Trap music can be inventive, it can be stimulating and compelling – it can also be vulgar and obnoxious, traits that a worrying amount of trap records have suffered from this year. Via his past few releases, when not simply being viewed as a safe trap artist/southern rapper, 2 Chainz has managed to explore a little more than the average trapper. Even his recent collaboration with Lil Wayne, ‘Collegrove’ saw him increase the word count and get fairly inspired with his straight-man/serious role in the collab. It might not be enough to get you excited about the new 2 Chainz album, but if you don’t like it, oh well, at least pretty girls do.
‘Pretty Girls Like Trap Music’ is actually a pretty optimistic album for the most part. Chainz has seemingly put a lot of the animosity of the lawsuit with Cash Money Records in the rear view mirror, instead focussing on the vastness and the mass appreciation that can be reached with trap. The typical-yet-superstar barrage of features shows off this venture into positivity, with Nicki Minaj appropriately piecing together a stellar performance over a very sweet beat on ‘Realize’, Drake giving one of his best rap performances in some time on ‘Big Amount’, and Migos fulfilling his duty of token guest artist on a trap album on ‘Blue Cheese’.
That being said, the production style of the record is occasionally very dark. While this does nothing to differentiate a few later tracks like ‘Sleep When U Die’ and ‘Trap Check’, it does wonders for the flow of the album earlier on. It’s hard not to be blown away by the sudden stop of the gangsta-as-hell ‘Riverdale Rd’, and then the immediate eerie piano of ‘Good Drank’.
The album boasts a strange juxtaposition of light-heartedness and importance. Lyrically, there isn’t really that much to sink your teeth into, but then the last track ‘Burglar Bars’ rolls along and the song’s introduction sees Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan honour 2 Chainz, saying “as I gazed into his face, I felt that I was in the presence of royalty”. When 2 Chainz starts rapping, he says “’cause you got a deep title, don’t mean that you deep”, seemingly shunning those that try to put increasingly deep art together while falling flat on their face, while one of the most ornamental moments in hip hop this year has come at the end of an album called ‘Pretty Girls Like Trap Music’, a title not to be taken completely seriously.
2 Chainz has stepped up his game on ‘Pretty Girls Like Trap Music’, while he hasn’t explored the trap genre quite as much as he could’ve in the album’s hour-long duration, the effort is prevalent, and the execution is deadly.