2 Chainz Talks His Breakthrough Year and Not Mixing Business With Pleasure

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.

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Kodak Black Disses T.I. In New Song, "Expeditiously"

Kodak Black snapped back at T.I. and his family in his latest track, “Expeditiously.” In the song, which was released on Monday night (April 15), the Florida rapper also appears to send a few pointed words at fellow MC, The Game.

“Young n***a stickin' to the code, 'cause I don't condone snitching,” Kodak spits on the track. “I ain't going out like that rapper, I don't do no tippin’…”

“…When he said my name on the TV, that boy a bold witness/On the news, see T.I.P., that boy don't got no feelings,” he continues. “…They say The Game strippin', old heads ain't hitting on nothin’...”

Kodak also sends shots at Tip’s lady love Tiny, calling her a “b***h” and “ugly as hell.” He also claims on the song that T.I. never knew Hussle personally.

The diss comes after T.I. called out Kodak for his dispectful comments aimed at Lauren London, the longtime love of the late Nipsey Hussle. T.I. also teased his own Kodak diss track via social media, and removed an installation dedicated to Kodak from the Trap Music Museum.

Listen to the track above.

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Premiere: I DO Tackles Gun Violence In "Tears" Music Video

The United States' problem with gun violence has become one of its most daunting concerns, with statistics from the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation stating that the country had 4.43 deaths due to gun violence for every 100,000 people in 2017. It's become so commonplace that many have become desensitized, but Los Angeles' duo I DO hopes to keep conversation around the topic alive in the new video for their song "Tears."

The Hector Felix-directed video illustrates three instances of gun violence: an argument between three men that ends up with a mother grieving the loss of her son, a white police officer who pulls over a car with two unarmed black men and shoots one of them, and a mass shooter who opens fire at a concert. The video also attempts to humanize immigrants. The song, performed by I DO – the duo of vocalist J. Lauryn and producer Trackdilla – is just as mournful. "How many times will it take for us to see freedom? Too many bodies on the floor," J. Lauryn sings.

“We hope 'Tears' is a song that connects with anyone who has lost a loved one or friend to gun violence,” I DO told VIBE in a shared statement. "'Tears' is a song with a message. A message that many are trying to push. How many voices does it take for change to happen?”

The Hawaiian-born J. Lauryn wrote on Ziggy Marley's Grammy-winning self-titled album, along with lending pen work to David Guetta and Ashanti. Trackdilla escaped violent conditions in Angola, Africa to arrive in the United States, where he has since produced and collaborated with 2 Chainz, Rick Ross, Sean Paul and others. Together the two form I DO, a duo represented by Billboard Power 100 manager Dre London, who manages Post Malone and Tyla Yahweh.

Watch the music video for "Tears" above.

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Singer Ari Lennox performs onstage at the 2017 ESSENCE Festival Presented By Coca Cola at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on July 1, 2017 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for 2017 ESSENCE Festival)
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Ari Lennox To Release Debut Album In May

Fans of singer-songwriter Ari Lennox can finally relax. The singer's debut album will be arriving the first week of May.

The "Whipped Cream" singer confirmed the release on Twitter Friday (April 12), while reacting to multiple dates of her Shea Butter Baby Tour selling out in a matter of hours. The singer has wrapped her melodic vocals around R&B lately with the release of the charting single, "Whipped Cream" as well as her standout verses on "Shea Butter Baby" with J.Cole.

Lennox has been signed to Cole's Dreamville Imprint since 2015 and released her label debut EP, PHO in 2016. Singles like "Backseat" featuring labelmate Cozz and "GOAT" were faves among critics as well as her soulful peers like Anderson .Paak.

After a successful set at J.Cole's Dreamville Festival last weekend, the singer is ready to embark on her upcoming Shae Butter Baby Tour. More importantly, she's ready to release her style of R&B flair to the masses.  “I just pray I can bring this sort of music back to a more mainstream level,” Lennox told Billboard for their latest issue. “These vibes can heal a lot of people.”

Shortly after the release of "Whipped Cream," the singer dropped a few loose singles like "Grampa," "Pedigree" and the sultry, "40 Shades Of Choke."

Check out the dates and get into these jams by Ari Lennox below.


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Excited to announce that @babyrosemusic @MikhalaJene and @rongilmorejr will be joining me on tour!! ❤️Also — New #SheaButterBaby tour info: LA and Santa Cruz have new dates (5.16 & 5.18); We’ve moved to bigger rooms in LA, NOLA, ATL, and the CHI; Charlotte & Toronto have been added as well as a 2nd NYC show. Tix on sale at 10AM • NYC on sale at 12PM! 👧🏾👶🏾

A post shared by Ari Lennox (@arilennox) on Apr 12, 2019 at 6:08am PDT

May 12 – Phoenix, AZ

May 13 – Santa Ana, CA

May 15 – Los Angeles, CA

May 16 – Santa Cruz

May 17 – Oakland, CA

May 21 – Denver, CO

May 24 – Dallas, TX

May 25 – Houston, TX

May 26 – New Orleans, LA

May 28 – Orlando, FL

May 29 – Atlanta, GA

May 31 – Virginia Beach, FL

June 1 – Roots Picnic

June 2 – Baltimore, MD

June 4 – New York, NY

June 5 – Boston, MA

June 7 – Grand Rapids, MI

June 9 – Chicago, IL

June 10 – Detroit, MI

June 11 – Cleveland, OH

June 14 – Washington, D.C.


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