Slim Thug Debates Meaning Of "Thug" On CNN

The Houston native describes thugging in a potentially positive light.

Following the release and viral attention garnered by a video in which a small child is seen cursing and engaging in vulgar behavior, some commentators dubbed the toddler as a thug. Appearing on CNN’s Newsroom with Don Lemon, Slim Thug described an alternate perspective of the word ‘thug’ and why it shouldn’t only be viewed negatively.

The segment began with Slim Thug’s comments that thugging can describe an entrepreneurial struggle. “It’s deeper than just being an entrepreneur because when I say from nothing, I mean like from nothing for real—Momma not there, Daddy not there, and you looked at as a thug because of how you look,” the rapper said. “You might have saggy jeans on and you come from the hood so you not dressed as sharp as the other kids and you always looked at as a thug, from family to strangers, everybody looking at you like you’re about to steal something from them because of  how you dress and how you look. And for you to come from that to being successful, we call that—coming from nothin’—we call that thugging.”

Given that CNN and most other news outlets take the term to describe a detrimental lifestyle, Slim distinguished his view from the status quo. “I understand that,” he said. “I think ya’ll definition of thug and mine different. So I understand that people could get it wrong sometime.

"At the same time, I do do all that and I do hang around those type of guys, that’s what environment I was raised in,” he added regarding carrying a weapon and spending time with alleged criminals. “I was discriminated against so much because of how I look and how I dress so I wanna show the other kids who came up where I came up [that] just ‘cause I had braids and a grill with tattoos everywhere, it don’t necessarily mean I’m fittin’ to try and snatch your purse.”

Slim Thug, who appeared on the show seemingly in part due to his stage name, continued with a description of the type of positive involvement he has in his own local community. “I give out meals all the time," he said. "I go to the hood every Thanksgiving [and] pass out turkeys, give away toys away at school, I do a lot for the community.”

Speaking specifically to the video in which a child is seen using explicit language, Slim Thug clarified that he doesn’t condone the behavior. “I don’t think that was cool what happened with that baby,” he said. “I don’t think that’s cool them people got their kid cussing like that. I also don’t think it’s right for somebody to label him as a thug because of his environment. That’s just what he’s raised in and he’s gotta come out of that. A lot of people are born into money, and they just gotta follow the blueprint.”

A stream of the original video can be viewed below.

“It’s the environment, it ain’t the music,” Slim Thug said, apparently talking about the specific case in question but also speaking more generally as well. “If anybody listens to music and is influenced by what a rapper says then they wasn’t raised in a good home anyway. If somebody gonna listen to a song and do what the song say, that’s bad parenting, off top. You’re supposed to know better than that.”

In November of 2013, Slim Thug released his most recent album, Boss Life. The album featured appearances from Thug’s fellow HoustoniansPaul Wall, Chamillionaire, and Z-Ro.

CNN has featured interviews with rappers frequently in the past. In 2013, Jay Z described his own viewing habits with a slight for the news agency. "CNN is almost like TMZ," he said. "Certain things, it's like, 'Ah, man. This is like really just entertainment.' It's really like all for ratings at the end of the day. And you squeeze a bit of information in there."

RELATED: Slim Thug "Boss Life" Cover Art, Tracklisting & Album Stream


  • Anonymous

    Out of all people you talk to this dude, why not Bun B?

  • Maureen Duke

    before I saw the paycheck four $7158 , I didnt believe neighbour woz like realie erning money in there spare time from there pretty old laptop. . there aunt haz done this 4 only seventeen months and recently cleard the mortgage on there mini mansion and bourt Jaguar XJ . you can try this out... www.Tec80.Com Uh, 2 of them are shemales, that is a man with a penis dressed as a women, it's pretty gay stuff.

  • Anonymous

    No wonder Fox News kills them in the ratings

  • Anonymous

    Another L for niglets

  • Ummmm

    So are we really expected to rewrite the definition of Thug according to Slim Thug? Slim Thug calls himself Slim Thug becuz it sounds hard, not becuz he's a respectable person just on the grind. He goes on a rant about how "thug" to him isn't the stereotype and in the next sentance he claims to be in that exact environment. What's Slim Thug's interpretation of the word Retard? And what's with people thinking they can just redefine a word that has been in existance for 100's of years. The hood didn't create the word thug, you can't just redefine it to mean the opposite ala the "N" word, and then go around correcting people like they're fucking dumb is that

  • Chi-Ill

    This nikka wearing shades inside the crib with low light! WTF?! lol

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  • 666

  • myers

  • COCA


    • Jay Balfour

      I put Jay's name there because the article clearly states that Slim Thug was not the only rapper interviewed by CNN. Geez. If you think you can do better, then go ahead. You people always take the time out of your "busy" day to comment on these forums, so I'm sure a keyboard warrior like yourself could put out some top-notch journalism.

  • Edward

    Racism is horrendous on these message boards. I wish we could all wear a T shirts with our personal feelings on them to be judged. The shirt should read "Racist" , "theif" , "hater" , Cold blooded killer, ect then people wouldn't be able to hide behind senseless comments attacking a race. I used to work with very racist people and learned to ignore those people but to see the comments on these boards and others is appalling and lets me know to trust no one but GOD. Because you never know a person until you live with them for a while.

  • gqdon

    Slim Thug does not present a good representation of what he is trying to explain. He was an outcast to society and peers because of his tough upbringing. With that said you tend to embrace the people who accept you and relate to you the most however on national TV the word "thug" is 99.9 % negative and is not to be embraced regardless of the love that it has shown him. A thug lies, steals, kills, cheats, blames society and has all the wrong reasons to fight against right. We have come a long way and he is 30+ and should speak on how his past has shaped him into a 100% percent positive business man. A few of his songs reminds me of a porno or horror movie which is too graphic because 75% kids listen to it and not 75% mature adults. Please help change the culture because it really needs some change. He is not the reason why thing are bad because it's been violence, hate, prostitution since the second century. His music is good entertainment but not all positive.

  • Anonymous

    Kendrick wanted to call himself a thug during the GQ interview, but they wouldn't let him.

  • YonkersBornAndRaised

    We all know what the thug mentality is about as listeners to rap and growing up in the hood. It's about handling your business like a man, even if you break the law in order to do it. Having to explain it to someone who is foreign to that perspective is therefore stupid. Do you, my nigga. Fuck what everybody else thinks.

  • Anonymous

    The male gorilla calls himself a thug instead of a man.

  • Hookah

    Black fuckheads teaching their baby chimp how to be a criminal.

  • Hookah

    The monkeys in the video are trying to make a Cheif Keef, this is why we felt no remorse after we killed that monkey Trayvon Martin Luther.

  • Anonymous

    Sheboons pop out little niglets by the dozen and leach off welfare untill the savage niglets are old enough to start robbing and stealing to support the Sheboons drug habit, the fathers are in prison or out raping other women. The black race is a race of degenerate primate species.

  • Anonymous

    Black monkeys acting like Black monkeys cant even take care of their kids, they need to be locked up like the gorillas in the zoo.

  • Anonymous

    This is proof that Ni55ers are subhuman animals that are not fit to breed, police officers should all watch this video so that they can start viewing ni55er youth as animals so that they wont think twice about shooting them or putting them in cages like the animals they are.

    • Anonymous

      Yep, and explains why y'all living the 'black life' vicariously and that is why you are on a hip-hop site, vicariously ingesting black semen.

  • Anonymous

    Wow. Fuck all the racist pricks commenting on the YouTube video

  • Margaret R. Sallee

    up to I saw the paycheck 4 $7824 , I didnt believe brothers friend woz like they say realey receiving money part time on their apple labtop. . there moms best frend had bean doing this 4 less than 6 months and at present paid the loans on their place and bourt a great new Lexus LS400 . go to website... www.FB39.Com Bronson is organic hip hop, there's nothing manufactured about him and there's no skinny jeans in sight.

  • hector phrench

    im too high for this article

  • Moot

    Mofo's love 2Pac but didn't listen to a damn thing he said.. I hate seeing rappers who got the opportunity to have a microphone in front of them with the ability to reach millions but they can't articulate themselves. All this dude had to say was The Hate U Gave Lil Infants F's Everyone and this is exactly what we see today, crack babies all grown up raising hell, but if we don't understand cocaine cowboys and the Larry Davis story and how this ruined our communities we'll be lost and blamed for eternity.. #KNOWYOURHISTORY

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