PRETTY GIRLS LIKE TRAP MUSIC: A TRACK-BY-TRACK REVIEW
Written by Joseph Collins
“Y'all niggas lame for that,” is the opening line of Pretty Girls Like Trap Music, one that echoes many of my thoughts and feelings when it comes to the lane of rap music that 2 Chainz is in. I can't be the only one to notice that Tauheed Epps AKA Tity Boi AKA 2 Chainz isn't only continuing to stay in his own lane, but he is also making music that people will continuously have fun with while musically evolving. The Atlanta rapper is showing signs of great evolution in an era where "mumble" rap is trying to take over a genre that the likes of Gucci Mane and T.I helped blaze. 2 Chainz stepped out of the box and created a Trap Music ecosystem with Pretty Girls Like Trap Music, one which consists of playlists by a slew of pretty girls that carried some of the greatest trap records to date, hosting events at his own little pink trap house in Atlanta, collaborating with trap music giants, and visually branding himself to be synonymous with the color pink like Nicki Minaj once did...
I felt that it was only right to review Pretty Girls Like Trap Music track-by-track, because each track is as exciting as the last. Without further adieu here are my initial responses and thoughts on 2 Chainz latest project.
The message behind the first track, “Saturday Night,” is to simply live everyday as if it is indeed the most lit night of the weekend. 2 Chainz reminds his listeners that no matter where his endeavors may take him during the day, that he is going to live it up every night. On the second half of this track, the rapper sits listeners down for a history lesson. It's almost as if you are a fly on the wall for industry meetings between 2 Chainz, Luda, and T.I.
“Riverdale Rd” slides in to pay appropriate honor to Atlanta. You can't resist but nod your head along to this joint as 2 Chainz accurately tells you who all was there while giving a shout out to Trinidad James. We are also gifted with the perfect trap Instagram caption of the summer: I know something you don't know/ I'm gonna get some bands. If this album was a party, Riverdale Rd is the perfect pre-game for a night out.
The third track of the album is also the lead single, “Good Drank” assisted by Gucci Mane and Quavo. I was a little disappointed that he didn't use the radio edit with the church choir for the album. The three flow together here so effervescently that you can almost feel Gucci Mane handing off the Trap bouton.
Now onto my favorite part of albums these days: a Travis Scott feature. “4 AM” is the perfect track for a number of reasons. It works at night when all the windows are down, belongs on every party playlist, and it can even come in clutch when just chilling. The chorus itself entices everyone to be about that pull-up life, a mood perfect for the summer.
Inspirational trap at it's finest, “Door Swangin” reminds us of the new day that we have to get to our goals. 2 Chainz spits a line on this track that shines a light on the fact that felons can't vote: Sold narcotics, a boat load/ And all us felons and can’t vote.
One of my favorites of the album, “Realize” slows us down for some self-realization. The Minaj-assisted track is nothing like their past collab "I Endorse These Strippers." Chainz and Minaj are playing chess not checkers here. 2 Chainz proclaims that he is the King of the Trap and that he is here to end mumble rap, while Minaj serves some receipts while laying vocals for the chorus.
2 Chainz is out to make his own rules in the trap game with Swae Lee on “Poor Fool.” We are given an insight into 2 Chainz former alias "Tity Boi" as well as a little bit on the relationship the rapper had with his single mother. I feel like this track serves as the perfect bridge between songs with Young Money members Nicki and Drake.
The track that has been with us the longest on the album comes in. "Atlanta could never die long as Tit alive," Drake announces on “Big Amount.” 2 Chainz and Drake go toe to toe on this track as expected. Waffle House also gets a well-earned shout out from 2 Chainz in his verse, where he raps: Hood nigga, favorite spot was the Waffle house. Any Black kid from the south, Georgia more specifically, can attest to almost exclusively being raised on Waffle House!
Once more 2 Chainz slows it down on “It's a Vibe” to give listeners one more chance to get everything in gear before he hits top speed. One of my least favorites of the album, I like the flows that 2 Chainz is able to master here as well as the Jhene Aiko vocals on the chorus, but I honestly could have gone without hearing from Ty and Trey Songz. Actually, I am not even going to involve Ty Dolla Sign in this. I just think that Trey Songz brought along the same watered down sex narrative that he has been for years that was unnecessary at the midway point of the album.
2 Chainz reminds us to believe in ourselves on “Rolls Royce B*tch.” I have chosen to yell these words as loud as I can for the entire three minutes and fifty-nine seconds. 2 Chainz even mentions GOOD Music on his verse here. Any mention of Kanye at this point makes me happy as he continues his quest out of the sunken place, but in light of Kanye and Jay’s fallen out relationship, it makes one wonder how him and Chainz are doing. 2 Chainz in his second verse and once again in the outro utters the problematic line: "Your swag like RuPaul/ I’m appalled, nigga." He strengthens the line by preceding with how much older he is, and how much longer he has been in the game compared to some of the newer rap acts. The line can easily be linked to the likes of Lil Uzi Vert, and it is very much unwarranted, because as Jay just announced on his latest album, “Nobody wins when the family feuds." In a song where 2 Chainz is preaching the act of believing in ourselves, it is important that he not alienate peers and fans alike.
In my first time hearing OJ Da Juice Man adlib since about 2010, “Sleep When U Die” can't help but make the trap say "AYE!" 2 Chainz rides the beat just as good as anyone else here, with constant reminders to get it by any means necessary, which has become the theme of the album, and 2 Chainz even uplifts single mothers and reminds us all that anything is possible.
“Trap Check” opens with an iconic Jeezy sample and then closes with an iconic T.I. sample, but it is what happens in the middle that brings everything together. 2 Chainz is able to flex on this beat; he presents listeners with a checklist where he is the checker. On the best song of Pretty Girls Like Trap Music, 2 Chainz explains why he deserves the trap crown. Not only is he floating on the track with ease, but he also samples and pays homage to the pioneers.
The trap would be incomplete without a Migos feature, and 2 Chainz serves up “Blue Cheese” accordingly. The Pretty Girls Like Trap Music creator could easily take a back seat here and let the Migos put on for the culture, but instead, he opts for the driver seat. "Walk in the trap house, use my Cartiers for credentials," 2 Chainz boasts. Takeoff in "DoitlooklikeIwasleftoffbadandbougee" fashion closes out Migos' verses reminding everyone that Migos and Chainz are in the city.
In the last solo track of the album, 2 Chainz gives an incite into his “OG Kush Diet.” A wise man once said, "Sippin' quavo, ridin' offsets, guess I'm bout to take off." That man was 2 Chainz. The ideas he syncs together here are probably some of my favorite from the album.
You heard the 4 count intro and instantly know a Pharrell banger is on the way, and “Bailan” will be 2 Chainz entry into the battle for song of the summer. The cadence and rhythms make just about anyone ready to get loose on a sunny day with a drink in their hand. 2 Chainz competes with the production a bit on this track, and it is safe to say he loses, which is okay because the strengths in the production by Pharrell will carry this ballad well into the summer.
Louis Farrakhan opens up "Burglar Bars" complementing 2 Chainz on the royalty that his presence gives off. “Dudes like me fall out of the sky, you don't just bump into me.” The most tweeted bar from the album comes from this track. Monica and 2 Chainz make sure that we give thanks for simply another day of life, and with the circumstances of today's world, the message here does not go unnoticed and is very much appreciated. This soulful trap music ends with 2 Chainz own account of life in the trap which is a reminder to stay patient as we chase our come-ups.
In closing, I give Pretty Girls Like Trap Music an 8/10. 2 Chainz temporarily silences mumble rap, pays homage to the godfathers of trap, creates music that is simply fun to listen to, and uplifts everyone with a dream on this hour-long LP. A defining moment where I believe 2 Chainz kills the quick hype of mumble trap songs and creates a true trap ecosystem by delivering a genre-defining trap album.