NPR: 2 CHAINZ CHANNELS ATLANTA'S HISTORY IN TRANSMUTATION
Young Thug, Big Boi And 2 Chainz Channel
Atlanta's History Of Transmutation
Just when it seems Atlanta's done all it can to decimate rap's beloved traditions, someone hops out of bounds again, crosses another line, slaughters a sacred cow.
And then there's 2 Chainz, who exemplifies the one thing his city has become best at over the years: transmutation. Like the phoenix that symbolizes Atlanta's post-Civil War rebirth, its sound is in a constant state of self-conflagration and recreation. 2 Chainz started out as Tity Boi, part of Ludacris' extended Disturbing Tha Peace crew in the early '00s. But he underwent more than a name change; he remade himself, went on a mixtape tear (with the T.R.U. series), and came out a star on the other side. If records by Big Boi and Young Thug represent the city's two extremes, in age range and aesthetic, Pretty Girls Like Trap Music represents the best of both worlds. Chainz's penchant for punchlines remains intact on the new LP. But songs like album closer "Burglar Bars" give listeners the clearest sense of his own evolution from neighborhood hustler to trap star. "See my verses are better / and my subject is realer /see my mom was an addict / and my dad was the dealer," he raps.
It's that conversion story that serves as Atlanta's metaphorical bread and butter. And the bakery, from the sounds of it, is still open for business.