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Meaning of ‘Now’ by ‘Young Thug’ feat. 21 Savage

Released: 2018

On “Now,” Atlanta’s own Young Thug and 21 Savage step into the booth and paint a vivid mural of their journey from the trenches to the jet-set life. These two lean into a narrative of transformation, leveraging the power of hip-hop as a springboard from poverty to opulence – or as Thug puts it, from being “dead down” to hopping out of jets.

Young Thug kicks off the chorus with an evocative image of his evolution: “Used to be dead down (broke), hop out the jet now.” The term ‘dead down’ is South slang for being down-on-your-luck or broke. So, when Thugger talks about hopping out of jets, it’s a stark contrast to his past life. The transition from catching MARTA buses to private jets encapsulates the transformative power of success in the rap game.

Thug’s wealth isn’t just for show, either. When he spits, “I got a Harley Davidson now, about to pin a T-Rex down,” he’s flexing his ability to acquire whatever he desires, from legendary motorbikes to prehistoric beasts. He also mentions his ‘north side’ Atlanta roots when mentioning ‘Funkmaster Flex,’ a New York-based DJ known for his lack of airplay for Southern Rap early in its development, indicating he’s made it despite past barriers.

21 Savage, the second half of this ATL duo, delivers a verse soaked in braggadocio and dismissive humor. He’s “with Slime in that Maybach and we laughin'”—referring to Young Thug, affectionately known as ‘Slime’ among his fans and peers. Savage finds humor in the rap game’s fickleness, highlighting his peers’ tendency to hop on trends (“These rappers jumpin’ dick to dick”). His abrupt entrance boasting his newfound blue money, signifying large amounts of cash, enforces the song’s theme of sudden wealth.

The track’s punctuation of “yeah, yeah” reflects the casual and nonchalant attitude these artists have towards their success. From dealing with hardship to manifesting wealth, it’s all in a day’s work. Thus, “Now” serves as both a testament to their triumph over struggle and a celebration of their present prosperity. It’s a nod to the transformative journey that embodies the heart of hip-hop culture.

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