Hometown: Atlanta, GA
Active Since: 2010
Label: 1017 Brick Squad
Twitter Handle: @YoungThugWorld
Essential Listening: 1017 Thug
Pros: Can make incredibly weird-sounding songs that are also somehow very catchy.
Cons: Can lapse into making average, uninteresting music.
According to Gucci Mane, he was so struck by Atlanta's Young Thug that he tracked down and recruited the younger rapper to his 1017 Brick Squad label personally. It's easy to see what was so attractive to Gucci: Young Thug has an unbridled sense of energy and originality.
This distinctive characteristic is most evident in Thug's voice, which routinely transitions between a Danny Brown-esque squawk and a more 1017-appropriate southern drawl. Sonically, he is the loud clapping lighting to Gucci's rolling thunder. While Thug's pleasing weirdness was present on his I Came From Nothing mixtapes (particularly Vol. 2), it has become more fully formed on his recent 1017 Thug tape, especially on standouts like "Picachu" and "2 Cups Stuffed." There is an obviously unique creativity and sonic skill, but he hasn't had The Song yet. Once that happens, though, watch out. —Max Goldberg