ATL’s 2 Chainz is having a breakthrough year. Stacking up over 30 guest features and a buzzworthy mixtape has earned him the nickname “feat. 2 Chainz.” VIBE caught up with rapper for brief but eye-opening chat about his movement and why he’s beein “getting it” since 7th grade. –Zoy Britton.
VIBE: How’s New York treating you so far?
2 Chainz: I’m just up here networking, I have a few rap peers up here, shot a video for a song I got called “One Day at a Time” with Jadakiss. I actually reached out to Jim Jones to let him direct the video, add a certain element. So for me, I’m just an artist from Atlanta getting another opportunity and I’m making the best out of it, pushing the envelope, doing things that probably would be just the norm.
What made you want to work with Jadakiss?
I’m a fan point-blank, period. Ilike all his stuff, he’s been a stand- up guy from day one, I ‘m a fan of his lyrics [and] wordplay and so it felt good for him to reach out, he reached out to me awhile back and he was just a real dude.
So you performed with T.I. and B.O.B. at the Bowery Ballroom, recently. I know that was the first time you performed with T.I., how was it?
It was cool, T.I.P. reached out the day before and asked if I was in NY because he was coming up here. I have a record with [both of them] you know we all from Atlanta and then there’s this thing where T.I. has been adamant about putting Atlanta back on top so he came home and he supported everything I’ve been doing as far as “Spend It.” He called me from time to time, not exactly for advice, but we kind of chopped it up a lot.
You’ve been working with everyone from Kreayshawn to Juicy J and even trying different things with B.o.B. What inspired that change of creative direction in terms of your collabs?
Well, Kreayshawn hit me and asked me to do a song for her and we had been talking for a while it didn’t just happen. Before she got her deal, she was a huge fan of my music and had my mixtapes from Mistah F.A.B., So, me just following up and communicating with her led to that one.
What So, I just want to take things to a slightly more personal level. How do you feel about groupies? Do You Indulge?
People don’t have to tell me this but I definitely don’t mix business with pleasure. My business is rocking shows, not rocking the girls that came to the show. I can’t lie, I have a lot of lonely nights in the room, but I bring my studio and I get work done. It could be tempting but I don’t do stuff like that. For me, a lot of artists that get that kind of reaction, you probably have to look at how they were in high school and their connection with women. With me, and this is no lie, I had my first ever encounter in a threesome in the 7th grade. So, the situation is not only was I having sex…what I’m basically saying is prior to “riding around and getting it,” I was riding around and getting it [Laughs]. Different people have different motives and I have to be conscious of all that because I don’t want any problems.
[Laughs] I got you, so bringing it back to the music, what do you think defined your T.R.U. REALigion mixtape?
Well, when I made the tape, I made up this word during the drops called “Griming” and [that] is when you put grinding and timing together. I mean this is something that God does, it’s not something you can kind of channel or know what day it’s going to happen. It’s just like my grind finally caught up–when the higher power thought it was my time to do something and so for [the mixtape], not only do I wear it as attire but the whole time the time I try to do something, put a little weight on it, keep it conceptual.
I spelled religion that way because that’s more real. You know, everybody knows what religion is, it’s the belief [and] study of something and so my belief is being real. That’s the campaign that’s leading the mixtape, I feel that being real is a minority and there’s not many real people left. So my campaign is really just being an individual, a natural leader, being comfortable in your own skin, and then I mix that with a lot of confident lyrics and wordplay. We got a masterpiece for a mixtape but what I feel like it should’ve been an album.