Concert preview: 2 Chainz moves from supporting act to feature player

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From the June 26, 2014 edition

Georgia rapper 2 Chainz is funny and profane, utterly ridiculous and occasionally profound. His verses — well, they’re less verses than a series of punchlines he shouts like a rowdy heckler — are littered with references to his sexual prowess and his vast wealth (“Might valet park a Brink’s truck,” he barks memorably on one tune), and he tends to deliver every line with the boisterousness of a child excitedly showing off a new skill (“Heylookatme!”).

The MC built his reputation with a series of scene-stealing features, reportedly earning upwards of $100,000 per appearance for his guest slots on tracks with everyone from Nicki Minaj to Justin Bieber. His transition to solo artist hasn’t been quite as smooth. Forced to fill entire songs rather than craft a killer line or two, his weakness have become more apparent. Some bon mots fall back on base misogyny, while others serve up the hip-hop equivalent of empty calories (“Money tall like Jordan” manages to say something and nothing at once).

Occasionally 2 Chainz does offer a bit more depth (see: “Outroduction”), and his enthusiasm can be infectious, but on future efforts the rapper needs to find some way to move beyond his current role as rap’s reigning court jester.

Lil St. Louis also performs.

Photo courtesy of 2 Chainz