Young Dro: Wild Horses

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Young Dro is swagged, tagged and ready to take off.

Young Dro is the immediate future of TI’s Grand Hustle record label and characterizes his swagger with one very weighted yet very empty phrase. “Everybody’s talking about black boy, white boy this—black boy swag, white boy tags,” begins one of the “Dro Speaks” interludes on the recent Black Boy White Boy mixtape. Doing his finest “white boy” imitation—a stoner growl with touches of Valley girl twang—Dro continues, “Everybody’s getting this shit from some camp called Grand Hustle, you know? I seen these guys, one of those guys is totally rocked out, one of those guys looks like they’re bout to play tennis.” The tennis player in question is, of course, Dro himself, whose extravagant dedication to classic American chic today has him laying out a pair of weathered loafers, patterned polo shirts and golf shorts in plaid, green and snow white variations. Ralph Lauren’s signature Polo player logo, mallet raised to the sky in mid-swing, gallops out from every single piece. “There’s an elegance about it,” Dro says, describing Atlanta’s newest dress code. “But it’s still like, we do it in the ghetto. It looks good, it makes you feel good… It’s something about that horse.”

There’s a song on Dro’s impending sophomore album, appropriately titled P.O.L.O. (Playas Only Live Once), in which he addresses his city’s current so prep and so clean aesthetic. “Niggas come to me, ‘I look just like you, shawty!’” he says explaining the song’s premise. “I be like, It’s all good.” Quickly, his tone stiffens, “Nigga look like a got-damn moose rat!” (A moose rat, in case you don’t know, is an imaginary animal renowned for its hideous appearance.) Polo swag, which Dro claims full responsibility for as often as possible, has recently become a highly contagious Atlanta pandemic, name-checked in songs right alongside money and women as a “this-is-why-I’m-hot” authenticator. Of all the forces that once made a successful rap artist, today, swag is paramount—and Young Dro has it by the rack. On the Black Boy White Boy tape, he and recent Grand Hustle breakout star, the mohawked and Teletubby-cadenced Yung LA, freely romanticize the stereotypes of both the Black and White experiences, equating the extreme style attributes of either—soul power and its country club diametrical opposite—with some kind of charismatic birthright. “When you grow up a certain way, you want to be different,” Dro says. “You want to be more than what they giving you. When I was young I used to want to ride horses. I used to want to play golf.”

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POSTED September 23, 2011 8:45PM IN FEATURES TAGS: , ,

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