Young Thug will cover the Fall 2016 issue of XXL, and in advance of the cover story, he sat down for a wide-ranging conversation with the magazine's Editor-in-Chief Vanessa Satten. Over the course of 12 minutes, the two cover a good deal of ground, from his iconic style choices, to the early days of Gucci Mane's mentorship, to the intentionality behind JEFFERY, to still maybe unofficial name change.
In breaking down his personal style, Thug speaks on what he sees as the power behind some of his more eccentric choices (probably the JEFFERY dress included: "I didn't do it for people to understand me. I did it for the weird ones," he says, "I want to bring out encouragement to young people who want to do it, but were kinda scared."
Thug also speaks candidly on the name change, noting that the transition from 'Young Thug' to 'Jeffery' signals a shift in how he wants himself and his music to be perceived. "I don't want people to be afraid, or ready when they see me," Thug notes, "I want to be greeted the right way, embraced the right way...because I really got a good heart."
He also name drops collaborator Wyclef Jean alongside Prince and Michael Jackson as examples of icons with the kind of broad accessibility he's looking for. Speaking on "Check" and the trappier parts of his catalog: "Those songs are cool, those songs made millions of dollars, but them songs are not really me," I'm really like Wyclef, that's Jeffery. I feel like I've completed the Thug course and now I want to be Jeffery, I want people to know who I really am."
Watch the full interview above, via XXL.