Hip Hop Culture for Grown-Ups
Words by Tony Grands
When I tell people I enjoy Young Thug’s music, I receive numerous, virtually immediate responses:
“I don’t believe you.”
“I though you stopped drinking, dawg…”
“WHAT?! Nigga’s trash. He ain’t real Hip Hop.”
Yes, it is true, I like Young Thug’s music. & not in some weirdo “I. Must. Be. Different!” type of way, either. Whether you give credit to the musical production or the lyrics & delivery, I get a kick out of listening to Thugga. Maybe it’s because I’ve been listening to rap music since it began & totally understand that dynamics & paradigms MUST shift in order for the culture — any culture — to continually thrive. & to show that I’m coherent about my musical selection, I don’t listen to Thug around my kids & I turn him down at red lights. I call that “the Lil Wayne treatment,” & we’ll discuss what that is a little later.
I think what first drew my ear to his sound was the incessant mumbling that he peddles. (Literally, he gets paid God knows how much loot to babble incoherently to catchy music. Incredible.) It’s like a tractor beam or audio cleavage; I just can’t turn away. From there, he seems to hypnotize me — like a dentist’s drill — with sing-songy blather, & the mere fact that I can’t understand what the f✌ck he is whining about 89% of the time intrigues me. It’s a syrupy ghetto siren, & the sweet irony of it all is that Young Thug has rewindability for the same reason your favorite technical rapper does: because you’re not quite sure what you just heard. For what it’s worth, these analogies don’t apply to Rich Homie Quan because in my opinion, he’s a decent rap cat. But for the sake of following the narrative, he must be lumped in with Young Thug. The universe has already commanded it.
If you ask me, the whole fallout between
Overseer Baby Cash Money Records’ CEO Baby “Birdman” Williams & Lil Wayne all began to surface when Young Thug meandered his way into Birdman’s line of creative sight. Sure, Wayne says it’s because Cash Money Records won’t release his highly-anticipated Carter V, but the timing of it all seems a bit peculiar. Is the push-back a result of Baby spending too much time & having too much fun with YT? I won’t go as far as to say Lil Wayne was/is jealous, but he has probably been getting catered to for so long & in such a creepy, Chester the Molester-type of way that when Thugga came around, Wayne’s garishments & flourishments depleted severly. Science. The newfound lack of knobpolishingism sent Weezy into a codeine-enhanced temper tantrum, which went viral via Twitter. Wayne has plans to take Birdman Sr. to court over his obviously faulty paperwork, & all jokes aside, that’s crazy. Nobody could’ve saw this coming. From my vantage point, Lil Wayne got out-Lil Wayned by a young dude who idolizes him & Birdman is pimping & pandering as usual basking in the possible future fiscal glory of the situation.
Of course, this is only speculation.
Now, Young Thug — along with his ace boon coon Rich Homie Quan have seemingly replaced Wayne, Nicki, & Drake as Baby’s favorite babies. It makes total sense to me. Without getting unnecessarily conspiracy theory-y on a Friday afternoon, let’s take a real look at the reality of Thug replacing Lil Wayne. This is why Thug gets “the Lil Wayne treatment,” because they are the same person.
Immediately one can’t ignore the similar generalities in both men. If you gave a brief description of one of them it could easily apply to the other one.
& no, that’s not racist because it’s true. They both have dreads, though Thug’s appear to be much more distressed & weathen-beaten, which works excellently with the fact that he looks like he stinks. I’ve heard him say some filthy things on record, & I believed every gross word of it. That’s hardcore rapper 101: become the character. & apparently his character is a slightly Rastafarian Pig Pen.
& remember when Wayne was running around a guitar on his shoulder & a voice modulation tube shoved in his throat? Half of those songs were trash can crumbs because we couldn’t understand anything he was saying. Obviously it piqued peeps’ curiosity because his popularity spiked a bit & he began to crossover. That image eventually faded, as did Skateboard Weezy & his Mountain Dew-fueled adventures of trying to be the country’s most reconizable Oreo MC. These days, Weezy is relentlessly promoting genocide & suicide, track after track while Thug is mumbling awkwardly about how much poontang he gets. Much like Troy Ave to 50 Cent, Thug is a throwback to Wayne’s glory days. Advantage: Young Thug
Weezy, in rapper years, is old. Old as shit, if you wanna throw around technical terms. He’s damn near the rap game Morgan Freeman.
The fact that he finally realized how cannibalistic his contact is shows growth & maturity as an artist & a business man. Growth & maturity are mortal enemies of the dastardly record executive, whose job it is to chain you up & work you to death. Simply put, Lil Wayne knows he is no longer little & wants to be compensated as such. Meanwhile Thug & Quan sound like sex, drugs, & cars is all the paycheck they need. I’ll bet that Birdman buys ’em shit instead of pays them, like Suge Knight did to his artists until the day he filed for bankruptcy. Young Thug is a fresh fish on the line. Wayne is old news. Advantage: Young Thug.
& no pop star’s machine is complete without their very own rumblings of homosexuality. America seems to have developed a bloodlust for catapaulting stars into the limelight after they announce that they are gay. Unless your name is Michael Sam. Young Thug takes full opportunity with this odd obsession & seems to say more “gay” things than the people who really live that lifestyle. Is man-love a marketing scheme nowadays? Or is Thug really ’bout that life? As long as we can’t say for sure, he’s winning, like it or not. Meanwhile Wayne has 25 kids. We know he’s not gay, even if he pretends to be. Advantage: Young Thug
There are a few more examples, but you smell my cologne. Young Thug has climbed his way to the top of Mouth Full of Hot Marbles mountain & to celebrate his success, he’s going to singlehandedly destroy Cash Money Records.
“Industry Rule #4080: Record company people are shady.” – Kamaal Ibn John Fareed
Words by Tony Grands
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