Photo: Young Thug; YouTube

Introducing ‘Rhyme nor Reason’ – a SONGLYRICS’ look at lyricists that make us want to jam a pencil in our brain. Or as a man named Shakespeare once wrote: ‘Was there ever any man thus beaten out of season/When in the why and the wherefore is neither rhyme nor reason?’


22-year-old Jeffery Williams (a.k.a Young Thug) is sitting pretty right now. The I Came From Nothing series, along with nods from guys like Future and Gucci Mane, have stamped his ticket to the top – some even going as far as calling him the second coming of Lil Wayne. It’s a little much at this point, and the hype is just far too overstated to ignore.

Despite the gobs of media attention, which include his placement on many publications’ Artists to Watch’ lists, there are enough warning signs to suggest that all this glory is a tad premature if not totally unwarranted.

For starters the originality of his creative direction is suspect. The overused “Young” title – JeezyBuck, Dro, etc. - for example, is a death sentence within itself. It’s committing yourself almost exclusively to youthful endeavors, leaving no room for maturation. To grow out of it means to grow out of your lifestyle, your identity and eventually your paycheck.

The name of his first three albums also fall victim to a titling snafu. How many times does a rapper need to explain that they’ve come from nothing. It’s a vainglorious dot on a resume that can hardly be taken seriously anymore:

album_trio

The generic nature of his being is suggesting that there’s nothing of interest behind the Young Thug persona. After all his first three shots at it was him emulating Lil Wayne in every way possible. And sure, every artist is influenced by someone, but to bite without chewing, meaning to not let the style digest, is bush league.

Take your pick of any verse on his first three albums and what you’ll find is him senselessly indulging in unabashed mimicry. “Ooooorr” is a particularly sloppy heist with a classic case of the pot calling the kettle black: [LISTEN]

"Ooooorr"

Young Thug and those around him believe him to be a counterculture figure, someone who defies norms and tradition. But everything about his cadence and style including his queer rap persona is phony. He’s not an iconoclast so much as he is a lazy amalgam of withering trends.

His latest mixtape 1017 Thug is another ear sore. It’s almost better to set off a live grenade next to your ear than to subjugate yourself to what is essentially the burning of hot garbage set to a really shitty beat.The hit song on the album “Picacho” reads like it was written by a 12-year-old: [LISTEN]

"Picacho"

What’s being lauded as unique and refreshing is merely sensationalism at its finest. It’s almost laughable in its absurdity. Take a moment to consider Dave Chappelle (as Sir Smoka Lot) parodying the cliché rap persona on “Samson Gets Me Lifted:” [LISTEN]

"Samson Gets Me Lifted"

Compare that to a song like “2 Cups Stuffed,” and what you have is art imitating life in the saddest way possible: [LISTEN]

"2 Cops Stuffed"

Young Thug is attempting to sell a product that anyone with a larynx, a cheap mic and a computer could do. At best he’ll max out in two, maybe three years, to which he’ll then be replaced by someone just like him. It’s the classic formula that major label CEOs have run on rappers for years, and something Young Thug will not be exempt from until he realizes just what type of unfortunate game is being run on him.