You Can Never Break the (2)Chainz: Atlanta’s Next Hope

Deen is riding around, forgetting it. It’s been a minute since I did a proper analysis of anything. I think the cool kids call it a “think-piece.” Lil’ B and Odd Future had a...
By    April 10, 2012

Deen is riding around, forgetting it.

It’s been a minute since I did a proper analysis of anything. I think the cool kids call it a “think-piece.” Lil’ B and Odd Future had a ton written about them over the last two years. Dubstep got a few last year. I remember the good old days when Jeezy and Clipse got five per week. Wayne had his moment. So did Gucci. Even Waka. But most of those writers teach English in Asia now or went to grad school and got jobs on Wall Street. Shame. Sallie Mae still winning though.

But I’m either being really obtuse or plain blind these days because I haven’t seen anything on 2Chainz. Yet, this muthafucka is EVERY FUCKING WHERE. Just thinking of attempting to list the number of songs he’s been featured on in the last year is giving me a headache right now. He’s on songs with niggas I can’t stand. He’s on songs with niggas I stan for. He’s on songs I like. He’s on songs I dislike. The shit is absurd. And guess what? I don’t fucking like it. Yeah, call me a hater. I don’t give a fuck.

Each year, some rapper is anointed “next up.” Over the last decade, that rapper has generally been basura by any reasonable/knowledgeable rap standards, but with enough exposure and support from “the powers that be” and/or the “streets,” even folks who ostensibly know better start tolerating and in extreme cases, championing said rapper. (I’m really sorry about using those quotes, there was no way around it – and I really do have this headache. Fuck 2Slaves).

The cycle usually ends up with the rapper becoming a permanent fixture on the scene even their “moment” is over. And the thing is,  I’m not even mad at 2Coons at all. If anything, I’m really happy for the guy and what his ascendance means in the long-term — if it means anything at all. He’s 35 years old! That’s ancient in rap or dog years. And maybe that points to some kind of new (and welcome) trend in an industry where rappers who have been around for a while get to have their moment too in a youth-obsessed genre. In recent years, most of the newer A-List rappers have taken some time to get to the top. For instance, Rick Rawse didn’t drop Port of Miami until he was 30! That’s amazing if you think about it, given that some of us still taunt Jigga for being 50 years old. So in a sense, 2Chainz is a good thing. Pause?

However, it’s hard to understand why someone gets to carry Ludacris’ weed for a decade and be a minor footnote in Lil’ Wayne’s ascendancy to super-stardom then “suddenly” become next up. I listened to those Playaz Circle albums. Yes, 2Chainz was in that duo – NO ONE at my barbershop knew this 3 weeks ago. I shit you not. I wish I had taken a picture of this really loud lady when I told her that 2Chainz is 35 years old. She got so flustered that she had to go smoke a cigarette. Or maybe she was just going through nicotine withdrawal. I mean, she was wearing a patch. Or maybe that was one of those birth control patches that upset Rick Santorum so much. Whatever. Anyway, Playaz Circle? Right. I remember deleting them from my hard drive — save for “Duffle Bag Boy” and “Stupid” — and I never delete shit. At best, it was completely unremarkable and serviceable rap.

I’ll admit to ignoring everything 2Chainz did in the interim, but he eventually became inescapable. When he showed up on a Freddie Gibbs song, I had the ‘just ate shit face‘ for weeks. Eventually, I worked my way back to Codeine Cowboy, the mixtape that supposedly launched this wave. The goal was to get it – but “IT” isn’t there. Honestly I really tried (and will probably try again because I’m a damn masochist). As I understand it, this guy takes the worst elements of Lil’ Wayne (unintelligible “lyricism” and “cleverness/wordplay”) and Gucci Mane (unintelligible everything), places that shit over decent trap/bamma beats, ad-libs heavily (can’t win without that) and VOILA!

Or I suppose another way to view it is that he says “funny” shit, but delivers it really well, so he’s good now? Like a male Nicki Minaj (she’s so influential y’all)? Delivery and performance is where rap is at now? That sounds more like some shit Fedex sells. I think writing this shit is just getting me more confused and upset about 2Chainz.

This shit boils down to some mush-mouf muthafucka switching names from TITY BOI (y’all didn’t fuck with him then) to 2Shackles, cracking a joke about Similac and dropping ONE catchy enough song (you know the one. I’ll admit that it’s catchy. No shame in that). And he’s next up? He’s the one Def Jam is shoe-horning onto Kanye tracks? Tainting my Gibbs mixtapes? Rapping with Nicki Minaj?

Let’s be honest. Can anyone reading this name FIVE (5) SOLO 2Chainz songs? Don’t worry, I’ll wait.

I got up to three. And one is a remake/response to an Erykah Badu song. So make that two.

Maaaaan, fuck this shit. I’m just sad now. If anyone wants to explain why 2Chainz is happening to me, feel free. I’ll be listening to Carter 4 in the meantime, because there’s really no difference between the gibberish on that shit sandwich and every 2Lames verse I’ve heard in the last few months. You asshole rap fans really couldn’t wait for a more interesting coon to come along because Wayne, Gucci and T.I. got locked up while Jeezy refused to release an album and Rick Rawse stepped into the role of ‘rapper that can do no wrong’? Fuck patience, eh? Y’all just gave that spot to a weed-carrier that finally remembered to hire a public relations staff? You couldn’t wait out the coon vacuum?

You know what’s worse? I wrote most of this piece while listening to G.O.O.D. Music’s new single – “Mercy,” which of course has 2Pistols (oh shit, that was an actual rapper like 3 years ago – LOL) on it. And I have to admit that overgrown Weezy kinda showed out a bit on it. I mean, Pusha Ton cleaned up, but next to the mediocrity of Medium Sean and Kanye’s verses, 2Chainz sounds halfway excellent. So now because we’re used to expecting nothing from our “elite” MCs (I’ll rant about Kanye some other day), wack rappers like 2Chainz can hop on tracks with them and wash them. I blame Jay-Z for this shit.

So yes, I’m sad AND confused. I’m going to bed with a headache and wondering if 2Chainz is actually as good as twitter says I’m supposed to think he is (even though I can’t remember anything from the “Mercy”verse I just heard. Only the faint echo of a coon yelling “SIMILAC” in my ear. Fuck rap.

ZIP: 2Chainz – Codeine Cowboy (Left-Click)

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