It turns out, there's a method behind the madness of Thug's fashion. Meet the woman behind it.
One of the main reasons Young Thug is so controversial is simply the way he dresses; "I swear every time I dress myself, it go motherfuckin' viral" is now one of his most famous lines. Just look at him at the end of the "Check" video-- wearing a skintight Hooter's tank that even the restaurant's most underendowed hostesses would have trouble fitting into. And that's tame for Thugga. While most of his outfits can pass for androgynous, he's perfectly happy to show up in a dress. And not a dress meant for a woman his age, but rather, one designed for a little girl.
Obviously, his unprecedented wardrobe choices has hip-hop, the ultimate dick-measuring contest, in shambles. Longtime fans say all of our fallen heroes are turning in their graves. Though the more hate-- and I mean real hate-- that gets hurled his way, the more shocking his next outfit. Indeed, that seems to be the obvious method behind the madness. No rapper embodies the trending "if you ain't got no haters, you ain't poppin" sentiment better than Young Thug. You'd think Thug spends most of time haphazardly piecing together outfits at high-end department stores, taking full advantage of each section: men's, women's, even children's. You'll be shocked to find out, then, that every single element of his style is carefully calculated. Even more shocking, and contrary to the aforementioned "Halftime" line: Thug rarely dresses himself.
Thanks to Pitchfork, we've been introduced to Young Thug's full-time stylist. JoJo Zarur is an ex-double major from Stanford who, after meeting Young Thug during a visit to Atlanta, never returned to school. Fashion was a serious hobby, and after Thug stalked her Instagram, he asked her to style his "Stoner" video shoot. Not bad for a first gig, though Thug would prove to be an extremely challenging first client.
Before Zarur, Thugger's experimental approach to fashion had long been established. "It wasn't even the women's section, he would go to the kid's section and buy a kid's dress." As a buzzing artist, those around him knew his one-of-a-kind style would be an indelible part of his image, and it needed some fine-tuning. Enter Zarur: "When I first met Young Thug, Birdman came up to me and he was like, 'You need to help him.'"
Since the beginning of their partnership, Zarur and Thug have established a close working relationship, but one that involves no shortage of risk-taking. She knows what he likes-- he's only "comfortable with really tight pants"-- and Zarur will put an outfit together out of seemingly incongruous pieces, therefore protecting Thug's ever-evolving singularity. "Mixing men's and women's, that's how I work. I'll look at three pieces and make one out of it... The other day I made a jacket out of a backpack. I have no limits."
Zarur might feel guilty continuing to throw Thug on the front lines, exposing him to the Internet's worst corners of vitriol and hatred, if each of her outfits didn't win ringing endorsements from the man himself. Attempts to get under his skin, or shame his masculinity or sexual orientation, will, according to Zarur, surely backfire. "He’ll look at Instagram and read the hater comments and laugh, and show his friends. He’s the perfect person for what he’s doing. I could not see anyone else doing it better, honestly."
Being with Thug since "Stoner," Zarur witnessed the dissolution of Rich Gang front and center: "It was actually really sad. For a minute, we were all so close. We did everything together. I was always at the studio with them, we were always talking about ideas, all of us, Birdman, Thug, and Quan. We were a huge family." Her comments allude to what we already imagined was a bitter fallout between Thug and RHQ, but also touch on the more recent, less talked about, end of Thug's mentorship under Birdman's wing.
As Thug's business affiliations grow increasingly confusing, though, you can expect his style to remain his own-- with the help of Ms. Zarur.
Alright, haters, we know you're out there: Time to sound off in the comments. If Thugga checks the site, he'll have plenty to laugh about.