By: Logan Kirkland (@CaptainKirk_)

“Young Thug’s album cover is gay as fuck, according to twitter users. “Young Thug is gay (as a son of a bitch) and if you don’t think so…you’re gay as well.

After Young Thug released his new mixtape “No, My name is JEFFERY” on Friday, August 26, the conversation didn’t start with his music. It all surrounded his mixtape’s cover art. 

 Accompanied by a soft background, Thugger punches his viewers with an obscure spectacle.  Sporting a powder blue and white dress that emulates the style of a southern belle, Young Thug uses his celebrity status to teach us something:

Do what feels right for you and you only.

 Breaking from gender norms, Young Thug is seen showcasing feminine traits through what he wears, says and does. 

He is notorious for wearing women’s clothing, painting his nails and also referring to his closest friends as bae, boo or hubby and there is nothing wrong with that.

Thugger explains in many interviews that the reason he wears women’s clothing is because they fit better than men’s clothing and he has been doing so since he was about 12 years old. 

Thugger also shared that he started gambling in order to buy the clothes he wanted to, because his dad “wouldn’t buy him tight pants”.

We see this type of subtle hate and fear every day.  What Thugger’s dad said is a perfect example of how parents are controlling their children today; deciding what is feminine versus masculine and what is right versus wrong.

I’m not a parent and hope to not be one for a while, but why would you tell your son or daughter not do something only because it’s labeled as “different” or not “normal”?

For me a parent should explain to their child that people might see what they are doing is not what a normal man should be doing and prepare them for the backlash, but also being supportive in your child’s decision. 

People seem shocked that Young Thug would do something like this, and to be honest, I was a little surprised myself but I find the art to be enthralling and refreshing.

 So who gives a shit?

Well, apparently a lot of people do.

Outraged critics are shaming Thugger for this cover—spewing homophobic and downright hateful things about his artistic decision.

 “Young thug is gay fam it ain’t no coming back from this cover,” a Twitter user boasts.

 Let’s be clear on one thing: 

Thugger as a person is just as interesting as his music. Sometimes we don’t quite understand him, just as we don’t quite understand his lyrics, but we are willing to listen until we do understand.

So why should his career be over?

 It’s not over and it won’t be, at least not for a while. However; there were Young Thug fans who turned on him in a matter of hours after his latest release. Based solely on the concept of the cover art.

Praising, to condemning him. Vibing, to deleting him from their music library. 

All because a man decided to wear a dress.

The music industry,(side-eyes the hip-hop artists) sees homosexuality as well as breaking gender stereotypes as not “gangsta” ,“Thug” or just wrong in every way possible.

When Thugger was asked his definition of a “thug” with the French media site Clique he answered:

 “(A thug is a) cold-hearted motherfucker when it comes to people. I don’t give a fuck about them, I love my fans, I love who I’m supposed to love. Critics? These are my decisions, my thoughts, no one else’s. No feelings..that’s my definition of a ‘thug”.

 It’s absolutely ridiculous to think that in 2016 when we claim to be progressive and pushing for human rights that a person, especially in an artistic setting is being ridiculed and condemned for expressing himself in such a unique way.

In my opinion, this cover is iconic and will be talked about for a long time, but people continue to defend the negative statements about Young Thug by saying things like “rappers can’t be gay and be rappers.”

The thing is Young Thug hasn’t come out saying he is gay, he tells people he is straight, just wearing different clothing. Even if he is gay, that shouldn’t matter. He’s an artist and shouldn’t be labeled otherwise. 

Other musicians have been ridiculed as well by being fashionable trailblazers and they include Kanye West, A$AP Rocky, Kid Cudi, Andre 3000 just to name a few.

In light of all of the negative comments, JEFFREY has received a large amount of praise for his daring debut.

He’s not a saint by any means, but for him to take the risk that he did, he is allowing others who struggle with the same public attacks to stand strong. 

Just as rapper’s lyrics encourage and motivate, Young Thug has found a way other than his lyrics to reach his audience.

Now, let’s cross our fingers and cross our legs in that stunning dress that this project gets the real attention it deserves.

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