Turn Up Friday Artist Spotlight: Young Thug
Five of the best from one of music’s most intriguing and polarising acts.
Hailing from the Mecca of trap music - Atlanta, Georgia - the divisive act known as Young Thug has very quickly emerged to be one of the trap sound’s signature names. Beyond that, Young Thug has succeeded in making his name and his persona one of the more coveted and curious within the music industry as a whole. Whether it be wearing a woman’s dress whilst performing or turning the tables on one time idol Lil Wayne and starting a publicised beef - Young Thug has proved himself capable of anything. Certainly most though, perhaps, he has continued to prove himself an increasingly talented and capable artist, and perhaps the arguable leader of the ‘turned up’ movement. Which might not even be a real movement, but you're here now, so deal with it.
Young Thug - Danny Glover
If a notable launching spot exists from which Young Thug embarked on his now meteoric rise - this is it. Catching the ears of big industry names (including Childish Gambino, who shouted out the track during a radio interview in 2013), this was Young Thug before anybody knew who Young Thug really was. The fact that this track was able to shift so quickly over from a Soundcloud buzzing track from a relatively unknown artist, to a track finding Nicki Minaj on the remix, is an astounding testament to both the artist and his track.
Or, in other words, this goes hard as fuck
Young Thug, A$AP Ferg & Freddie Gibbs - Old English (Prod. Salva & Nick Hook)
Is Young Thug helped out on this track by the talents of A$AP Ferg and Freddie Gibbs? Yes. Is this track, taken from the first compilation mix to emerge from Nas’ Mass Appeal Records imprint, helped by the production teamwork between Salva & Nick Hook? Also yes. But Young Thug still manages to make himself, and his sound, stand out. Which is no mean feat, by any stretch, considering the crowd he finds himself working with here. This is a banger, in the best way.
Young Thug - Drippin’
Ripped straight from the Slime Season 3 tape that Young Thug released earlier this year, Drippin’ is (at least to my ear) one of the single best Young Thug tracks released. And he’s released a whole lot of them, it must be said, with Thugger’s prolific output now having been a major talking point since his emergence on to the music scene. There are, without question, a fair share of misses in Young Thug’s catalogue - which is sure to be expected of anybody, let alone someone with Thugger’s output - but when Young Thug hits, he hits hard. Hearing him scream on this track is like the musical equivalent of… Well, there’d probably be a fair amount of dripping involved with that as well.
Young Thug feat. Meek Mill - Digits (Remix)
Speaking of Slime Season 3, not long after Young Thug let his EP/Tape/Album loose on the Internet - he threw a remix to one of its highlight tracks out in to the fray, featuring none other than Philadelphia’s Meek Mill. “So what?” you might say. Well, it’s worth noting that it takes some considerable doing to make Meek Mill’s ‘shout rap’ approach to music listenable, and Thugger achieves the feat here with an understated ease. Love him or hate him, it has to be stated that Young Thug oozes charisma in his music with an ease that is, otherwise, extraordinarily rare. Such is his talent at holding a song that, at any given time, his music doesn't necessarily even need to be good to be, well, pretty good. But this? This is goood (the extra ‘o’ stands for ‘oh wow’, FYI).
Tyga feat. Young Thug - Hookah
Poor Tyga, between his failed relationship with Kylie Jenner, his penchant for releasing generally terrible music and showing up hours late to his own headline shows (Sydney 2016, I see you), he doesn't have a lot of positives in his life. Unless, of course, you count his multiple riches, which he does on his so-called ‘music’ frequently. Here, though? Young Thug stole his song from him. In broad daylight, right in front of all of us - Young Thug tore the hookah straight out of Tyga’s hands. You might get top billing on paper, Tyga, but Young Thug still sonned you on your own track. Swell!
*Special Mention* Jamie xx feat. Young Thug & Popcaan - I Know There’s Gonna Be (Good Times)
This would be the most obvious choice for a Young Thug list, wouldn't it? This song was/is a certified smash, and for good reason. However, the obviousness of it bumps it down to a special mention. Why? No reason, I just think your turn up Friday needed six doses of Young Thug. And who doesn't want to end on the note of good times?
**Extra Special Mention** Young Thug - Gangster Shit
I know what you're thinking. What did I do to deserve two extra turn up songs? The answer is pretty much not a lot, you probably won't even chuck this list a like on Facebook. But when you're bent over tomorrow morning chucking up your guts because you've enjoyed a turned up night out, you’ll think of this list. On which, after everything else, you still get a slice of the latest heat from the almighty Young Thug. Where this track lands - whether it be on Young Thug’s debut ‘official’ album Hy!£UN35 or on another upcoming project - who knows. But are you really worried when it sounds this good?