Performing Saturday, April 22
Young Thug was born in Atlanta, Georgia and is the second youngest of his ten siblings. Jeffery Williams, which is his given name, later moved to the Jonesboro South projects where he developed his rapping skills. After releasing his first three mixtapes I Came From Nothing 1, 2 and 3 in 2011 and 2012, Thug caught the attention of veteran Atlanta rapper Gucci Mane, who introduced him as a new Artist in 2013.
Thug followed up with releasing a mixtape called 1017 Thug. The tape was met with positive reviews from music critics, which noted it for its original style. 1017 Thug was included in a number of year-end lists for 2013, such as Pitchfork’s Albums of the Year: Honorable Mention and Complex’s The 50 Best Albums of 2013. FACT called it the best mixtape of 2013, Rolling Stone placed it at number five on their 10 Best Mixtapes of 2013 and The Guardian placed it among The Five Best Mixtapes of 2013.
Thug’s song “Picacho” was noted as one of the standout tracks from the mixtape and, although not released as a single, was included on a number of 2013 year-end lists, such as Rolling Stone’s 100 Best Songs of 2013, Pitchfork’s The Top 100 Tracks of 2013, and Spin’s 50 Best Songs of 2013.
In July 2013, Complex included him in their list of 25 New Rappers to Watch Out For. On October 17, 2013, Thug released his debut single “Stoner”. The song spawned a number of unofficial remixes by rappers, such as Wale, Jim Jones, Jadakiss, Iamsu! and Trick-Trick. His song “2 B’s (Danny Glover)” also received a number of remixes by Waka Flocka Flame and Nicki Minaj, among others. In December 2013, Thug performed at Fool’s Gold Day Off show in Miami, among Danny Brown, Trick Daddy and Travis Scott.
Thug recorded a few songs with Kanye West, who had praised him for his ability to make songs so fast. In March of 2014, his single “Stoner” was serviced to rhythmic contemporary radio in the United States. His next two releases Hookah and 2 B’s (Danny Glover) also quickly climbed the charts. His collaborations have also been wildly successful; About the Money with TI did well on the Billboard charts, along with his smash hit Lifestyle with Rich Gang CEO Birdman and Rich Homie Quan, which reached a certified RIAA platinum status.
In March 2015 Young Thug co-headlined his first hard ticket sale tour along side another rising star in the rap industry, Travis Scott. The Rodeo Tour covered twenty-eight cities over a month’s time and received great reviews. Over the month’s span they had several celebrity guest appearances by the likes of Chris Brown, Rihanna, Kanye West, Birdman, and others.
On April 16, 2014 the highly controversial mixtape, The Barter 6, was released on ITunes. Though, its intention was to pay homage to the young Rappers idol, Lil Wayne, the media placed many spins on the projects titles true intent. Thug continues to be a focus for the media. When asked about how he feels about the constant criticism and judgment placed on him by “nay-sayers” and the media the surprisingly introverted Young Thug simply says “I’m going to continue to be me”. From his androgynous style of dress to his avant-garde style of rap, Young Thug continues to push the envelope of what the standard of Southern rap, or rap as a whole should be.