Jeffery Lamar Williams is Young Thug for the music world, a rising star, a rapper with a high reputation and even a fashion icon for millions of young people around the world. One more? I got ten more!” He told a fan after performing XO TOUR Llif3,” which he would put on a second time after bringing Young Thug back out. Amid several cues that appeared to mark the night’s end, Uzi Vert was reluctant to leave, continuously calling for more songs from his DJ, until the venue itself muted his mic and cut off the lights.
Jeffrey Williams, better known as Young Thug, is a hip-hop artist from Atlanta, Georgia. He has been on the scene since 2010, and has some impressive accolades to his name including having featured About the Money” and Lifestyle” which made it to number 16 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Micah: And yet here we are, five years later, hailing it as the best rap album of the decade, distraught that there was only ever one stop on the eponymous tour, and that we’ll probably never get the Part 2 that we want. In February 2015, Quan stepped away from the group to work on a solo project, Thug called him Bitch Homie Quan” onstage, and that, apparently, was that.
Young Thug also became known for his feature on the 2017 hit song ” Havana ” by pop singer Camila Cabello , which reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in January 2018, becoming Young Thug’s first number one single. Williams was awarded the Grammy Award for Song of the Year at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards for his songwriting contributions to ” This Is America ” along with Donald Glover and Ludwig Göransson 10 In May 2019, he released the single, ” The London ” (featuring J. Cole and Travis Scott )-becoming his highest charting song on the Hot 100 as a lead artist, debuting and peaking at number 12. The song was featured on his debut album, So Much Fun , released later that year.
Of course, Tha Tour de force begins with Givenchy,” Young Thug’s orgasmic introduction to a whole new musical paradigm. I roll my eyes when considering how many top-tier pop musicians open their blockbuster studio albums with grandiose kayfabe statements, e.g., Drake opening Scorpion with a knock-off James Bond cinematic theme, Taylor Swift opening Lover with clickbait, etc. These statement pieces always suck. They’re too big, too ornate, too self-consciously important and yet, ultimately, too vapid. These songs all pale in comparison to Young Thug wailing, with rising volume and disintegrating grammar, about God knows what (my toes and my bros and my hoes,” for sure).
Me: Young Thug is one of the best and atleast the most unique rapper. Later, Young Thug and Gunna take the stage for a collaborative musical performance. THUG: I dream of winning 20 Grammys. I dream of being acknowledged as the best rapper alive and the richest rapper alive.
Ski Mask the Slump God had one of the weekend’s most energetic sets, climbing dangerously high up the side of the concert stage and directing the crowd’s mosh pits. But the theme of his performance was his repeated allusions to his friend, the late rapper XXXtentacion, whose publicly violent history and accusations of abuse dogged his skyrocketing career before he was murdered during a robbery in Miami last year. Others from the Soundcloud generation — Juice Wrld, Playboi Carti — also paid their respects in their sets. Ski Mask, who shared a rocky but close friendship with the late rapper, played multiple XXXtentacion songs for a rabidly hyped crowd. No matter where we at, we dedicate our set to our brother XXXtentaxion. I don’t give a f— if you didn’t like him,” Ski Mask told the crowd. The crowd, though, showed no signs of wavering in their support.
That is sort of a direct repudiation of Tha Tour and the process that spawned it, or at least trying to introduce a level of control into something that needs a certain amount of volatility to be the best version of itself. Tha Tour was flawed and perfect and singular, owing to an unrepeatable set of circumstances, and a rejection of better judgement, not unlike a gold terlet At least we can say we shined—really shined—for one summer.
Thug was born amongst the masses eliminating any doubt that he wouldn’t be special. The second youngest child of 11 children developed a skill for standing out amongst many, early. Young Thug moved to Jonesboro, an impoverished suburb of Georgia where his lifestyle was engrossed by the crime, drug addiction and violence that surrounded him. It was there that he developed an insatiable appetite to succeed his current situation. After discovering and acknowledging his talent and creativity for music in 2010, Thug started a new hustle that would soon mature as one of the most promising music careers in the South.
In between songs, Playboi Carti orchestrated mosh pits throughout the crowd, barking commands like a crazed general. Carti’s aggressive mood provided a sharp contrast to the Juice Wrld set, taking place concurrently on a sister stage. Juice’s performance was instead populated largely by the rapper’s crooning, melodic, lovelorn bangers. But for the second straight night, sound issues plagued the stage — right at the moment of a surprise and inexplicable appearance from Young Thug, who failed to show up for his own scheduled set immediately prior to Juice’s.
So Much Fun proves to be an album completely unconcerned with its own legacy. Well, maybe not completely: the fact that J. Cole executive produced the whole damn thing seems to indicate that someone thought a co-sign from a so-called serious rapper could prove significant. In an age that relentlessly critiques the idea of genius and seeks to reduce its carbon footprint, it makes sense that Young Thug would release a LEED certified album (sustainable cover art included). I slept in the woods with the guys,” he raps, insouciantly. And when it was time to get up, they made sure the fire was safely contained within their own verses.
The video was a poignant pause in the show that was clearly meant to give weight to his performance of his meaningful, J Cole-featuring hit, A Lot.” But what should have been the highlight of his set became instead the cause of its sudden end: 21 Savage appeared to grit his teeth through audio skips early on in the song, but as the technical issues continued, he abruptly and angrily called it quits, apologizing to the crowd and swiftly exiting.
Young Thug started to thrive on the scene with the release of a couple of mix tapes that were part of the I Came From Nothing” project, which captured the attention of many between 2011 and 2012 including that of the rapper Gucci Mane, who employed Young Thug, signing him to his 1017 Brick Squad Records. He released his first project under the label, entitled 1017 Thug”, which was hailed as having a distinctly original style. It made a few end of year lists of 2013 such as Rolling Stone who put it at number 10 Best Mixtapes of 2013, and then The Guardian put it in their top five of 2013. Complex put him in the 25 New Rappers to Watch Out For list. He managed to have his song Danny Glover” remixed by Waka Flocka Flame, Nicki Minaj, and more. He also performed at Fool’s Gold Day Off performance in Miami alongside Trick Daddy and Travis Scott.
After some promising mixtapes, Young Thug released 1017 Thug” with 1017 Records, the first sign that the future was all his. Soon after, he released Stoner”, the single that marked his debut in the commercial universe with his remixes and also a greater attention from the coverage. The magazine Rolling Stone was already calling him as ”hip-hop’s new crown prince” in 2014.
So Much Fun is powered primarily by lead single Young London,” which instantly became a smash when it was released earlier this year. The song, which features fellow hip-hop heavyweights Travis Scott and J. Cole, peaked at No. 12, barely missing out on becoming Thug’s first top 10 as a leader.
Tha Tour was sophisticated without being even remotely prestigious. Think of all the middlebrow signifiers Odd Future has had to hoard, for a decade now, to sound one tenth as interesting as Tha Tour. Freestyle,” such an unassuming title suggesting an unstructured demonstration, turns out to be this vivid and tricky composition with the faintest, luxurious hint of a choir behind Quan’s voice. Listen to Tell Em (Lies),” and it turns out Young Thug and Rich Homie Quan are Mariah Carey and ODB for a new generation.
The concept of a debut album has become increasingly muddled in contemporary hip-hop. Take Chance the Rapper, for example. Chance had released two major full-length works, earned a number one single as a featured artist, appeared in commercials for Kit Kat and Doritos and become an important, even unifying, figure in American music before he released what was technically his studio debut (this year’s The Big Day ).
A quarter of the way through Just How It Is” — which Thug co-directed with Leff — a majestic black goat with large white spot appears. For a moment, Young Thug pauses and looks at the peaceful creature like, Whoa that’s a goat,” before giving the animal a nod of approval. Now, your average goat wouldn’t know how to handle such a situation. It’s generally known that goats are vain clout chasers, but not the unnamed kid in Just How It is.” The goat confidently stands with poise, basking in the recognition from Thug. Then as soon as the gorgeous creature appears, she vanishes. The only thing the goat leaves in her wake is a star-turning performance that could compete with the best of 2019.
Despite arriving to the public from opposite ends of the hip-hop industrial complex, Young Thug and Virgil Abloh, the artistic director of menswear at Louis Vuitton and the founder of his own label Off-White, share a fantastical quality. It is as difficult to imagine today’s youth culture without them as it would have been to predict their unlikely rises to fame. Another thing the world’s first postmodern rap superstar and the world’s first architecture-student-turned-fashion-emperor have in common is the democracy inherent in their work; even more than the things they make, their legacies will be defined by the thousands of SoundCloud rap careers and Instagram t-shirt labels launched in their image.
Charity: Oh, Lifestyle” resembles other songs on Tha Tour—and, if Cash Money had released Tha Tour a couple years deeper into the modern streaming music ecosystem, Tha Tour would have definitely included Lifestyle,” if only to boost the mixtape’s overall streaming count—but I think the mixtape’s overall execution and energy” are radical improvements, if not a departure. I remember Tha Tour striking me as a curveball. It was very dynamic, and—owing crucially to London on da Track’s bleak flourishes—it was noir. London produced Lifestyle,” too, but Tha Tour demonstrates London’s style, and his talents, far more definitively.
Young Thug just dropped his new album So Much Fun last Friday, with contributions from the likes of Lil Baby , Nav , and Future Now, he’s released a video for Surf” (ft. Gunna ), shot by longtime collaborator Be EL Be, who’s handled the visuals for such classic Thug tracks as Check ,” Best Friend ,” and Givenchy” In the new video, Thug and Gunna ride around on ATVs and shoot squirt guns at women on a beach—timeless stuff.
GRAMMY Award-winning artist Young Thug and chart-topping rapper Machine Gun Kelly announced they are joining forces for a tour across North America this fall. Special guests Polo G, YBN Nahmir, KILLY and Strick will join on select dates.
Charity: I think your earlier note about the Barter 6 controversy, and Thug’s strangely defiant admiration of Wayne, reveals the key problem with modern-day Thug. For the past five years, the music industry has neutralized his more rebellious and improvisational tendencies. I remember reading the old stories about Lyor Cohen begging Thug for hit singles. I remember reading Lyor’s pleas as repudiation of Tha Tour and a rush to move past Barter 6 and into cheesier territory. I remember when I first heard Pacifier,” which I love, actually, but I remember fearing some longer shift toward Chris Martin. Turns out, Chris Martin was J. Cole.
A boisterous, packed crowd gathered for Young Thug, eager to hear hits from So Much Fun,” his latest album and the long-awaited commercial breakthrough from one of the forefathers Atlanta’s modern trap boom. But the hype began to wane as time ticked on without a Thug entrance. When Hot,” a standout from his latest record, began to play, the crowd reignited, anticipating his delayed arrival. But as the song finished, the lights went up and Thug seemed to officially be a no-show — that is, until later in the night.
He features his other protégés Lil Uzi and Lil Baby in a number of different records as well. Lil Uzi is most known for being influenced by Thug’s fashion which can be heard in What’s The Move.” To continue the flashiness of Thugs style, Bad Bad Bad” is another standout record that features Lil Baby flexing their foreign cars, fine women, and real estate they have everywhere.
While he had Thugger in the hot seat, Big Boy had the Atlanta native re-hash his recent comments pertaining to Lil Nas X. During an interview with No Jumper in July, the So Much Fun rapper said that he wished Lil Nas had not publicly come out to the world at large.
One problem, however, is that most of Young Thug’s peers who drop verses on So Much Fun can’t keep up with his outer-space consciousness. Lil Uzi Vert, Quavo, Lil Baby and definitely Machine Gun Kelly all struggle to stay in stride, and half of the verses by Gunna and Lil Duke don’t work either. But it’s even more of a pleasant surprise when a guest ends up going blow for blow, like Juice WRLD on Mannequin Challenge” (I got the tool, no Handy Manny”) or 21 Savage on I’m Scared” (Book me for a show, I put a Glock on my rider”).
Jeffery Lamar Williams, also known as Young Thug, is an American singer, record producer, rapper and songwriter from Atlanta, Ga. Young Thug first received fame after collaborating with other popular rappers, including Gucci Mane , Shawty Lo , Future , and Rich Homie Quan In 2011, Williams released a series of mixtapes starting with I Came from Nothing and ending with I Came from Nothing 3. After signing with 1017 Records in 2013, he released 1017 Thug, which was well-received by his fans. Since then, Young Thug has released six commercial mixtapes, titled Barter 6, I’m Up, Slime Season 3, Jeffery, Beautiful Thugger Girls and Super Slimey.