Tuesday, September 18, 2012 at 8 a.m.
The appeal of 2 Chainz -- aka 36 year-old Tauheed Epps -- stems from many things. To begin with, his ear for beats is incredible, and he always seems to bring out the best in producers like Mike Will Made It and Lex Luger. The persona he's manifested through mixtapes such as T.R.U. Realigion is lovably goofy and campy, as evidenced by the fact that so many people have no problem doing his arm-flailing, elbow-dropping dance routine in public without any sense of lost dignity. And, his lyrics can reach a Lil Wayne level of absurdity that leave us both dumbfounded and dazzled.
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The third reason -- his lyrics -- are what gave us reason to write this post, and it's with these lyrics in mind we look at his current success. Considering that hip-hop thrives on word play, even if you don't agree with Epps' celebrated status in modern hip-hop, you still have to recognize that it's these lyrics that are standing victorious in the genre's present popularity contest. They're not the most serious pieces of work out there, but they definitely induce some of our giddiest smiles. Here's a list of our top five favorite 2 Chainz lines for you to study before you see him tomorrow night at the Glass House in Pomona.
"I'm blowing smoke in here, tell me where's Smokey Bear? / They say I look like a chimney when I'm on the chair."
Get a hold of that portly, shirtless cartoon character everyone learns fire safety tips from, because 2 Chainz is blowing so much weed-smoke he's creating a fire hazard. Apparently, he's even puffing so much smoke it looks as though the chair he sits on has an overly active chimney hoisted upon it. When hearing these lyrics, we imagine Chainz sitting in the middle of a night club, sitting upon a throne of codeine cups, pipes, and Ciroc bottles, looking as if a match just struck below him--that's quite a visual.
"You're not ill-er I'm Godzilla on Hard Liquor / My Penny Loafers had nickels."
If you choose to become involved in hip-hop, you can approach the way you conduct and create your verbal threats, boasts, and brags various ways. 2 Chainz has just decided to brush all the usual approaches to the side, and just go all out. You can't best 2 Chainz, because he's a drunken dinosaur ripped straight from Japanese monster movies, with extremely extravagant dress shoes. If the rap game was Japan viewed through the lens of Toho Studios, helpless rappers could do nothing but scream and run as they looked into the sky to see a colossal Louboutin red bottom crashing down on them.
"Take her ass like a burglar / Then I put her on the loud and feed her turkey burgers."
2 Chainz' obsession with the opposite sex will almost always get the best of him. The sight of a big booty has the potential to bring his vocabulary's operating level down to only being able to utter out, uh, "big booty." He will get drunk off of women, and have a threesome in which he will play the role of mixologist and use one girl as a shot and the other as a chaser. When he is in love with you and he's "penetrating," he will make love to you like a "chemist" -- whatever that means. At worst, he will strike when you're not looking and steal you away in the style of Silence of the Lambs antagonist Buffalo Bill and keep you on a constant rotation of powerfully potent weed and (hopefully) delicious turkey burgers.
"Known to act a donkey on the camel-toe / Then take the camel-toe and turn it into a casserole."
Throughout hip-hop history, rappers from LL Cool J to J Cole have played the role of sexual Superman to every woman they can fit in their bed, car, or favorite after-hours spot. And, whether it was through the usual wine-and-dine, or some other outlandish feat simple enough to put in a song yet veiled enough to fit on the radio , it's always worked. 2 Chainz takes this further, though. Not only will he act like a rabid, feral transportation animal on you, but he will then turn around and turn what's in between your thighs into an easy-to-bake comfort food fit for the dinner table. Think of it as the "Casanova's Casserole."
"Hair-weave killer, emergency / Hair-weave killer, I murder weaves / Hair-weave killer, murder scene."
Rappers such as Big Daddy Kane were lady's men of the classiest, flashiest degree. Down-south hustlers such as Pimp C and bay area pimp-dons such as Rappin' 4-Tay were as smooth as street stalkers could be, while still keeping things gritty and making it seem as though they would jump out their car and pistol-whip you at a moment's notice. Others, such as Juicy J, just figure that they can get women to a dizzying, disorienting level of intoxication and let the puzzle piece itself together from there. 2 Chainz re-imagines these familiar narratives, and creates scenarios through songs the way Jack the Ripper, the Boston Strangler, or the Night Stalker would. You may not be swooned by his speech or his wooed by his walk, but he'll be damned if he doesn't end up sexually pummeling your hair into submission.