Young Dro’s Career Takes a Krazy TurnNovember 16th, 2012
By Gee King
The artist formerly known as Young Dro — 3Krazy, as of yesterday’s cryptic Twitter PSA — is about to test the limits of the rebrand in hip hop’s marketplace. Since dropping the hilarious but unmarketable moniker “Tity Boy” in early 2011, 2 Chainz has showed hip hop exactly what’s in a name (nothing, if you play it right). But unlike 2 Chainz, or artists like Mos Def and Snoop Dogg, who’ve evolved into Yasiin Bey and Snoop Lion before our eyes because we cared enough to keep watching, Dro’s — my bad — Krazy’s, change feels unnatural.
Nobody is knocking his hustle, but fans expect to be lied to better than this. First there’s the instant relation between his fresh new image and the leader who made it possible. Going one number above his predecessor felt like Kobe switching to #24 with Jordan fresh on our minds. But that’s silly compared to the disrespect Oakland folk could perceive for 3X Krazy (Keak da Sneak, B.A. and Agerman), disciples of Bay Area king E-40. If he would have genuinely explained himself and his rationale, he may have earned some extra points. Instead he released a joke of a statement on Twitter including lines like, “You can call me three u can call me krazy anything but young dro.” His Twitter handle is still Young Dro for the time being.
Hip hop appreciates transparency more than most popular cultures, but not when they can see right through you. When Diddy does this it’s slightly comical and suggests he’s moving on to another lifetime after mastering his Puffy stage, Dro just reeks of desperation. Hunger and desperation are an essential part of the struggle, but with the infinite number of hungry MCs floating through the universe, you’ve got to work a little harder for your meal. 3 Krazy is a clever play on ephemeral slang from his hometown that he likely settled on after a blowing a memorable batch of dro. Granted, fellow Atlanta spitter 2 Chainz isn’t much deeper of a title. But his evolution seemed both natural and calculated. He made it happen without forcing it.
It’s first instinct to criticize the biting, but at least he’s taking the wheel. While most fans’ minds can only measure an artist by the industry matrix’s coordinates, we should encourage more MCs to challenge the mainstream’s current and take their careers into their own hands. We can speculate about his intentions and doubt his path but at least he’s attempting to navigate himself out of artist purgatory. All that he and everyone watching can do is watch and learn.
How will it work out? Sadly, it may be too late for us to accept a surface identity change and too early to receive a true evolution. 2 Chainz flourished under different circumstance and had the advantage of executing his plan with the element of surprise. “Who does this fool think he is?” we asked, under our breaths? “2 Chaiiiiiinz!” he screamed back. It worked because we hadn’t truly met him yet, but were familiar enough to give him a chance. But we’ve been known Young Dro. He likes Ralph Lauren, southern belles and the finest greenery. If 3 Krazy doesn’t have something new to say, it will take a lot more than a name for us to listen to him this time around.
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