at the moment APG realized that Young Thug had already been signed to Atlantic through 1017; Zeichner quotes one anonymous source (referred to throughout as "Jordan") who said: "They thought Gucci was crazy and that he didn’t actually have paperwork signed with Thug...Then Gucci produced the paperwork."
According to Buzzfeed's source, this led the A&R who signed Thug to APG, Jeff Vaughn, to call Thug "a liar."
Prior to that melting point, Atlantic was prepping an album called #HiTunes to be released in January. With the success of "Stoner," contends one source, Thug could have renegotiated his contract. But by January, APG had stopped spending money on Thug, and Thug completely cut off contact with the label.
Young Thug also went through a series of managers, jumping from one to another and trying to get other deals; currently, Birdman has been managing the rapper—Buzzfeed cites anonymous sources, and Complex was able to get a confirmation from producer Metro Boomin, who is currently working on an album together with Thug.
Meanwhile, Lyor Cohen's 300 label has also thrown its hat into the ring. Read the entire complicated story at BuzzFeed.