One of the most underrated artists of our generation, let alone Atlanta, Hip-Hop or music altogether. Though 2 Chainz has enjoyed mainstream success, it is to be noted that his catalogue and lyricism is highly overlooked. While the consensus holds the likes of Pusha T or Lupe Fiasco (to name a few) to high regard for their penmanship, there is a case of him being your, “favourite rapper’s favourite rapper”, even more so, if we’re all in agreement that Lil’ Wayne justified his, “best rapper alive”, statement, then 2 Chainz would be the, “best rappers, favourite rapper”, as the influence (or appreciation) cannot be denied. One of the modern day rap folklore was that Wayne (an established lyricist) wrote Chainz’s verse on the legendary Duffle Bag Boy single, an example of how well-received it was. There’s even some correlation between flows, like his first verse on Up In Smoke and Weezy’s verse for Mario – Crying Out For Me (Remix). Point is, he’s one of the greats, and though he’s playing with the current crop, he’s a seasoned veteran that still has a lot to prove. This is heard throughout the music, even in the braggadocios rhymes, it’s less showing off and more so an indication of accomplishment, a nod to his status in the game. I can continue on why he’s one of rap’s unsung heroes, but really this is reviewing his new EP, the appetiser to the main course of an album that’s on the way.
Aside from the ten mixtapes and four albums under his belt, he’s also dropped three well crafted conceptual EP’s, and this latest one (making that four) is no exception. The Play Don’t Care Who Makes It fits within the realms of the forthcoming album entitled Rap or Go To The League, a play on the stereotype of routes most African-American (or most minorities across the globe) believe they have towards success and making it out of their circumstances. This is a clear example of the depth which 2 Chainz possesses, something that sounds cool, but really engulfs substance, much like his music.
The EP boasts four tracks, and in a climate where artists are flooding the streams with large bodies of work, the content here may be less in quantity but makes up in quality, with it’s strong playback value. From OK Bitch, a statement of cool from the start, “Used to make hard, make it look easy, take the top back and make it look Jeezy, Two double cups..make it look Weezy”, he glides over the beat, “Chronicles of chronic and the digi-scale, a stripper pussy on my motherfuckin’ fingernail”, using his flow as an instrument, he’s able to make major impact with minimal words, “Versace for the weekend, the devil wear Prada..I’m a demon”, the fashionista raps. It’s a nice start, and sets up nice for the follow up, one of the standouts, Proud featuring YG & Offset. An anthem for those that share such a relation with their mothers, and the video itself features their mothers who can rightfully claim their G, for raising the three legends in the making.
“I’m just tryna make my mama proud, I ain’t tryna let my mama down”
The song details the close-knit bond between mama Chainz and her only son, and though the subject is more potent than the content, it’s their styles that really raises the level of the song. How they come in on their verses reminds me of those classic collaborations where the artist is able to take you to their world, from YG’s, “My mama ain’t raise no hoe, ‘cos my mama ain’t no hoe..”, to how Offset skates into his. They each have different and distinct flows, and the combination makes for a great record, to where I just enjoy it in it’s entirety rather than dissect or critique.
Like the song, the visuals maintain that representation, even so amplify the feeling, with the individual’s mothers representing for the sons. I loved it, for many of us, our mothers are why we go so hard in whatever it is we do, so it adds a whole new element, you will watch it multiple times regardless. There’s a lot of people whose mothers aren’t even cool with the choice of career or lifestyles let alone representing us on camera. So, much love to the mothers, it’s great to see where the rappers get their star-power from, as they each bring their own signature style that their sons can be extremely proud of.
(Back to the EP). This is definitely one of those projects where one track might be your favourite, but then next week..it’s another. Land of The Freaks reminds me of a more refined Trap-A-Velli Tity, close to (his breakthrough single) No Lie, the way he dictates the tempo and direction amidst the present melody. Content wise, though it’ll appear that he’s bragging or boasting, I hear him emphasising his position as one of the elites. Also to be noted is the order of the tracklist, the greats put a lot of thought into the track placement, and 2 Chainz is no different, even with just four tracks, they balance out really well.
As we approach the final quarter of the game, similar to Pretty Girls Like Trap, the final track while closing the project, serves as an end with cinematic scale and the post-credit at the same time, providing somewhat of an insight into what to possibly expect in the near future. Picturesque, Lamborghini Truck (Atlanta Shit) showcases more of his ability, on the emphatic production, it’s sample like the breeze and each beat hitting like rain drops, with his voice like the sun through the storm possesses a warm tone, as he’s able to paint an abstract Atlanta portrait, with shades of his own experiences.
“Atlanta shit..I’m a fashion lover, Virgil Abloh did my first album cover”.
The first verse, a more vivid portrayal of things thus far, “Started from apartments…ended in a mansion, that’s the definition of growth and expansion, a slope and a ramp and an envelope full of hope..she gon’ lick the stamp and I’m the main attraction”, it’s however the second verse that holds weight, with his high ranking within the Atlanta scene, (and like a true leader) he pays homage to some of the fellow greats that help contribute to the ATL’s current prominence. “I’m like Dro when I’m rockin’ Polo Sport, I feel like Gucci when I’m walking out of court, Rest in Peace ‘Lo, Rest in Peace Bankroll, one time for Rocko, Tip and Rosco, one of the top flows, on the top flo’..”
His previous work to me has formed the sturdy foundation, upon which I feel this next album will prove pivotal in propelling him further in that deserved conversation of one of the best (and not just to me). The last track, asserting his place amongst the ATL greats helps shine some light, as he is an integral part in it’s surge, and as this EP will satisfy the cravings, as the following album will only add to the legacy, even if the play don’t care who makes it.