Elton John thinks Young Thug is the best freestyler, even better than Eminem.
The pop icon was “blown away” after witnessing Thug in the studio while they were recording “Always Love You,” a collaboration on John’s forthcoming album The Lockdown Sessions, which also features Nicki Minaj.
In fact, he was even more impressed by Thug’s freestyle skills than another one of his friends and longtime collaborators, Eminem.
“I mean, I’ve seen Marshall [Mathers] do it in Detroit, but I’ve never seen someone like Thug come in and do that,” the 74-year-old told Billboard.
“In the end, I had to leave because I think he felt a bit intimidated that I was there and I just wanted him to relax,” he added. “But it’s just an amazing moment in my musical life… I have no understanding of how rap records are put together and it’s fascinating to watch.”
Elton first met Thug when the YSL rapper sampled John’s classic “Rocket Man” on his 2018 track “High.”
“He wanted to meet me…and we shot the breeze for 40 minutes,” John recalled of their meeting. “He said, “What do you think? What advice would you give me?’ I said, ‘Did you sing in the choir?’ And he said, ‘Yeah, of course I sang in the choir. Gospel choir.’ I said, ‘Sing more. Don’t just rap, sing more, because the mixture of rap and musicianship and melody is what really makes rap take off.’ And he’s doing that now.”
In addition to “Always Love You,” The Lockdown Sessions features collaborations with Lil Nas X, Dua Lipa, Miley Cyrus, Stevie Wonder, Charlie Puth, and more.
John is also reportedly featured on Thug’s new album Punk, due out Oct. 15. Their new collaboration “More,” which also features Gunna, was previewed during the Givenchy show at Paris Fashion Week.