Wyclef Jean has an interesting perspective on Atlanta rapper Young Thug. He finds him revolutionary and considers him a “modern Tupac.”
In an interview with Pigeons & Planes, the Haitian singer/rapper/songwriter opened up about working with Young Thug earlier this year. The duo first linked up for a track on Thug’s mixtape No, My Name Is Jeffery called “Kanye West.” The project also featured a song named after Jean himself.
Wyclef says he was surprised to know that Thug was so adamant about working with him, and even more surprised to find that he’s not exactly the person he is portrayed to be.
Young Thug is over time revealing himself to be more than a one-trick artist too. He’s on your new song “I Swear” but it began when you appeared on the Jefferymixtape.
My management gets the call and they’re like, “Yo, Jeffery’s trying to track you down, because there’s a track that he needs you on.” And he’s got everybody like, “Find Wyclef, find Wyclef.” So I go down to Atlanta, and the first thing he’s playing me is his mixtape. And he’s like, “You’re one of my greatest inspirations.” He shows me his tattoo, it says “Haiti.” He says, “Yo I named my daughter Haiti, my projects are named Haiti.”
Sometimes you don’t realize who you are affecting. But he’s from a project, I’m from a similar background. And he has a natural love for Haiti, understanding the history of Haiti. Haiti is the first black republic. He reminded me of a modern Tupac, in a sense—in a revolutionary sense. I mean that by, alright, you might see a thug, but his connection to history seemed similar to what Pac understood, of like, “This is who the Black Panthers are. Read this book, read that book.” This kid understands. I sent him the Ghosts of Cité Soleil documentary. He must have seen it like 10, 15 times. He is like a sponge when it comes to history. He likes to absorb a lot of information, and actually wants to learn.
Wyclef went on to compare Thugger to David Bowie and said that he’s heard him make songs with “Paul Simon hooks.” Wyclef is returning the favor by featuring Thug on his song “I Swear” from his upcoming album J’ouvert.
What do you think of Jean’s comparisons? Do you see or hear any “revolutionary” connection between Young Thug and the man who had “Thug Life” tattooed across his stomach?