Rapping about the typical shit (i.e. money, haters, women, drugs) in his idiosyncratic sing-song voice—while wearing skin-tight women’s pants and painted nails—23-year-old Young Thug is defying gender stereotypes and agitating the way hip-hop defines black masculinity, through his eccentric sense of style.
In September, Young Thug was featured in Dazed magazine wearing a floral lace Gucci top and a Molly Goddard sheer tulle dress. At the end of his music video for “Check,” he wears a snug Hooters tank top. In the video for “Best Friend,” he wears a light pink pleather hooded jacket with matching trousers. And to clarify, recently the Atlanta native told GQ Magazine:
Why do you wear women’s clothing?
Because women’s clothes are [slimmer] than men’s clothes. The jeans I got on right now, they’re women’s jeans. But they fit how they’re supposed to fit. Like a rock star. The only thing I probably have in men’s is, like, briefs. T-shirts. Ninety percent of my clothes are women’s.
When did you start wearing predominantly women’s clothing?
When I was 12 or some shit, started gambling, getting my own money. My dad wouldn’t buy me tight pants. I had to get my own money to buy them.
Like David Bowie, Prince, and Lenny Kravitz before him, Young Thug is indeed a rockstar. But, due to hip-hop’s rampant homophobia (the idea of being g*y is still used as a way to emasculate, like most recently with ongoing beef between Young Thug and The Game from both parties) and society’s patriarchal stronghold on defining gender roles; there’s an ongoing debate about his s*xuality.
His former fiancée Jerrika Karlae, his stylist JoJo Zarur, and Young Thug himself have all addressed and rejected the rumors of the rapper being g*y. And whether the rumors are actually true or not, the more important questions are: Why do we instantly question his s*xual orientation based on the way he chooses to express himself? What does a man wearing a dress, skirt or tight clothes have to do with being g*y?