Young Thug Sees Himself Why This Radical History Of The Haitian 1 day ago   05:14

During Miami Art Week, the viral Instagram account Young Thug As Paintings made its real-world debut at SCOPE Art Show. Which is basically the best-case scenario for fan art.

Hajar Benjida, a 23-year-old photography student based in the Netherlands, created the account in 2016, matching photos of Atlanta rapper Young Thug with similar-looking classical paintings. It started as a last-minute school assignment but has since snowballed into something bigger.

“It's very accessible, like, you don't even have to know [Young Thug], but people get to know about him,” Benjida told VICE, describing her work. “People get to know about historical art. The same way you analyze historical paintings is the same way I analyze Thug's photos. [...] And I happen to be good at that, so I just applied it to this project.”

Benjida linked with Young Thug’s record label, 300 Entertainment, and a New York-based production team to put the exhibition together, but even with that support, getting the idea to Miami Beach wasn’t easy. This year, Miami Art Week hosted over 1,300 exhibitions from all over the world. Most of them were sponsored by galleries, which makes Young Thug As Paintings — a project with no curatorial backing — a significant outlier. The idea was rebuffed by other art fairs before finally getting a green light from SCOPE.

VICE News went to Miami Beach to watch the exhibit unfold and get Young Thug’s reaction to seeing himself as fine art.

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Comments 491 Comments

Big Mack
Thug high asl😂😂
Ruben Magana
Young thugs name holds weight on its own
Damn I see much comments from fruit cups saying don’t disrespect thug yet I don’t see a single comment hating on him I guess I’ll be the first that shirt is brown that’s all I could come up with
Jacob Benson Bonnell
“I pose like history people”-young thug 2018
Mateo Gruszynski
everyone there is a faggo except for thug smh he piped that bihh who put the exhibit together
As a thug fan this was more than amazong!
sean 123
Johnny Rocketz
Bro I was in Florida on the exact same day smh 🤦🏻‍♂️
gabethegoat 1k
pure gold
Open Interlude
my luv we covered 👑
Burn nWo
Young Thug funny as hell.. He too drugged these people have no idea 😂😂
Dick Gozinya
Honestly I hated trap music , until I heard young thug. Just something about his voice and style is fucking dope. First time I heard him I was like “this is trash wtf” then I turned it off, but the song ends up getting stuck in my head and it grew on me. I’ve been hooked ever since. He’s an amazing artist and barter 6 is one of my favorite albums. Long live Thug
Mark Tanis
Damn he musta froze Miami with all that ice. sheesh
Darius R
haha Thug is the goat. but this is wild haha
Dev A1
He’s a good lookin guy & good mind frame, “Turn negative into POSITIVE “ evrybdy make mistakes & bad decision doin dumb shit & nobody’s perfect. Have a good day everyone 😘
feud _
A goat
4:33 I pose like history people.
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Why This Radical History Of The Haitian Young Thug Sees Himself 1 day ago   03:42

Last month, Verso Books published The Common Wind, a radical work by the historian Julius Scott that shows how enslaved people in the Caribbean in the late 18th and early 19th century were able to communicate with each other, exchanging knowledge that helped them resist, revolt, and even escape.

In academia, The Common Wind is the book of the moment. But Scott actually finished it, as his PhD dissertation, in 1986.

Back then, Dr. Scott was a graduate student at Duke University. The Common Wind was his magnum opus, a subaltern tale that occupied a then-burgeoning space in historical writing – a “history from below” that focuses on the disenfranchised rather than the powerful. Specifically, it details how underground communication networks helped bring about the Haitian Revolution of the 1790s, a rebellion in which enslaved people rose up against the French who had colonized their island as a stop in the Atlantic sugar trade. The revolt was successful, ultimately making Haiti the first country to be founded by formerly enslaved people.

“What I really tried to do was set the broad context for trying to understand that within this world, which was based on the ultimate in human un-freedom, there were a lot of little specks where people tried to establish for themselves a little bit more mobility, and sometimes were able to grasp some freedom.” said Dr. Scott.

When PhD students earn their degree, the next step is often to find a publisher for their dissertation, the book-length culmination of doctoral research. Dr. Scott, however, took a different route. Despite some early publishing offers, he instead devoted his energies to teaching (he now lectures at the University of Michigan) while The Common Wind sat unpublished for decades.

Meanwhile, the work’s legend grew, passed around academic circles and cited hundreds of times. One early reader was historian and professor Marcus Rediker, who recommended the book to Verso Press for publication, and wrote the foreword to the version published in November. “The fugitive existence of this book is, I think, almost uncanny for its resemblance to the fugitive existence of the underground that spread the news of the Haitian Revolution, which the book describes,” said Dr. Rediker.

“I really didn't quite understand for a long time how much my dissertation was having an impact and an influence,” Dr. Scott said. “I saw people would cite it. Books came out where people acknowledged the impact my dissertation had had on the way they thought. It was all kind of a big shock to me.”

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