Footnotes: 2 Chainz

Photographer Alex Wesh
June 15, 2012

Footnotes is the section in our magazine where we take a deeper look at the music surrounding our feature artists. Read Andrew Noz' FADER #80 cover feature on 2 Chainz here, and check out our notes below.

Playaz Circle f. Lil Wayne, “Duffle Bag Boy” Supply & Demand (Disturbing Tha Peace 2007)
No question this song is popular because of its beat and Lil Wayne’s chorus. Playaz Circle, the duo of Dolla and Tity Boi, aka 2 Chainz, are like guests on their own song, and, indeed, when 2 Chainz performs the song live, he raps Wayne’s classic chorus, If I don’t do nothing Imma ball. Wouldn’t you? But it also gives you an early taste of Chainz’ wonderful, ridiculous future. Ten seconds into his verse, he milks scatological humor with excellent results: I am on my shit/ I need a Pamper on it/ Toilet paper on the side/ For example homie. And then, from nowhere, loud and staccato: I GET MONEY. 
It’s taken some years for his popularity to gestate, and he hasn’t really changed at all, which I think is what the song is about. MS

2 Chainz, “Spend It” Codeine Cowboy (Internet 2011)
It took 2 Chainz more than a decade and one name change to become a star, and it took “Spend It”—a track with an egomaniacal hook, whining organ and lurching drum rolls—a year to become his signature, self-affirming hit. The funniest party rap with a punch line about baby formula also has a skeleton basic enough for a baby to memorize; its first minute consists of just two lines. It’s mine/ I spend it is an easy mantra, perfect for online shopping. It’s bombastic and goofy instead of tough because of 2 Chainz’ lovable, swollen delivery. He sounds like he’s permanently getting over the flu, his voice plugged by mucus. NZ

Nicki Minaj f. 2 Chainz, “Beez in the Trap” Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded (Young Money/Cash Money/Universal 2012)
When the video for “Beez in the Trap” came out, I sent it to every person I know with giggly email notes that said things like “omg look at nicki lol!” A lot of my friends are Nicki fans, not rap fans, but even if they were paying more attention to her leopard-print-swathed ass in the video than they were to the dude she was rapping with, most of them asked me who he was. With Kenoe’s minimal beat and whistling high notes, people are saying that “Beez in the Trap” is Nicki’s return to the street, but I see it more as 2 Chainz’ pop debut. His verse is kind of unremarkable, but who cares? A million tweens and gay boys are going to hear 2 Chainz do his name-drop whether they like it or not. AF

Footnotes: 2 Chainz