When: Fri., Dec. 30, 7:30 p.m. 2016
Atlanta’s Young Thug approaches rap like a designer tie-dying a T-shirt, wringing his words for all they’re worth, twisting and pulling syllables in different directions to find new meanings. The end result is always colorful and tends to shape-shift depending on what you focus on with each listen—I can’t count the number of times I’ve spun through his 2016 full-lengths Slime Season 3 and Jeffery (300/Atlantic), but I still discover nuances whenever I press play. Like Thug, opener G Herbo has built a career by doubling down on what he does best: the Chicagoan delivers brutal, trenchant lyrics about growing up amid violence, and his performances are shot through with immense feeling that places listeners in his shoes and gives them an omniscient view of the people in Herb’s life. He does it with especially clear eyes on the soul-sampling “Gutta,” which sets a high bar early on his new Strictly 4 My Fans (Machine Entertainment Group/150 Dream Team).