As it turns out, 3 Stacks not only agrees with Badu's comparison but in a new interview with Complex, the veteran emcee turned Tretorn footwear Creative Director cited Thug as a current inspiration, waxing poetic about his artistic bravery and courage.
Another inspiration, both stylistically and musically, is the aforementioned Young Thug, the fellow Atlanta MC whose eccentric mix of rapping, singing, and androgynous styling is arguably a direct descendant of André’s. “He’s exciting,” André says of Thug. “There’s no box. He’s all over the place. To do those things he does, you have to have big fuckin’ balls. It’s almost harder than the guy who’s portraying hard, you know? It’s kind of mind-fucking people. It’s saying, don’t get too comfortable with me. That’s one of my mottos: “Don’t let people get too comfortable with what you’re doing.”
Mind-fucking? Big fuckin' balls? To write that Young Thug has made quite the impression on 3000 would be the understatement of 2017.
Young Thug might not do numbers when it comes to releasing material, but his unique approach to hip-hop—and the way he has completely changed the perception of what a rap artist can do vocally—has had an undeniable effect on his peers. In just the past year, Thug has been mentioned in the same sentence as Kendrick Lamar and praised by veterans like Wyclef Jean, who compared him to Tupac, and Roc Marciano.
Beyond André 3000 praising Thug, however, the real lesson here is simple: Be yourself and don't let the industry label you.