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Tauheed Epps is one of the best doing it.

2 Chainz newest album Rap or Go to the League sees 2 Chainz exploring new territory for the 41-year-old ATLien. An ex-drug dealer and ex-athlete, he shines a light on the highs and pitfalls of both providing a nuanced glimpse into his life. Often billed as a “trap rapper,” 2 Chainz has always delivered more than just standard trap tales. His underrated lyricism melds together his greatest strengths: his unmatched wit, a knack for hyperbole, imagery, and realism. With all of his powers combined, 2 Chainz is like a fully-formed Traptain Planet.

Photo: GQ Magazine/ Jill Greenberg

2 Chainz’s bag full of skills allows him to consistently be one of the most energetic and electric rappers around. He’s got an impeccable flow that warps and melts into any production he happens to grace. From the stuttering Pharrell-laced drums of “Momma I Hit A Lick” or the anthemic “NCAA,” produced by Honorable C.N.O.T.E, 2 Chainz isn’t simply comfortable on any beat – he’s absolutely at home.

Each time 2 Chainz lays a verse, you can practically hear him placing his feet on your coffee table as he sparks a comically long joint. Because we conflate trap & mumble rap with meaninglessness, he gets an unfair reputation as a run of the mill rapper. Much like fellow cocaine connoisseur Pusha T, Tity Boi isn’t simply recanting the glory of flipping bricks. What makes 2 Chainz such a dynamic and accessible rapper is that he tells all sides of the story. Though he may have sold pot to a swath of rappers and ball players mentioned on “Statute of Limitations,” he’s made grave mistakes like when he sang to his mom on the heartfelt intro “Forgiven.”

Photo: Getty Images/ Streeter Lecka
Not New to It, He’s Tru to It

2 Chainz lyricism and pliable flow is underrated and at the same time also the key to his longevity. He folds and changes into every single thing he’s on like a hood Transformer. How many other rappers can fit in with both Lil Pump and Eminem? Tit manipulates instrumentals like Magneto with a steel beam. The precise hits of his appearance on YG’s “Big Bank” or the groove of the Ty$-assisted “Girl’s Best Friend,” are perfect examples. Chainz takes a Marie Condo approach to rap, thanking each song with a customary “2 Chainz!” before proceeding to destroy it.

2 Chainz’s ubiquity stemming from his nearly unmatched run during the earlier part of the decade could be the cause of his underrated value as a lyricist. When you’re consistently putting numbers on the board it can become humdrum much like Russell Westbrooks’ third consecutive triple-double season. 2 Chainz continues to work his magic and produce at an enviable level. We should sit back and bask in his greatness.

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