Jeffrey Williams (born August 9, 1992), better known by his stage name Young Thug, is an American rapper from Atlanta, Georgia. He is known for the single "Stoner", as well as his collaborations with fellow Southern rappers, such as Rich Homie Quan, Birdman, Waka Flocka Flame, Gucci Mane, Young Scooter, Shy Glizzy, Migos, Travi$ Scott and T.I. Young Thug signed a record deal with Gucci Mane's 1017 Brick Squad Records, an Asylum/Atlantic imprint, in early 2013. He gained major recognition in 2014, after being featured on a string of singles, including "About the Money" and "Lifestyle", the latter of which peaked at number 16 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Young Thug was born Jeffrey Williams on August 9, 1992, in Atlanta, Georgia; the second youngest of his ten siblings. Williams is from Sylvan Hills, a neighborhood in Atlanta (Zone 3).
2011-2013: Early career and record deal:
After releasing the first three installments of his mixtape series I Came From Nothing throughout 2011 and 2012, Young Thug caught the attention of fellow Atlanta-based rapper Gucci Mane, who went on to sign Young Thug to his label 1017 Brick Squad Records, an Asylum/Atlantic imprint, in 2013. Thug subsequently released his first project on the label, his fourth mixtape, 1017 Thug. The mixtape 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.
Young Thug's song "Picacho", was noted as one of the standout tracks from the mixtape, although it was not released as a single, the song 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. In October 2013, Young Thug released his commercial debut single "Stoner". The song spawned a number of unofficial remixes by several rappers, including Wale, Jim Jones, Jadakiss, Iamsu! and Trick-Trick, among others. Thug expressed his disapproval for the remixes, commenting "If you feel like my song isn't tough enough to the point where you have to freestyle... Don't think I'm happy that you're doing it because of who you are. I'm ready for war." His song "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.
2014-present: Rise to popularity and label issues:
On January 18, 2014, Young Thug revealed that he was offered $1.5 million to sign to Future's Freebandz record label and is uncertain about his current label status with 1017 Brick Squad Records. In March 2014, Young Thug's affiliation with Cash Money Records and its chief executive officer (CEO) Birdman, resulted in much speculation in the media about him signing to the label. However, the label's publicist later stated this was untrue. On March 28, 2014, Ronald "Caveman" Rosario, director of Urban Music at 101 Distribution, cleared the situation, stating that Young Thug signed a management deal with Birdman's Rich Gang, not a record deal, and is still signed to 1017 Brick Squad.
In 2014, Thug also recorded several songs with Kanye West, who praised him for his ability to make songs so fast. Thug announced that he has upcoming mixtapes with Rich Homie Quan, Chief Keef and Bloody Jay. Young Thug would go on to be featured on the March 2014 cover of The Fader. On March 11, 2014, his debut single "Stoner", was serviced to rhythmic contemporary radio in the United States by Asylum and Atlantic Records. On March 24, 2014, Thug stated his debut album would be titled Tha Carter VI, referencing the highly acclaimed Tha Carter album series, by American hip hop superstar Lil Wayne, who has been the biggest influence in Young Thug's music career. Two days later, it was revealed that Young Thug was working on a collaborative album with American record producer Metro Boomin, which is titled Metro Thuggin and set for release in spring 2014. The first song from the project, titled "The BLanguage", uses elements from Canadian rapper Drake's "The Language", was released the same day. In April 2014, Young Thug released a new 808 Mafia-produced song titled "Eww", which was named one of the five best songs of the week by XXL. The song was announced to be featured on Thug's debut album, including a guest verse by rapper Drake.
Later his affiliation with Cash Money Records caused trouble. After rapper Lil Wayne filed a $51 million lawsuit against Birdman, Wayne released a diss track, "Coco", aimed towards Birdman. The track imitates Thug's style.
On June 17, 2014, Kevin Liles confirmed that Young Thug had been officially signed to his and Lyor Cohen's label 300 Entertainment. On July 1, 2014, Asylum Records and Atlantic Records officially released Young Thug's 2013 fan-favorite song "Danny Glover", re-titling it "2 Bitches". Also on July 1, Mass Appeal Records released "Old English", the first single from their compilation album Mass Appeal Vol. 1, which features Young Thug alongside fellow American rappers ASAP Ferg and Freddie Gibbs. On October 16, 2014, the first single from Cash Money Records Rich Gang 2 compilation, was released titled "Take Kare," featuring Young Thug and Lil Wayne. The December 4, 2014 issue of Rolling Stone called Young Thug the "most exciting new voice of hip-hop" and "hip-hop's new crown prince." At the end of the year, music critic Robert Christgau named Black Portland, Young Thug's collaborative mixtape with Bloody Jay, the fourth best album of 2014.
Thug's debut album was said to be named Tha Carter VI, a continuation of Lil Wayne's upcoming album, Tha Carter V. He said he plans to carry on the torch, when Lil Wayne said he planned to retire after the release of Tha Carter V. Lil Wayne, however, wasn't happy about the tribute, telling the audience of a show in April 2015 to "stop listening" to Young Thug. After claiming he's been threatened with lawsuits, Young Thug announced that he was changing the title to Barter 6 and that it would be a mixtape rather than his debut album.
Thug is known for his eccentric and diverse, sing-song style.XXL called him a "rap weirdo" and "the standout guest appearance in Gucci Mane's Trap God 2 and Waka Flocka Flame's DuFlocka Rant 2", commenting that "Thug's charisma, unhinged flow and hooks make his music intriguing." Pitchfork also called his style "extraordinarily distinctive" and wrote that "What Young Thug brings to the table, then, isn't just a weird, experimental approach to rapping, but presence, persona, mystique, and, potentially, star power."The Fader described his music, saying "In a typical Young Thug verse, he slurs, shouts, whines and sings, feverishly contorting his voice into a series of odd timbres like a beautifully played but broken wind instrument." Thug usually uses Auto-Tune in his songs.
Young Thug has cited American rapper Lil Wayne, as his biggest idol and influence. In an interview with Complex magazine he says, "I want to get in the studio with Wayne more than anybody in the world."
On February 26, 2014, Young Thug was arrested in Atlanta for possession of a controlled substance, driving without a seat belt, reckless conduct, and reckless driving. Fanart Banner