Young Thug Tainted a Perfectly Good So Much Fun Song With a New Machine Gun Kelly Verse
At some point in the last day or so, Young Thug’s pretty good new album So Much Fun changed, subtly but undeniably. The third track, “Ecstasy,” a shitkicking ode to getting high out of your mind on various illicit substances including but not limited to MDMA, used to be a solo Thug song. Now, it has a verse from Machine Gun Kelly. This isn’t a new remix, but the official album version, which means that the one with the MGK feature is the only one available on streaming services like Apple Music and Spotify. What’s worse, the new verse wasn’t just tacked onto the song, but put in the place of a Thug verse that’s no longer there. Fortunately, you can still hear the original on YouTube.
The new version almost certainly has to do with promoting the joint tour that Thug and MGK will be embarking on together this fall, though it’s not clear why it’s happening now and not last week when the album came out, or why it’s supplanting the original version instead of supplementing it as a remix. On first listen, the new “Ecstasy” is clearly inferior to the old one: the appearance of MGK’s earnest voice interrupts the otherwise spastic atmosphere of the song, and his flows don’t seem to quite fit the pockets of the beats he’s rapping on.
The practice of tinkering with songs ex post facto and reuploading them to streaming services was unheard of when Kanye West started doing it back in 2016, and it’s become only marginally more common since. (Incidentally, Taylor Swift also did the same sort of thing today, editing her single “ME!” on Apple Music so that it no longer includes the bit about how spelling is fun.) The fact that the original version of “Ecstasy” still exists on YouTube may be a matter of technicality: unlike Spotify and Apple Music, the video streaming service doesn’t allow you to upload a new file in place of an old one without creating a new video entirely. Wiping out the old “Ecstasy” would mean sacrificing all the plays it’s gotten since So Much Fun was released on Friday.
If nothing else, incidents like these are a reminder of how ephemeral recorded music is when it doesn’t exist on a physical format, or even as a permanent file on our hard drives. The “Ecstasy” switchup seems particularly short-sighted. So Much Fun is good enough that we can reasonably expect listeners to return to it in years to come. By then, the tour will be a speck in the rearview, but we’ll still have this shittier version of “Ecstasy,” and the album as a whole will be a little worse for it.
Compare the two versions below and decide for yourself.