2 Chainz, Pretty Girls Like Trap Music | Album Review
On his fourth studio album, ‘Pretty Girls Like Trap Music,’ southern rapper 2 Chainz delivers just that – trap music.
2 Chainz isn’t the deepest rapper in the game…understatement. Nonetheless, the rapper formerly known as Tity Boi (*rolls eyes) has had his fair share of moments. On his fourth studio album, Pretty Girls Like Trap Music, he’s consistent more often than not. Pretty Girls Like Trap Music isn’t a masterpiece, but it’s a worthwhile listen, particularly for southern rap enthusiasts.
“I hit the trap today, I’m gon’ hit the club tonight, yeah.” “Saturday Night” kicks off Pretty Girls Like Trap Music in electrifying fashion. The guitar-infused trap opener sets the tone. 2 Chainz raps with his signature, humorous, sometimes ridiculous delivery. He says nothing particularly profound, but he’s “on his game” to say the least.
“Riverdale Rd” keeps the trap alive and well… pretty well that is. 2 Chainz is backed by sordid, malicious production, specifically the looped synth. Ultimately, it serves as perfect fuel for the fire. Again, the rapper keeps it simple – at times, downright stupid. On the first verse, he boasts, “My pocket pregnant, don’t want no abortion.” Cringe-worthy! Take Chainz with a grain of salt.
“Good Drank” gives the rapper his first of many star-studded collaborations. Here, he’s accompanied by Gucci Mane and the even-more-ubiquitous Quavo. The results are satisfactory. Gucci Mane shines on his lethargic, mushed-mouth verse, while Quavo adds some serious swagger to the hook. As for 2 Chainz, he’s true to himself. Never change 2 Chainz, never change.
On “4 AM” 2 Chainz enlists Travis Scott for the assist. Expectedly, the record has a unique sound to match the idiosyncratic MC. Like “Good Drank,” it goes off, without a hitch. Throughout, 2 Chainz thinks with what’s in his pants, particularly on the third verse when he hopes certain feminine parts are clean… Wow – that’s all you can say.
“Door Swangin” is all 2 Chainz in his trap glory. Not the crème de la crème, but respectable, at least contextually speaking. He welcomes Nicki Minaj on “Realize,” one of the more intriguing joints. It’s gangsta, thanks to rhymes and the drum programming, yet the rest of the production has a surprising poise. This perfectly suits Minaj, who sings the hook and raps the second verse. “Realize” is good, but not game-changing.
The same could be said of the next set of collaborations which are both good but not great. On “Poor Fool,” Swae Lee (Rae Sremmurd) offers his vocal contributions on the chorus. He certainly sounds at home with Mike WiLL Made-It handling production duties. 2 Chainz offers some memorable basketball references, including “I left the mall like Ginobli” and “I’m so high they might call a goaltend.” Drake appears on “Big Amount,” yet another production tailor-made to the sensibilities of the featured guest. Interestingly, Drake speaks about his evolution as an artist:
“Got the Billboard melodies / Rap is somethin’ I do on the side / Crossed over to the other side / And I didn’t even have to die.”
“It’s a Vibe”
2 Chainz strikes gold on “It’s a Vibe,” featuring Ty Dolla $ign, Trey Songz, and Jhené Aiko. Again, depth is eschewed, but the vibe is legit. Ty Dolla $ign and Trey Songz are perfect, amplifying the sexual intent of the number. 2 Chainz spends his only full verse rapping about money, sex, and hustling. Adding the feminine touch is Jhené Aiko, who sounds as sensual as ever in her sweetest, ‘cool-as-a-cucumber’ voice.
“Rolls Royce Bitch” would’ve been at home on our 12 Songs That Name-Drop the Rolls-Royce Wraith Playlist. Oh well, next playlist. The record is exactly what you think it is – a flex track. On the hook, 2 Chainz raps:
“Rolls-Royce, bitch, yeah the doors go dat way / The doors go dat way, the doors go dat way.”
On “Sleep When U Die,” 2 Chainz is so high (on life supposedly) that the only time he’s worried about sleeping is when he dies. He spits:
“Look in my eyes, look in my eyes / You can sleep when you die, you can sleep when you die.”
Essentially, it’s another flex-joint.
As hyped-up as “Rolls Royce Bitch” and “Sleep When U Die” are, “Trap Check” is closer to the high level of “It’s a Vibe.” No, the tough cut doesn’t quite reach the same heights, but it packs a punch – a financial punch that is.
“Rap shit check, foreign shit check / Fashion shit check, cashing shit check.”
“Blue Cheese” featuring Migos is lethargic and luxurious in sound and vibes. It’s respectable, but by no means the second coming. Two songs from the final trio of Pretty Girls Like Trap Music are so-so at best. Like most of the album, “OG Kush Diet” is well-produced. Still, what does 2 Chainz rap here that he hasn’t stated already? As for “Bailan” featuring Pharrell, it’s just plum odd – rather, plum dumb. The album ends on a high note with “Burglar Bars” featuring Monica. It’s definitely those soulful vibes.
As stated earlier, it’s important to take 2 Chainz with “a grain of salt.” Depth is not part of his script and Pretty Girls Like Trap Music certainly doesn’t offer much. But, why would it? The album is called Pretty Girls Like Trap Music for a reason and 2 Chainz certainly delivers trap music. Neither transcendent nor a classic, it’s an enjoyably dumb southern rap album.
Gems: “Good Drank,” “4 AM,” “It’s a Vibe,” “Trap Check” & “Burglar Bars”