Young Thug Sees Himself How Newark Got Lead In Its Water, And What 2 days 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 377 Comments

dope exhibition and much respect to thugger for showing up to show his appreciation
Mink .O
Wassup Wassup ❗️❗️❗️❗️❗️
love thugger #kingslime
Bryan Carrillo
His ego is outta wack.
Lemme Lemme
YSL art
Zac Torres
Life is all flowers and unicorns farts 🦄 💨
Eddie Sanchez
Turn negative into positive ya digg🙏🐐
Robin Hong
what art was missing
Josh Pulliam
Slatt no slatts to be heard in rhis
tony ghost
Who’s mans is this
Thug is a walking masterpiece
TriggerHappy ASMR
Huh so this is what normal people see when they watch ASMR 🤔😂
Shirley Henderson
Jeffrey's cover the best of all time💪💪💪✌
4:13 how you about to just say that in response to what he said tf lol???
Edwin Adames
Slime Art 🖼
Asamoah Bekoe
Thugga the 🐐
Christian Sheehan
Saw him on tour with cole and now he’s one of my top artists
Yung Cartman Why You Trappin' So Hard?
You mean drake collaborated with Young Thug... it’s drake who feeds off other rapper’s energy, not the other way around
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How Newark Got Lead In Its Water, And What Young Thug Sees Himself 2 days ago   07:29

When Newark announced it was handing out 40,000 filters to residents believed to be at risk of high lead levels in their water, it came as a surprise to some. This was in October, and for more than a year, the city of 285,000 people had said Newark's water was “absolutely safe to drink,” while robocalls to residents assured them their water was not contaminated.

The city’s messages did include an important caveat: that “the only high lead readings were taken inside older one- and two-family homes that have lead pipes leading from the city's pure water into those homes.” But the clarifications usually came after messaging touting the water’s safety. For many residents, some of whom didn’t know what a lead service line was and whether their homes and buildings had one or not, the caveat wasn’t the message that stuck.

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