10 years into the game and there’s still nobody like Young Thug
Who is Thugger Thugger?
A man as eccentric as he is presentable. Jovial as he is fearsome. Questioned as much as he is respected. For the self-named “SEX,” a lot is a mystery, but one way to delve deeper into the talented rapper, singer, songwriter and producer, is to look at who he draws inspiration from, and how he builds his craft from there.
Young Thug (aka Jeffrey Lamar Williams) is the prototypical rap artist of this half-decade. Even earlier than this, auto-tune melodies, mumble-rap and more frenzied beats were evident in rap music, with artists like Kanye West breaking the mold. But Young Thug created an even newer style: one where it is okay to rap about nonsense, wear whatever the hell you want and create music in an unconventional manner.
Lil Yachty, Lil Uzi Vert, Lil Baby and Gunna are just some of the names that can thank Thugger for his groundbreaking work and creativity. But where did the fabled SEX get his inspiration from? Was it from one source in his early career, or has Jeffrey always been this way?
Thugger’s style brings images of David Bowie and Prince. In his album Jeffrey, Thug donned a dress, which has led to the media calling him “gender fluid” and “androgynous.”
Thug has cited Gucci Mane, Kanye West, and most notably Lil Wayne as inspirations in his music. The rap-style of Wayne is evident in Thug’s verses, as he creates patterns and rhythms with words that are similar to the ones that got Wayne branded as the GOAT by many. Thug may have gotten rap inspiration from Wayne, but his singing ability and proficiency in creating hot melodies/choruses is almost unrivaled in the hip-hop industry.
One star pop singer that Thug can relate to and has collaborated with is Sir Elton John, a man that has compared Thugger to John Lennon. Elton John is one of the most successful artists of all time, and his style was almost as unorthodox as Thug’s is.
In 2018, Thug met John in his Atlanta apartment and they hit the ground running. Thugger wanted to sample John’s song “Rocket Man,” and John was happy to help. That collaboration created “High,” a beautiful track that highlights the talent of both artists.
It is a song that floats in the clouds, hangs in the air as John’s vocals run into Thugger’s falsetto.
“I love it when you sing,” John told Thug that day. “Your singing is special.”
SEX’s most recent album, released just this past week, titled So Much Fun, is emblematic of the layered and trail-blazing style that helps define him. With 19 tracks of pure bliss, we get new sounds we’ve never heard before. So Much Fun also showcases Thugger as a brilliant producer, one who knows which artists to put on which songs; what beats and melodies they can be their best selves on.
But with all his talent and industry respect, Thugger is not without his enemies. Rapper YFN Lucci, who Thug has beefed with before, posted “CAP ASS ALBUM,” after hearing So Much Fun.
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Thugger took to his own Instagram page to respond: “@yfn if ain like what u do for your mother and kids I WOULDVE BEEN KILLED U,” followed by some laughing emojis.
One can’t mistake his singing and eccentric, androgynous style for him being soft. It’s pretty clear Thugger believes everything he says and stands behind it all, something that seems more and more uncommon with rap artists nowadays.
SEX’s complexity is part of what gives him his cult following. Not everyone is a fan, but those who like Thugger LOVE him, and the rap industry is full of artists who can and have directly thanked Thugger for putting them on. Artists in Atlanta hold it down for each other like no other city.
So when you look at Thugger Thugger, you can’t just take a peek through the window. He requires and deserves your full attention and respect. Because with SEX, you never know what you’re going to get next. And that is just one of the things we love about him.