Jeffrey Williams, better known by his stage name Young Thug, is an American rapper from Atlanta, Georgia, who is signed to Gucci Mane's 1017 Brick Squad Records, Asylum Records and Atlantic Records. Thug grew to prominence in 2013 after releasing his mixtape 1017 Thug to positive critical reception. He has collaborated with artists such as Gucci Mane, Young Scooter, Rich Homie Quan and Waka Flocka Flame.
Thug was born in Atlanta, Georgia and is the second youngest of his ten siblings. He later moved to the Jonesboro South projects where he developed his rapping skills.
After releasing his first three mixtapes I Came From Nothing 1, 2 and 3 in 2011 and 2012, Thug caught the attention of rapper Gucci Mane, who signed him to his label 1017 Brick Squad Records in 2013. Thug followed up with releasing his first mixtape under the label called 1017 Thug. The tape was met with positive reviews from music critics, which noted it for its original style. 1017 Thug was included in a number of year-end lists for 2013, such as Pitchfork's Albums of the Year: Honorable Mention and Complex's The 50 Best Albums of 2013. FACT called it the best mixtape of 2013, Rolling Stone placed it at number five on their 10 Best Mixtapes of 2013 and The Guardian placed it among The Five Best Mixtapes of 2013.
Thug's song "Picacho" was noted as one of the standout tracks from the mixtape and, although not released as a single, was included on a number of 2013 year-end lists, such as Rolling Stone's 100 Best Songs of 2013, Pitchfork's The Top 100 Tracks of 2013, and Spin's 50 Best Songs of 2013.
In July 2013, Complex included him in their list of 25 New Rappers to Watch Out For. On October 17, 2013, Thug released his debut single "Stoner". The song spawned a number of unofficial remixes by rappers, such as Wale, Jim Jones, Jadakiss, Iamsu! and Trick-Trick. Thug expressed his disapproval for the remixes, commenting "If you feel like my song isn't tough enough to the point where you have to freestyle... Don't think I'm happy that you're doing it because of who you are. I'm ready for war." His song "Danny Glover" also received a number of remixes by Waka Flocka Flame and Nicki Minaj, among others. In December 2013, Thug performed at Fool's Gold Day Off show in Miami, among Danny Brown, Trick Daddy and Travis Scott.
On January 18, 2014, Young Thug revealed that he was offered $1.5 million to sign to Future's Freebandz record label, and is uncertain about his current label status with 1017 Brick Squad Records. He also recorded a few songs with Kanye West, who had praised him for his ability to make songs so fast. In January 2014, Thug announced that he has upcoming mixtapes with Rich Homie Quan, Chief Keef and Bloody Jay. On March 11, 2014, his single "Stoner" was serviced to rhythmic contemporary radio in the United States by Asylum Records and Atlantic Records. His next single will be a collaboration with Drake titled "Ew". Young Thug is being considered for the 2014 XXL freshman class.
Thug is known for his eccentric and original style. XXL called him a "rap weirdo" and "the standout guest appearance in Gucci Mane's Trap God 2 and Waka Flocka Flame's DuFlocka Rant 2", commenting that "Thug's charisma, unhinged flow and hooks make his music intriguing." Pitchfork also called his style "extraordinarily distinctive" and wrote that "What Young Thug brings to the table, then, isn't just a weird, experimental approach to rapping, but presence, persona, mystique, and, potentially, star power." The Fader described his music, saying "In a typical Young Thug verse, he slurs, shouts, whines and sings, feverishly contorting his voice into a series of odd timbres like a beautifully played but broken wind instrument."
On February 26, 2014, Young Thug was arrested in Atlanta for possession of a controlled substance, driving without a seat belt, reckless conduct, and reckless driving.