A new Young Thug album has hit DSPs despite the Atlanta rapper’s current incarceration and some fans are wondering whether one of its songs contains a coded diss for Thug’s collaborator/suspected co-conspirator Gunna. On “Jonesboro,” from the new Metro Boomin-produced album Business Is Business, Thug snarls the line “N***a told and he was my homie, I can’t miss him / Ain’t nobody feel him,” prompting some fans to speculate that he’s referring to Gunna after Gunna accepted a plea deal in exchange for his release from Fulton County Jail.
However, due to the album’s provenance, it seems unlikely that the line would be directed at Gunna, as all 15 of the tracks compiled in Business Is Business were recorded prior to Thug’s arrest and subsequent incarceration on suspicion of operating a criminal organization. While it does sound like he’s talking about a snitch, it literally can’t be Gunna, who was very much a respected member of YSL Records in good standing at the time the song was recorded.
In fact, if anything, the line seems like a prime example of exactly what I wrote about in my review of Gunna’s new album, A Gift And A Curse: a generic mobster trope of the type that litters a ton of rap records these days. Whether or not they stem from the real-life experiences of the artists in question, it’s clear that they get peppered into songs because they are what the audience expects and therefore what the market demands. It could be about a real person or it could just be an abstraction, a straw man of the sort that rappers always have to set up in their lyrics to prove their superiority over an opponent — real or imagined.
It certainly highlights how life can end up imitating art; rap fans hate “snitches” because rappers rap about hating “snitches,” when either side might not have any real experience with snitching in the first place. It’s a conundrum, for sure, but this confusion is also a big part of why Thug’s locked up in the first place. Remember, in the original indictment, the evidence used against him wasn’t wiretaps or videotapes but his own lyrics.
Listen to “Jonesboro” above. Business Is Business is out now on Young Stoner Life Records/300 Entertainment/Atlantic Records.
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