Four Pins Man Of The Year 2014: Young Thug


Are you guys into meaningless awards and even some imaginary ones? If there is one thing 2014 needs in order to properly close itself out, it's an arbitrarily awarded man of the year profile.

This year's pillar of dopeness, Jeffery Williams aka Young Thug, could consider 2014 his breakout year, the year he got radio airplay as well as critical buzz, all the while creating one of the best sources of mondegreens of all time: "I feel like Fabo/I feel just like Fabo." How many of your lame friends thought he was saying "Facebook"? "Vapors"?

Black Portland and the concept behind that particular cultural portmanteau is genius. The mixtape? Even better. And how about "No Fucks," low-key the best superhero music put out in forever?

Critics have pointed to the myriad of influences in his style. Thugger's sound seems to appear to rap writers like a Gee's Bend quilt, sampling shreds and scraps of southern rap styles and production techniques, stitching them instinctively into seemingly idiosyncratic patterns that have universal appeal.

His aforementioned work with Bloody Jay and his Rich Gang supergroup with Rich Homie Quan (and, I guess, Birdman too) served as great examples of friendship in 2014 for all of us. Quan and Thug just seem like they're having such a good fucking time, all of the fucking time. What a great reminder that we all need to find our respective Rich Homie Quans in life, though your Quan will most likely be a broke white guy and your collaborative mixtape would probably be called something like 28K A Year But Still Shopping At Whole Foods Portland.

He even refers to his friends as "lover" and "bae" and that's fucking awesome. The only time my best friend and I say we love each other is when we almost get into tons of trouble. So, like, when we go through customs or get pulled over by a state trooper on a road trip. I've known that guy since I was 15-years-old and it takes the idea of going to jail to get me to admit that he's important to my life.

As weird, spaced and drugged out as he seems, Young Thug is unsurprisingly a product of his times. He is the perfect pop star.

Young Thug's also really, well, young. He's only 22. Being that young and ascendant has got to be a bit daunting, but the man behind everyone's favorite turn up jam of the year, "Danny Glover," seems utterly unflappable. He strides through genres and clichés with the nonchalance and self-possession of someone born for stardom. I bet he could even rap that last sentence I wrote without sounding like a complete fucking douche.

It seems that all everyone wants to talk about is Thug's weirdness, his complicatedness. The comparisons to Lil Wayne circa '08/'09 are abundant. And yet there's something about Thug that is spacier and more ebullient than even Wayne at his most Promethazined. Who else in today's ever increasingly crowded and jaded hip-hop landscape can make off-kilter phrases and non-sequiturs feel like anthems? As weird, spaced and drugged out as he seems, Young Thug is unsurprisingly a product of his times. He is the perfect embodiment of our world. He is the perfect pop star.

He uses Instagram better than most rappers while taking, ostensibly, the exact same photos as them. He dresses like a mall teen with deep pockets, but looks cooler than everyone. He bought a Bentley and a bitch came with it. He told Complex to "put it on the blogs, big guy," which also just so happens to be the best quote of 2014. He hit the club and ordered 100 bottles of Rosé. His diamonds say fucking "Pikachu." He loves Funyons. At the end of the day, he's done a lot of shit just to live this here lifestyle. And, oh man, did he earn every bit of that lifestyle this past year.

No one was more successful at just being themselves in 2014, which exactly is why Young Thug is our man of the year.

Ew, ew, ew.

Latest in Style