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. On Thursday night (Sept. 12), the So Much Fun rapper hit up his Instagram timeline to share a new photo of himself in the hospital bed after his procedure wrapped up. He doesn’t specify what type of surgery he had or why he needed it. Nonetheless, it seems as though the Young Stoner Life chief is on the road to recovery.
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.
This week’s Popcast is a conversation about Young Thug’s long, strange career: what’s set him apart, what’s cemented his legacy, and what’s held him back.
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A style that was once frowned upon is now the standard of trap rap. In 2014 his single Donald Glover” first broke him on the mainstream scene. The following year he released a number of projects that would make everyone take him seriously as an artist. The Barter 6 single Check”, along with the start of the Slime Season series, puts his sound in a category of its own. With a string of projects that followed his positioning in the industry as an Atlanta legend, Young Thug is now getting his well-deserved appreciation everywhere else.
Yes. In July 2019, he announced a fall tour of 31 cities. Young Thug is co-headlining the tour alongside Machine Gun Kelly The tour will be stopping at many major cities in Canada and the United States, including Atlanta, Ga., Chicago, Ill., Philadelphia, Pa., Toronto, Ontario, and more. Don’t miss your chance to see Young Thug on stage at Daily’s Place in Jacksonville, Fla., or Indiana Farmers Coliseum in Indianapolis, Ind.
Another piece of the overall levity comes from the biohazard-level viscous beats provided by a coterie of reliable producers. There’s not an instrumental on any of the 19 songs here that seems sleepy. Instead, each one is wide awake in slimy, synth-y textures and bloody with analog shrapnel of pianos (Just How It Is,” Bad Bad Bad,” Jumped Out the Window”), guitars (Circle of Bosses,” Boy Back”), organs (Ecstasy”) and bells (Cartier Gucci Scarf”). There’s even just enough birdsong, on What’s the Move,” to make Messiaen proud! But the clear winner in the battle of talented producers is Pi’erre Bourne, who put together the instrumentals for four different tracks, including standouts Surf” and I’m Scared.” The former sounds like Pokémon on Ice, the latter like a Luther Vandross horror movie. Honorable mention goes out to Dj Durel’s beat for I Bought Her,” which includes some inspired 8-bit passages to temper its Risky Business mood lighting.
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.
Ahead of So Much Fun, Young Thug released a music video for The London” which featured J. Cole and Travis Scott He also made an appearance on Post Malone ‘s recent single Goodbyes” So Much Fun is Thug’s first full-length solo project since Beautiful Thugger Girls, but he released an EP called On The Rvn last year, along with the YSL compilation Slime Language To promote that album, Thug sent our office a friendly snake named Digits,” and sent other snakes to Noisey, Mass Appeal, and The FADER.
G-Eazy aside, the next generation of the Bay Area’s rappers shined. Kamaiyah was enthusiastically received in her hometown of Oakland, while Rolling Loud went wild for My Type,” the twerk-friendly summer hit from Saweetie, who grew up partly in the Bay Area. Despite rumors over the last year of a potential breakup, Vallejo’s SOBxRBE lit up the stage and appropriately closed out their set with Paramedic!,” the song from the Black Panther” soundtrack that pushed them from Bay Area favorite into hip hop’s mainstream. Each of the young acts offered a sense of the Bay Area sound, showcasing the continuing legacy of the Yay Area.
On February 26, 2014, Young Thug was arrested in Atlanta for possession of a controlled substance, driving without a seat belt, reckless conduct, and reckless driving.
The artist’s rushed set – he is clearly holding back ahead of his appearance at the Wireless festival this weekend – is nevertheless filled with reminders of why he is so highly thought of. Open up the mosh pit!” he instructs before launching into street anthem With That, spitting bars that reference Sonic the Hedgehog and washing-up detergent with real vigour. He smiles as chaos ensues, with one man’s hat flying into the abyss. Euphoric banger Wyclef Jean prompts even bigger singalongs, and Thug assumes a rockstar demeanour as he bounces across the stage.
Yet he frustrates as much as he entertains. His vocal delivery, which fluctuates between hyper-animated and just plain bored, leaves you wondering whether he is having the time of his life or just going through the motions. The fact that his performance comes to an abrupt end just a few seconds into latest single, The London , is also disappointing. You sense he is the kind of artist who enjoys experimenting in the studio more than on the stage, the latter feeling more like work than pleasure.
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.
Eyeballing the throne of Hip hop royalty, Young Thug began to create a sound and style that would inevitably place him on top. Young Thug’s catchy verses and raw lyrical talent distinguished noise from art, clearly being the latter his creations are the best that remain of Southern hip hop. He is the embodiment of the evolution of Southern hip-hop. Young Thug is the representative for a generation that doesn’t see hip-hop as a hobby but a lifestyle. Keeping true to himself, his art, and his home Young Thug will stand alone as the one true savior of the Southern movement.
Hot” serves as YSL Records label mates Young Thug’s and Gunna ‘s braggadocios and triumphant ode to their lifestyles. The song is the first of the two Gunna features on So Much Fun, and quickly turned out to be a standout track of the album.
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.
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.
Micah: I’m gonna assume you’re referring specifically to deep-space dread coursing through Imma Ride,” or the sci-fi horror synths that kick in two seconds into the chorus on Flava,” mutating a wistful, bright-eyed ballad-ish song into something more maniacal, and therefore, more fun. London was, as they say, on some (alien) other shit.
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.
The Bay Area edition of Rolling Loud, arguably the country’s biggest hip-hop music festival, took place this past weekend, offering a hyped — and packed — gathering across three stages at the Oakland Coliseum grounds. The third Rolling Loud to take place in the Bay Area, this year’s festival saw a star-studded lineup — Future, YG, Migos, Lil Uzi Vert , G-Eazy, and the like — collectively put on an impressive show, save for technical issues that marred a handful of high-profile sets. Here are nine highlights from the weekend.
Charity: His feud with Quan was the bigger mystery. I’ve always assumed Thug and Quan must have clashed while recording those songs; the vocals can sound so difficult, and I have to imagine Thug micromanaged Quan in many respects. I have to imagine they left everything on the field. Hence, I can’t quite imagine a proper sequel.
Since 2014, Thug’s career has been littered with leaks, as fans were able to hear over 80 leaked songs in 2015 (many of which were later re-released on Slime Season and its sequel ), then almost twice that many leaks each in 2018 and 2019. However, despite all these leaks, Thug has still managed to put out almost exclusively unheard material on all of his projects since 2016’s I’m Up , consistently releasing three projects a year.
Thug recently told Big Boy’s Neighborhood that the two rappers are unlikely to ever collaborate again due to personal issues. It’s nothing about music. It’s 100 percent personal. This was my brother. Now it’s like you can probably never get the blessing of having me on a song and I can never get the blessing of having you on a song again,” he said.
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.
But first, can we agree that Tha Tour Part 1 isn’t just the best collaborative rap project of the decade.” It’s the decade’s best rap album, and its most essential rap album, full stop.