Rapper and Houston native Slim Thug, born Stayve Jerome Thomas, has been following in the footsteps of Jay-Z, Jeezy, and more 40-and-up rappers who are focused on getting better as they get older. Instead of trying to keep up with Gen Z, he’s been enjoying watching the evolution of hip-hop, creating music for his fanbase and expanding his brand.
Since hitting the big 4-0 in September 2020, the “Still Tippin’” rapper has embraced the more mature side of life, which he discussed with Atlanta Black Star. For him this means looking to settle down and leaning into his Suga Daddy Slim alter ego, a persona that came to life after he decided to dress up and “manifest” himself while on vacation.
“It was such a beautiful day outside and I was just trying to manifest myself on vacation somewhere,” he told ABS. “Ain’t no good blue water out here in Houston, so I was really dressing up, trying to manifest myself somewhere on vacation, but I looked like a sugar daddy, so I just call myself Suga Daddy Slim, and then I began to play the role.”
The creation of Suga Daddy Slim has been a renewed source of inspiration for the artist. He put out a 2019 mixtape, “Suga Daddy Slim: On the Prowl,” to introduce him to the world and show that he’s “really embracing” getting older. “I did a little project, little mixtape about it and just really embracing me getting older. I’m 40 now. You know what I’m saying? I want to do everything that 40-year-olds doing. And most 40-year-olds get considered sugar daddy. So I’m going to take the role and I’m going to make whatever age I am cool. … We going to talk about it. We going to keep it OG.”
Slim’s latest release, “Black Queen,” is an ode to strong Black women and another product of his persona. The track is a radically different tone than past controversial comments he made drawing comparisons between dating white and Black women. The inspiration for the song came to him during an Instagram Live session when he asked fans what he should write about and one suggestion stood out.
“I did it on Instagram and I was on Live. When I can’t figure out what to write about sometimes, I go on Live and just play the music and let the fans inspire me,” he stated. “I ask them what I should talk about on the song, and a lady on there told me I should talk about my Black queen. So, I got off Instagram Live and wrote it. And I got back on Instagram Live and posted it. … I just described what my dream Black queen would be. … I have to give her credit. I wish I knew her name to give her full credit.”
After the successful release of his first album, “Already Platinum,” in 2005, and collaborations with the likes of Beyoncé, Rick Ross, Ludacris, Gwen Stefani, and longtime friend and collaborator Bun B, throughout his career Slim Thug has been able to maintain what few hip-hop artists seem to be able to capture: longevity. The key, he feels, is knowing his fan base and making music for them, as opposed to trying to compete with hip-hop’s younger or rising stars.
“I just really rap about what my life on most of my music,” he said. “It’s really describing each age and each era of my life. In my music, I just kind of keep growing and keep speaking from that perspective. I’m not trying to compete with the youngsters. I let the youngsters have the game. They can have the charts and all that. I’m just making music for myself and for my direct fans.”
Just because he’s not focused on competing doesn’t mean he’s not keeping up with the “youngsters” in the game. Artists in his current rotation include Drake, Pooh Shiesty, Lil Durk, Travis Scott, Megan Thee Stallion, Lizzo, and Sauce Walka, and if he could offer them or any of the latest generation of rappers a word of advice, it would be to “find your lane and stick to it.”
“Find your lane and stick to it. When people hear Slim Thug, the people who buy my records they know what they’re going to get from me,” he said. “You know what I’m saying? So it’s cool. And they happy about that because that’s what they looking for. The same thing with me, sometimes I just want to hear some West Coast music that’s straight. Some West Coast music. So I go listen to certain artists for that.”
Slim Thug has been staying in his lane since day one, even when next to one of the industry’s most famous Black queens, Queen Bey herself. In 2020, Bun B recounted a story about himself and Slim being kicked off the “Check On It” set while Beyoncé was filming, and not only did Slim Thug confirm it happened, he jokingly admitted that it was more because of him than Bun B.
“That was for Slim Thug. Bun B married, so [Jay-Z] wasn’t worried about no Bun B,” he laughed. “He was definitely like, ‘Man, who is that local rapper from Houston? Get him up out of here, man, on my wife.’ Nah, I wouldn’t have disrespected the GOAT anyway though. I was looking at the dancers on the cool. I was on them. I was looking at them. I wasn’t even thinking about disrespecting my favorite rapper, man. Nah, I wouldn’t do that. … I can’t afford to pay for them yachts and s–t Jay-Z and them do. … I was looking at the dancers. I’m good. I stay in my lane.”
Along with maturing mentally and being comfortable in the music career he’s carved for himself, Slim Thug has also diversified his portfolio by expanding into personal business ventures like his Boss Life Construction company and Slim HTX line of PPE wear. The businesses not only ensure he maintains multiple streams of income, but also help his music-making process by allowing him to not feel pressured to continually release new tracks.
“When you live like that, that stops you from clout chasing,” Slim said. “Because if you ain’t got no money and all you depend on is rap and you’re trying to be on the radio and make the number one song and go sell a million records … that makes you reach in and stepping out of who you really are sometimes to try to keep up with what the radio sound like. But when you just being yourself and you doing what you do and having fun doing it, it’s all fun and it’s a beautiful feeling to do it like this. … Just however you feel, do whatever you want to do. It’s a free feeling. The freedom of it is more than money. It’s worth more than money, I would say.”
With freedom and maturity at the forefront of his life, it seems as if Slim Thug is truly prepared to find love, spread wisdom, and continue creating to Houston bops that his dedicated fans have grown to look forward to.