One of this generation’s most influential artists in hip-hop, Young Thug has been pushing the boundaries and changing the image of what a rapper is for the past five years. This Atlanta rapper has influenced some of the latest chart-topping artists from Playboi Carti, Gunna, Lil Uzi Vert, and Lil Baby. Thug released his first official single titled “Stoner” which became a hit and peaked at 47 on the Hot 100. The year 2014 was a monster one for Thug as he released tracks like “About the Money”, “Hookah” and was featured in many more tracks. Thug released many projects this year including a collab mixtape with Bloody Jay titled Black Portland. In the same year, Thug connected with Rich Homie Quan and created Rich Gang: Tha Tour Pt. 1, which featured platinum singles like “Lifestyle” and “Imma Ride”.
The following year, Young Thug released a somewhat controversial mixtape titled Barter 6 paying homage to Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter series. Critics loved the mixtape, and it was well received by the community. Barter 6 featured hit songs like “Check” and “Halftime” featuring artists like Jacquees, Birdman, T.I, Young Dolph, and many more. Thug would continue this hot streak and release two more mixtapes before the end of the year titled Slime Season 1 and Slime Season 2. Many of Thug’s hardcore fans would say these projects are Thug at his best.
Thug’s creative presence wouldn’t go unnoticed in 2016. Another artist known as one of the most artistic and influential artists in maybe the past 20 years took notice of Thug- Kanye West. Kanye praised Thug on his versatility and worked with him on his album titled The Life of Pablo on the track titled “Highlights.” Thug had hit superstar status and released three mixtapes that year titled I’m Up, Jeffery, and continued the Slime Season series with Slime Season 3. Thug worked with superstar Drake on his mixtape/playlist titled More Life on tracks such as “Sacrifices” and “Ice Melts”.
Young Thug reinvented himself in 2017 and released “Beautiful Thugger Girls” which was executive produced by Drake. The song demonstrated Thug experimenting with vocals featuring country-like tracks titled “Family Don’t Matter” featuring Millie Go Lightly and “Tomorrow Til Infinity “ featuring Gunna. This album was a change of tone for a typical Thug project as it has a smoother R&B feel when compared to his earlier work. This was also the year Thug earned his first-ever No. 1 record by being featured on Camila Cabello’s “Havana.” This record went No. 1 in 27 countries and went 6x platinum in the U.S. Thug would go on to release a joint EP with DJ Carnage titled Young Martha and a joint mixtape with Future titled Super Slimey.
This year, Thug initially said he wouldn’t release any music, but had a change of heart as he’s released two projects this year titled Hear No Evil and On the Rvn, and a compilation album with his record label, YSL, titled Slime Language. Young Thug continues to have a heavy impact on music and fashion as his artistic style cannot be grouped or defined. Each time you try to figure him out or box him in, he switches up on you leaving guessing on how his next project or track will sound. Mr. Jeffery will continue to influence the youth and expand his brand to new boundaries. Thug’s sales numbers don’t represent his impact to music as it’s hard to market a unique artist like Thug, and sadly, he may not be appreciated until after his run is over. If you want to know where to start listening to Young Thug here’s his essentials.