It’s Young Thug Week at Complex! Leading up to the release of his new album ‘Punk’ on Friday, we’re diving deep on the influential rapper’s career, publishing new interviews, essays, and lists each day of the week. Follow along here.
A little over two years ago, Young Thug decided he wanted to get a pet for Young Stoner Life Records’ main studio.
“There was one day Thug looked at me, and he was like, ‘Yo, I want to get a snake and a spider,’” Bainz, Thug’s go-to engineer recalls. “Right down the road from the studio, there was this reptile shop that we used to go and just hang out over there. So the next day, a bunch of us went in there and we got two snakes and a tarantula.”
That was Young Thug and YSL’s official introduction into exotic domestication. Since then, YSL’s main studio, which is most commonly referred to as the Snake Pit, has turned into a “safari” of sorts. They’ve adopted snakes, tarantulas, a Bengal cat, and a mini bulldog that Bainz primarily cares for at his home.
“They all family,” Gunna tells Complex, referring to the studio creatures. “We treat them like family, and they’re all named Tootie, every last one of them.”
When you walk into the Snake Pit, you never know what you might find. Any given day, collaborators like Future or Travis Scott may stop by to check out what the YSL team is working on. Between the A-list collaborators, wild animals, and prolific output, it’s safe to say that Young Thug has cultivated one of the most unique studio experiences in the business.
YSL owns several homes in California and Atlanta that are each equipped with recording studios, at which many of the artists live and record each day. And the Snake Pit, YSL’s commercial recording studio, is where the crew usually convenes as a whole. Across the various studios, Thug has normalized a nearly 24/7 work ethic. “Out of 24 hours a day, maybe 18 [hours are spent in the studio],” Gunna estimates. “We might do six hours at our own houses, then we go back to the studio.” While saying this over the phone, he reveals he’s on his way back to the studio after completing an early session around “eight or nine in the morning.”