The Breath of Young Thug

By: Jala Stubbs

A Life Snapshot

Young Thug, or Jeffery Lamar Williams, was born on August 16, 1991 in Atlanta, Georgia. Jeffery grew up in section 8 projects located in Sylvan Hills along with his ten siblings. Thug resorted to crime and gambling to buy clothing growing up and discovered his passion for fashion. He would buy women’s clothing normally because it catered to his unique frame and considered himself a  style trailblazer. His unique style often conflicted with his street lifestyle, but would prove to be great for his future business as an entertainer. 

Early Career

In middle school, Young Thug broke his teacher’s arm and went to juvie for four years. During his time in the juvenile detention center, he discovered his talent for rapping.

In 2010, he started recording and dropped his first mixtape ‘I Came From Nothing’. Young Thug was originally discovered by Gucci Mane due to his childhood friend Peewee Longway getting them in a room together.Thug’s hard work impressed Gucci and in 2013 he signed to his label 1017, dropping a new mixtape ‘1017 Thug’.

Young Thug’s hit single ‘Stoner’ wouldn’t catch on until April of 2014, but would eventually be deemed certified gold by the RIAA.


In 2014, Thug signed a management deal with Birdman. Bryan ‘Birdman’ Williams, co-founder of Cash Money Records, would go on to take Young Thug under his wing along with the other artist under the label to push the ‘Rich Gang’ hip hop collective. Young Thug and Rich Homie Quan would become a popular duo with their subsequent single “Lifestyle” in 2014. This single would be essential in launching the careers of both artists. Noteable records by the unstoppable rap duo would include , ‘Tell Em’, ‘Flava’, and ‘Aye’.

Barter 6 (2015)

Jeffery (2016)

Beautiful Thugger Girls (2017)

So Much Fun (2019)

Young Thug has:

  • Two Studio Albums: So Much Fun (2019) & Punk (2021)
  • Two Compilation Albums: Slime Language (2018) & Slime Language 2 (2021)
  • 19 Mixtapes including the tapes mentioned prior.
  • 69 singles including popular songs like Stoner and Tick Tock

Slime Language (2018)

On The Run (2018)

Slime Language 2 (2021)

Punk (2021)

Awards & Achievements

Young Thug has had a long, successful career and has the trophy case to prove it. Young Thug earned a Grammy for Song of the Year, for his work with Childish Gambino on ‘This is America’. Thug also has multiple MTV awards for best music video, song, editing and collaboration for songs like Wyclef Jean, Havana with Camilla Cabello, and Go Crazy with Chris Brown. In addition to Young Thug’s many awards, he has an array of platinum and gold records ranging from songs like Ski (Gold), Don’t Stop with Megan the Stallion (Gold), and Daddy’s Birthday (Gold) to albums like Barter 6 (Gold), So Much Fun (Platinum), and Beautiful Thugger Girls (Gold). 

Passing the Torch & Philanthropy

In terms of leaving behind a musical legacy, Young Thug has since started his own label YSL Entertainment, founded in 2016. YSL stands for Young Stoner Life and Young Slime Life. He signed artists such as Gunna and Lil Keed and his influence in the rap trap genre is apparent. His influence is heard through a lot of rappers flows and his name is a common one in mentorship upon upcoming rappers, as one of Thug genuine passions is to help other people advance in life. Thug is also very active in his community. In order to pour into the community that raised him, Young Thug’s many philanthropic efforts have not gone unnoticed in urban Atlanta. For example, after performing his first studio album, Beautiful Thugger Girls, in New York City, he donated all of the proceeds to Planned Parenthood. He also participated in a livestream in order to raise money for the Atlanta Community Food Bank. Thug has made a conscious effort to not only give back to those with dreams of following his craft, but to pour into the city that he was raised in. 


 Young Thug is an exceptional artist with rough beginnings. As a pioneer in fashion and entertainment, a lot is to be learned from him and his, at times, eccentric ways of living. While he doesn’t have the cleanest of records, a lot can be learned from him in that he’s a human who makes mistakes. Inspiration can be drawn from him knowing that his early days were less than filled with a silver spoon. Hard work and dedication allowed him to become the influencer he is today and his reputation proceeds him. Linked below is a recent interview conducted on the Breakfast Club with Charlamange, Angela Yee, and DJ Envy on Young Thug and recent news surrounding his life and career.

Other Works by the Author

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