Written by: The Bro
Blunts, Butts, and More Blunts
For over a decade, 2 Chainz has been the consummate rap survivor. From the Playaz Circle grind days to becoming a guest feature slayer to ascending into a strip club deity, the artist formerly known as Tity Boi has hustled through the changing waves of rap like Michael Phelps. At 39 years old, 2 Chainz qualifies for a chromed out AARP card, by rap standards. And yet he displays no sign of slipping, dropping the mic or his drank. On his third solo album, Pretty Girls Like Trap Music, the wizened College Park native returns to the trap with some introspection, more blunts, and plenty of big booty chicks.
Riverdale Rd creeps through the speakers with foreboding snyths and trademark Mike Dean 808s as 2 Chainz bounces through an autobiographical ode to his street. The booming chorus references one hit wonder Trinidad James. There was a time when some (mainly rap purists) dismissed 2 Chainz as little more than another southern rapper in his 15 minutes of trap fame cycle. Yet he’s still here, repping his city and weaving in and out of beats. The rap game moves faster than Wall Street, and who is hot today can easily find his face on the “missing rapper” picture on the back of a Sprite bottle tomorrow.
The old and new come together on Good Drank, as fellow rap vet/trap god Gucci appears alongside the newest king of rap features, Quavo. The hook is infectious, the piano loop hypnotic. It sounds like the summer. It also sounds like unity, another example of big Atlanta artists doing their thing together with no drama or hating.
Overall the album’s production stays within the trap playground, adding some interesting sounds here or there. Poor Fool sounds like a Bjork track (Frosti) that bumps in the whip. The strings on Doors Swanging almost seem to call out for a Rick Ross remix. Some tracks fail to stand out though, and sound derivative. The Drake assisted Big Amount feels like a forgettable attempt at another flute trap rap hit but ends up sounding like an energy-less retread of Feds Did A Sweep, from Future’s self titled album earlier this year.
Perhaps the low point of the album comes on Realize, featuring Nicki Minaj. It’s hard not to feel like the track is a manufactured radio song someone from a label slipped into the beat file. To make matters worse, Nicki Minaj’s tired flow drags the track down even more as she reminds us that she’s sold lot of records and tries to convince someone (anyone!) she didn’t really lose that battle last year.
2 Chainz remains pretty consistent through the project, from content to prowess. How many “old” rappers could hold their own on a track with Migos, as he does on Blue Cheese? Being constant isn’t a bad thing, in an ever changing rap climate. Overall, Pretty Girls Like Trap Music is a solid project. And given that his flow seems dipped in the fountain of youth, it wouldn’t be surprising if 2 Chainz sounds this good when he’s 49 as well.