Young Thug may already have supplanted Lil Wayne as the most important rapper out there. He plays Showbox SoDo Tuesday, March 31.
Young Thug has a generic name, but he is one of the fastest-rising, most polarizing characters in modern rap. He hits Seattle with the chameleonic Travi$ Scott Tuesday, March 31.
The young rapper was unavailable for a phone interview, but here are five things you should know about him:
1. Early life: He was born Jeffrey Williams in 1992, in Atlanta, the second youngest of 11 children and grew up in the notorious Jonesboro South housing projects in the city’s Zone 3, home to notable rappers Waka Flocka Flame, 2 Chainz, Ludacris and PeeWee Longway.
Young Thug, Travi$ Scott
8 p.m. Tuesday, March 31, at Showbox SoDo, 1426 First Ave. S., Seattle; $29.50 advance (888-929-7849 or showboxpresents.com).
2.Must-listen: His first mixtape, “I Came From Nothing,” came out in 2011, but the follow-up, “I Came From Nothing 2,” with its oddball style and creative, envelope-pushing vocal delivery, ranging from mumbled slang drawls to dancehall-inflected wails, is a must-listen and is regarded by many as his best work.
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3. Yelping hooks: His big break came in 2013, when Atlanta street-rap legend Gucci Mane signed Thug to the 1017 Brick Squad imprint and released his “1017 Thug” mixtape, which has a darker, more trap-oriented sound but still plenty of yelping hooks and inventive punchlines (check “2 Cups Stuffed,” “Nigeria” and “Picacho” for prime examples).
4. You’re wearing what? With a fashion sense as unconventional as his rapping, Young Thug can regularly be seen on his Instagram account rocking painted fingernails, skintight jeans or a kids-size dress as a shirt, which, along with his habit of regularly referring to close male friends as “hubbie” or “lover” has led to rumors about his sexual orientation. But so what?
5. Label madness: He’s really calling his upcoming album “The Carter 6,” even though the “Carter” series is the turf of Lil Wayne, whom Thug has shouted out as his “favorite rapper” and with whom he collaborated on the track “Take Kare.” Because Wayne is currently in a dispute with Ca$h Money label head Brian “Birdman” Williams, Young Thug’s “The Carter 6” could see release before “Carter 5,” and Thug could be set to take Wayne’s spot among rap’s elite.