Young Thug in a Dress > Cam’ron in Pink

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This past weekend, 21-year old Atlanta rapper Young Thug Instagrammed a photo of himself wearing a peplum, leopard-print dress. The post lit up with comments debating how “gay” he is, or whether or not the said item was even a dress—maybe it was just a long T-shirt. Wearing women’s clothing does not make Thug gay, though it has caused his sexuality to be debated on hip-hop message boards. But it’s easy to imagine Thug welcoming debate about his clothes and gender—he’s a provocateur, in a long line of rock and rap stars before him who have pushed gender lines. Those who’ve been paying attention to his career may have already noticed Thug’s berets and oversized rose-colored sunglasses, Uggs, lip rings and a whole face of squiggly tattoos. Looking like some suburban sprawl 21st-century David Bowie, or at least a populist version of Kanye, Thug accessorized his dress with skinny jeans and a styrofoam cup. He also wore the look to Waffle House.

In imagining Thug’s lineage, it’s hard to not think of Cam’ron, another rule-flouncer who, in his time, famously made rap comfortable with pink. But Cam was always careful to insert a “pause” after any potential innuendo in the conversation, lest he give anyone the wrong idea. Thug, meanwhile, seems flagrantly disinterested in the too-strict rules of men’s wardrobes and potentially traditional masculinity at large. As “Stoner” climbs on the radio charts, the more he dares us to keep up with his sartorial weirdness. Thug flies the flag for the new-new Atlanta, calling it “Black Portland.” In an interview with The FADER, Thug collaborator Bloody J says the name derives from the place where “ambition, freedom and being young all roll into one.” Young is not just a term of endearment tacked on to the front-end of Thug’s name, young is the side he’s on—even the New York Times has been noticing the increasing adventurousness and blurred gender lines of the 21st century man’s wardrobe. There’s a long history of rock stars being provocative by wearing things that the older generation doesn’t understand, eventually making the new looks that once appeared scandalous eventually seem approachable and normal, only to be pushed by the next generation’s big stars. And Thug might have the star power we need to make the weirdness of a dude wearing women’s clothing at a Waffle House in Atlanta seem totally normal and, hopefully soon, old hat.

POSTED February 4, 2014 10:58AM IN STYLE NEWS Comments (13) TAGS: , ,

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COMMENTS

  1. nah says:

    nah bruh thts gay 2far thts an actual dress lmfao

  2. mark campbell says:

    thats a long tee bruh i was at the video shoot

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  4. genius@burps.com says:

    rule flouter

  5. Nah says:

    Fader,

    How come the majority of rap you cover is coon/sambo shit?

    This isn’t acceptable. The feminization of the black man goes back to slavery and talk are perpetuating it.

    This shit isn’t academic.

    Go cover grizzly bear and the shit you know.

  6. Mark Campbell says:

    Nigga long shirts dont look like that.

  7. d. glover says:

    obvious PR stunt / bid for attention / controversy.

    style over substance. image over truth. reaction over longevity. welcome to 2014 rap.

  8. d.glover says:

    obvious PR stunt / bid for attention / controversy

    style over substance. image over truth. reaction over longevity.

    welcome to 2014.

  9. blah blah blah says:

    What’s truly sad is the fact that some men are so insecure with self, that they have to disrespect, demean or judge others. Instead of taking a look at their own character. God made us all individuals, and a man or woman who feels the need to go anywhere outside the norm, push the envelope. Is not only courageous, but more man or woman than the idiots judging and calling names. Big ups Young Thug.
    PEACE, LOVE, UNITY AND ABOVE ALL R.E.S.P.E.C.T…

  10. nah too says:

    This bullshit isn’t courageous. Courageous is him coming out the closet and saying accept me as a gay rapper. Like dude said, this is a pathetic cry for attention from a rapper who has the nerve to call himself “Young Thug”.

    Looks like the Fader and the rest of white america is excited for the day when black men across the country are wearing dresses smmfh

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  12. erock says:

    i was at a party a couple weeks ago and this dude told me he was “STRAIGHT GAY”, i was like wtf! he was wearing a dress. lmao! i aint even lying yo.

  13. Elanor says:

    I don’t see the big deal. He isn’t hurting anyone and he isn’t forcing other men to wear women’s clothing. People need to settle down.