By Amanda Wicks
When Young Thug dropped his latest mixtape JEFFREY, he announced at the time that he was shedding his hip-hop identity as fans knew it and going by his given name moving forward. In other words, he would only answer to Jeffrey Lamar Williams.
The fluidity with which he made that transition comes from an individual who sees such identity shifts as a natural part of life and growth. “[With Young Thug] I learned that there’s nothing you can’t do, that it’s cool to change,” he told V Magazine in a new interview.
Beyond changing his name and how people associate that move with his future music, Jeffrey wants gender to be a thing of the past as well. When asked why he wore a dress on the cover of JEFFREY, he responded that he meant to send a message about how people label one another based on gender. “Stop believing in genders,” he said.
It’s not the first time he’s sent that message, but it is admirable to keep making that point, particularly in hip-hop, a traditionally hyper-masculine genre. Young Thug, or Jeffrey rather, is part of a millennial group that sees things differently. Across the pond, in the pop world, Miley Cyrus has come out as a pansexual because she doesn’t ascribe to any one label that would limit her exploration. The future, for both Jeffrey and Miley, is wide open.