During the weeks leading up to the release of Young Thug’s latest project, Jeffery, we began to notice a shift in the way Thugger was presenting himself.
Increasingly, we saw Thug dressed in high fashion—modeling dresses on billboards and even his own album cover—rather than shirtless and brandishing a firearm. As recently as last month, Thugger spoke with Travis Scott on his .Wav Radio Beats 1 program about becoming aware of the example he sets for the youth.
By all accounts, it looked like Thug had become self-aware of the potential detriment of his persona, and was working towards something that transcended his street-savvy roots; a self-proclaimed “Michael Jackson mentality.”
With a recent Instagram post promoting his tour (in the weirdest way ever), however, it seems as though Thugger’s talk of cleaning up his image was just that.
Listen, I don’t think anyone expected Thug to pull a one-eighty overnight and forego everything that made him who he is today. Hip-hop as an artistic representation of its contributors’ surroundings is a super important aspect of the culture that we’ve highlighted time after time.
I do, however, expect someone who has since come to his senses about the effects his actions and words have on the youth to not double back and trivialize the same pointless violence that plagues so many of the families supporting his career.
As an artist, you’re always going to be judged by the public, but at the end of the day the only standards you’re ultimately held to are those you create yourself. I wouldn’t have these expectations if Thug had stuck to his guns (literally and metaphorically) and not offered the verbal hope of a changed man.
I don’t know what I can reasonably expect from Young Thug. I’m still a fan of his music and I’m far from demonizing him for the same thing that countless other artists I consider myself a fan of have done. I’m just disappointed at what looks to be a regression.
By Brent Bradley. Follow him on Twitter.
Photo Credit: Instagram