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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Gucci Mane, XXXTentacion, & More Friday Releases You Need To Hear

Another week, another list of Friday music releases. The week's of 2018 are dwindling, but there is a little more time left for some last-minute music releases. From Gucci Mane, to XXXTentacion, and Ice Cube, here are the albums and singles that you need to hear.

Gucci Mane – Evil Genius

Gucci Mane's 13th studio album is here. The rapper dropped his new project, Evil Genius, featuring an all-star list of talent, including, Quavo, Kevin Gates, Lil Skies and 21 Savage. The LP also features production by Metro Boomin, Murda Beatz and Southside.

The latest music drop marks the perfect finish to an eventful year for Guwop. He previously dropped DropTopWop, Mr. Davis, and El Gato The Human Glacier this year. Even so, the rapper suggested that he wants to make a bang with Evil Genius.

"I think this time, this album was like the first time I kind of had more fun making the records," he said during an interview with Beats 1. "With the intentions of just going in the studio and just had fun and this is what came out. But before, I was kind of going and expressing myself, talking through the mic, like I had a lot of my chest. This album was like, let's find the best beat, make the best song and put it out."

XXXTentacion – Skins

In celebration of XXXTentacion's posthumous album, Skins, his estate and friends through a livestreamed event at 9p.m. EST, featuring Trippie Redd, PnB Rock, Ski Mask the Slump God, Matt Ox and more.

There has been quite a bit of buzz surrounding the late rapper's new release. It's his first since his death in June 2018. The album features only one guest appearance from Kanye West. On the track, which is entitled "On Minute," Ye reportedly addressed abuse allegations brought against X. In support of the album, Kanye also released a Yeezy capsule collection, commemorating their single.

Since X's death he has been regarded as a young legend, gone too soon. His sophomore album ?  peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart. Listen to Skins below.

Ice Cube – Everythang's Corrupt

Ice Cube is make with Everythang's Corrupt. The album's only feature is OG rapper Too $hort.

Cube already got fan excited after released the one of the LP's single "Arrest the President." The track takes aim at President Trump's corruption and racist policies. The album's cover art features Cube holding a 100-dollar bill in his bloodied hands.

Everythang's Corrupt is Cube's tenth studio album and his first in eight years. It's a follow-up to 2010's I Am the West.

Sneakk Ft. YG & Tyga – "Spray"

New artist Sneak has joind forces with YG and Tyga to bring their new banger "Spray." It's Sneakk's first track released through Def Jam. The single definitely sounds like the new stripper anthem or the perfect track to ride down the block to.

Ahead of the single's release, the rapper's shared a teaser on social media featuring a behind the scenes look at their music video.

Michelle Williams – "Fearless"

Michelle Williams is back. The songstress – best known as a member of the popular girls group Destiny's Child – recently dropped a new solo record entitled "Fearless."

The pop record is an inspirational anthem, encouraging fans to face their fears and chase their dreams. This is a huge moment for Williams, as it is her first single in nearly four years. It also follows an overwhelming year for the singer, who got engaged in Apr. 2018, as well as publicly revealed her battle with depression and mental illness.

Listen to the new track below.

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Premiere: Fuego And A. Chal Take Over The Strip Club In "Dancin" Music Video

Dominican trap artist Fuego has created an ode to the art of stripping with his new single “Dancin,” featuring producer and R&B extraordinaire A. Chal. The visuals for the track are laced with bright blue club lights and brief salacious interludes of voluptuous young ladies dancing provocatively.

The two are seemingly in a never-ending party in efforts to promote strip club etiquette through their tantalizing lyrics. There's no denying that Fuego's sound is reminiscent of today's prominent trap artists like Migos and Future, but he packs in a Latino flair, like his contemporaries Bad Bunny and El Alfa. The Washington D.C. native's sound is similar, but it's worth noting he's been on the scene for a while, steadily etching his mark as his musical prowess rises within hip-hop and Latin audiences.

“For some reason, I've always wanted to do a sound that American hip-hop has, and then break that my way,” he tells VIBE. “When it comes to putting stuff together and making fusions of music, I've done it all my life. When I first started out, I did reggae beats, but I was rapping over them. There’s a little more urban, hip-hop sound in the Latin community. Before, it was mad reggae. It either had to be a tropical type song or reggaeton song. I've always wanted to come out with hip-hop music."

Watch the video for "Dancin" below.

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Noname Tells A Tale Of Black Boy Plight In 'Blaxploitation' Visual

Noname's first music video is better than expected as the artist takes on the topics of dangerous implicit biases toward young men of color.

On Tuesday (Dec. 4), the Chicago rapper/poet released "Blaxploitation," a standout from her critically acclaimed album, Room 25. Directed by Alex Lill (Sampha, Joey Bada$$,  Lil Yachty) and written by Noname, the short film includes homages to Blaxploitation films of the 70s through its the style of multiple frames at once as a toddler wrecks havoc on a small-scale version of Chicago.

The music video gives the metaphorical message of how the black boy is criminalized from the beginning of his life. Even in the joy of imagination, his existence is subjected to a criminal or as the townspeople deem him: a monster baby.

The 27-year-old singer will continue riding high off the critically and streaming success of her debut album Room 25 as she will embark on a 37-city trek across the country and Canada.

The Room 25 tour kicks off in Detriot on Jan. 2nd. Dates can be found here.

READ MORE: Noname To Replace ‘Room 25’ Album Art After Designer Abuse Accusations

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