2 Chainz closes his latest EP, The Play Don’t Care Who Makes It, with “LAMBORGHINI TRUCK (ATLANTA SHIT).” Over easygoing production, he makes a roll call of the Atlanta rappers who have pushed the sound forward: Killer Mike, T.I., Jeezy, Gucci, Future, Bankroll Fresh, Shawty Lo, Young Thug, etc., and inspires the rest of Atlanta’s natives to keep going after what they want: “The whole Atlanta gonna have a Lambo truck.”
It’s a time of awakening for the 40-year-old emcee. 2 Chainz embraces the anticipated vehicle because he can actually fit into it — he’s too tall to fit in the brand’s typical coupe. The grander sentiment seems to be that he’s reached a pinnacle in which the industry molds around him, rather than trying to force himself to fit. The track is filled with love, understanding and growth.
The reflection continues on “PROUD,” an ode to his mother. A sappy, slow song is not to be expected. The first line is “TRU university, I pull it up and murk a beat.” So no, this isn’t Tupac’s “Dear Mama” or Kanye’s “Hey Mama.” The essence of what makes a 2 Chainz song is all there: an energetic flow and delivery to match the always-energetic beats, a precise armory of punchlines, and a to-the-point chorus: “Momma ain’t raise no ho.” YG and Offset assist, although YG drops the ball by largely repeating the chorus, and his laid-back, West Coast style seems unable to keep up with the pair of Atlanta rappers’ cadences.
With his more recent EPs and mixtapes, as well as his 2017 album Pretty Girls Like Trap Music, 2 Chainz has gotten more choosy. He’s choosy with his beats, his lyrics and even tones down the boisterous ad libs for which he is known (where he would previously shout “2 Chainz” before a verse or “TRU” during one, he now occasionally murmurs them, often blending them in).
Nevertheless, he’s maintained the athleticism in his rhymes. He raps like he’s tied with 10 seconds left in the game — he’s always hungry and always has been. “The devil wears Prada, I’m a demon, a heathen,” he raps on “OK BITCH.” On “LAND OF THE FREAKS,” he maneuvers his way through about five different flows within the first minute and a half.
On “LAMBORGHINI TRUCK (ATLANTA SHIT),” the rapper says he has the “glow” like Bruce Leroy, the protagonist in the 1985 martial arts film The Last Dragon. In the movie, the glow is achieved when one reaches full mastery of their skills. The Hair Weave Killer is evolving. 2 Chainz has been in the game for well over a decade, but the things that have made him — his mom, his city, his hustle — haven’t left the rearview mirror, although he’s full speed ahead.