Elton John said he was “just blown away” by Young Thug‘s freestyling in the studio recordings for “Always Love You,” during a recent interview with Billboard. The English rock legend was so impressed by the rapper’s freestyle abilities that he said Thug’s work was superior to that of 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,” he told the outlet. “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. 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.”
Thug first met John after he sampled the rock icon’s “Rocket Man” on his 2018 single, “High.” During their inaugural meeting, John told the rapper to utilize his vocals more throughout his rap music.
“He wanted to meet me…and we shot the breeze for 40 minutes,” he explained. “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.”
Thug is set to appear alongside Nicki Minaj on John’s “Always Love You,” off the rocker’s Lockdown Sessions album out October 22.