Black Portland

The fact that Jeffrey Williams chose a rap name as bland as Young Thug just makes the revelation of his off-the-wall brilliance all the more intense. The 22-year-old Atlanta lunatic gets over on pure, giddy eccentricity – breathlessly braying, cackling, even drunkenly crooning rhymes like "Foreign car outside, that bitch got two digits/Money stand like eight feet, just like two midgets." On this mixtape with his bud Bloody Jay, Young Thug also pushes at the sonic possibilities of his wild style (see the treacherously woozy "Florida Water"). Who knows why it's called Black Portland? But like the Blazers' Damian Lillard, he's having a hell of a season.

From The Archives Issue 1204: March 13, 2014