There are two things I know to be true in this life: One, I love listening to Young Thug and two, I have no fucking clue why. As somebody who touts artistic creativity and independence in hip-hop and loathes the lack of such that currently defines the genre, Young Thug — on the surface — is the antithesis of what I stand for. However, beneath that surface, exists a rarely explored layer of Thug that draws my appeal. Of what this exactly is, though, I am not sure.
So, in an effort to explore this particular quandary, I searched high and low for somebody, anybody, wittingly funny enough and unequivocally handsome enough to help me answer the pressing questions in regards to my Young Thug fandom. After extensively scouring the universe for the perfect candidate, I settled upon one man: myself. So, below is an interview I conducted with myself about Young Thug, what makes him unique as an artist and a few other Thug-related topics. For the few of you who have yet to act upon your inclination to turn the page, I say good luck and enjoy.
Myles: So, I hear you enjoy listening Young Thug. Is that true?
Myles: Yes I do. I fucking love him, actually.
What do you love about him?
I just, I just think that he is — in all that he represents — an art form. His music, his appearance, his sound. It’s all so ugly. But this ugliness warps you into his unparagoned world and that makes it all sound so fucking beautiful at the same time. This fascinates me.
Is there any aspect of him which you find most appealing?
I mean, this isn’t a surprise at all, but it has to be his voice.
What about his voice, exactly?
Well shit, Thugger’s a straight up crooner, man! The manner in which he manages to shriek out melodies and return to a low, haunting drawl just seconds later is a skill wholly unique to his style. Listen to every track on the “Barter 6” and you’ll hear this done to perfection. It’s this ever-ranging voice that leaves you anticipating each line of his songs, man. It’s masterful.
Okay, that’s great, but I mean, no artist is perfect. There has to be something you dislike about Young Thug, no?
Well, every artist has their progressions man. Like even Kanye wasn’t Kanye right away, you know? It took time. And so with Thug, I would say we have yet to see him put together an album with a combined level of consistency with his lyrical content, delivery and his production. The potential is there it just hasn’t all fully come together yet.
You bring up Kanye and I’m glad because I know you recently wrote about the genius behind his album, “Late Registration.” Do you view Young Thug as having a similar stroke of genius?
Well first, I must you have done quite a bit of research on me, which I appreciate. Though, I think when it comes to two starkly different artists such as West and Thug, it’s hard to compare them directly. But they are definitely among those of a unique mold.
What separates them — more so Thug, specifically — from other hip-hop artists, then?
There is a very unparagoned quality about their music, stylistically. Yeah, as I said, Thug and Kanye are entirely different artists, but there does exist a distinct quality about each of their sounds on all levels. In the world of hip hop — or even music, in general — where molds are often created for one artist and continually refilled by countless others, this stand-out quality is quite rare.
In that case, does Thug’s lack of widespread mainstream appeal add to your interest in him?
I mean, I suppose this can add to his allure for some. But in a word, no … And honestly, to be living our lives liking or disliking a piece of work due to it’s popularity or lack thereof is a huge injustice to ourselves. Whatever music — or no, better yet, whatever sound — appeals to you is fluid and should be approached as such.
This is true, but it is undeniable that mainstream hip hop does have a particular sound or consistently languid subject matter, no?
It does, man. But, tell me, since when is having a “particular sound” or subject matter grounds for immediate distaste? Again, there is no singularly uniform manner for which we should find art appealing. To abide by some nonexistent criteria for such is unfair to yourself and to an artist like Young Thug, who shouldn’t be placed in a box.
You seem upset.
I’m not. I just really fucking detest that hipster mentality.
Well, on the topic of stepping outside the box, what are your thoughts on Thug selling an image of homosexuality?
I think it’s genius, honestly. I mean, Young Thug isn’t gay. I think we all know that. But by keeping around the question of “what if?” he only adds to the enigma that he has become. The stereotypical women’s clothes he wears, the lyrics that make you say “pause” … it’s all part of his act and he’s damn good at selling it.
I agree it is cool. But, like, does it not bother you at all that this “act” of Thug’s isn’t as genuine as what we see from, say, an artist like J. Cole?
Would you like me to repeat the ques—
(interrupts) Let’s … let’s just move on.
Well, no, I mean … I think it’s an important question to ask. Young Thug offers very little genuine substance both within his music and in what he sells himself as. As a hip-hop fan, isn’t that ingenuity bothersome?
I think that’s a very offensive question to ask, honestly.
Because you’re pitting your own biases of an artist against them and those who enjoy his music.
Okay, well, I didn’t mean t—
(interrupts) Sure, you didn’t mean to, but that’s what came out. And that’s an issue.
Look, sometimes artists — in the most basic sense — are what they are. If you’re listening to Young Thug waiting for him to drop some contemplative lines about feminism or the poverty-induced drug epidemic then you’ll be very disappointed. Because his own background and story doesn’t tie into that. The concept of being “genuine” is all relative to one’s own experience and it’s terribly unfair to fault an artist for not expressing theirs in a manner that you view as palpable.
So, regardless, you would agree that Young Thug is not much of a deep-thinking rapper, right?
Jesus Christ, man. I asked you to do this interview because you seemed like the type who could actually ask a decent question without any hidden agenda. But again, no I disagree. There is plenty of honesty within Young Thug’s music but if you’re listening to him and hoping to get contemplative, you’ll be disappointed. Thug’s tales of his own experience definitely exist throughout his music but they’re often intentionally disguised by loosely thrown together hooks, cheap wordplay and a few senseless lines.
Well, where do they exist?
Well, try tracks like “Hey, I” and “Never Made Love” where both reveal Thug’s conflicting views on love and relationships. On one — “Hey, I” — he expresses his need for companionship and on the other he opens about his inner jealousy and nagging fear of falling in love. If you take the time, you’ll find a candid layer to Young Thug’s music that most — including yourself — assume doesn’t exist.
I’ll take your word for it. Switching on you, those two tracks you just mentioned are you on last week’s release, “Slime Season 2,” no?
I understand you just recently listened to that mixtape, is this true?
It is. And I must say, while I don’t agree with your biases, the fair amount of research you have done on me is quite flattering.
Thanks. What were your thoughts of the tape?
I think “Slime Season 2” is honestly one of his most listenable projects to date. The entire mixtape is probably about a half hour too long but there is actual development and thematic continuity throughout that partially makes up for that — which is a cool wrinkle in his progression as an artist.
Again, I’ll take your word for it. Any final thoughts?
Thanks for the interview. Also, you really should cut your hair and get a real job.