This is Jeffery. Jeffery is weird. He often goes by Young Thug, and though that name may sound generic to a satirical extent, only a moniker so broad and emblematic of our music-media culture is even close to containing the persona that is Thugger. Rapper, producer, and fashion icon – Young Thug exemplifies and exploits the trend in our modern music industry that separates legends such as Kanye West from seasonal stars – he is first and foremost an individual. He is a force to be reckoned with, and he will (let’s pray) be lighting up the Spring Weekend stage on Friday, April 28th.
Jeffery Lamar Williams first came onto his hometown rap scene in 2011 with his I Came From Nothing mixtape series, and since then, the 25-year-old has risen beyond the Atlanta scene into the mainstream. Collaborating with the likes of Kanye, Drake, Migos, Gucci Mane, and Birdman, Young Thug has been commended for his ridiculous output, having released six full-length mixtapes since 2015. He’s been said to make a hit in ten minutes and withhold writing lyrics, aside from shapes and drawings (Charlie Kelly style), so expect the unexpected when it comes to his performance. Believe it or not, he has yet to release a studio album, though his debut album, Thug, is expected to drop this year. Maybe there will be a sneak preview in the books?
Thug’s musical style is at once his most original invention and his greatest source of criticism. As exemplified in one of his first hits, Best Friend (above), and more recently in Digits, Thug is known for his xanned-out, often incoherent vocal contortions reminiscent of Lil’ Wayne.
Though it is undeniable that his hooks make you want to bounce, people either love his voice or can’t stand it. As Thug has made his way into the pop-music world, he has adapted his style to a broader audience, notably in his recent features on Drake’s Sacrifices as well as Calvin Harris’ Heatstroke, a change that fans of new and old will both appreciate.
Examining Young Thug’s fashion sense lends as much insight into his personality as his music does. Synthesizing gangster style with high fashion, Thug is nothing short of a trend-setter. Picture above, Thug adorns an androgynous dress designed by Alessandro Trincone on the cover of his latest mixtape, JEFFERY. Having stated “I feel like there’s no such thing as gender,” Young Thug prefers to wear women’s and children’s clothing. He is rather unconcerned with masculinity and maleness when it comes to being a “thug”, challenging a major theme in rap music and culture.
He has an unwavering sense of what he thinks is cool, and if you disagree, others will likely flock to his side. He exudes confidence and swagger, and he knows how to make you dance. Show up on Friday for a raucous, possibly confusing musical performance, but more importantly show up to watch Thugger be his damn self.