A Close Reading Of 2 Chainz Lyrics

Opera is vulgar. Duh, anyone who knows anything about culture knows that. Yet because opera is unpopular and fringe today most people elevate it to fancy swanky high art. Opera is just a bunch of melodramatic, silly lyrics fused with some powerful vocal and instrumental texture. Same thing is true with a lot of classical literature. You know, like, The Iliad? That shit is just a bunch of violence, sex, and immature homeboys and homegirls running around the planet all jizzed up on war spoils, libations, and booty. Plato? That bro was just some horny little gaylord running around talking shit. Anyway, my point is this. Rap is like opera and classic literature. So I’m going to examine me some 2 Chainz lyrics from his fresh-ass album “Based On a T.R.U. Story” (2012) like a college kid writing a paper on opera or ancient Greece or whatever.

“No matters where I am at I got crack.”

Always got crack, source Instagram
2 Chainz after getting arrested, source Instagram

What is suggested by this line is that 2 Chainz always has crack on him. Whether 2 Chainz is on a yacht in Saint-Tropez, at Chick-fil-A in Atlanta eating delicious chicken sandwiches with delicious sauces, slappin’ hoes with his dick at the after party after party, or just hangin’ in his crib watching Buckwild or Jeopardy – he’s got crack. 2 Chainz even has crack at places that one just shouldn’t have crack like at U.S Customs office, a kindergarden class room, or a police station. In short, 2 Chainz has a lot of crack 24/7. In fact, crack might just run naturally in his blood. 2 Chainz is crack. He dope.

“Pull up to the scene with my ceiling missing.”

A multivalent lyric if there ever was one, where meaning can only be approached phenomenologically. An accountant in St. Louis might read this lyric to mean 2 Chainz has arrived at the club in a convertible. If you be high on the purple drank, you might read it that 2 Chainz is really, really high and there is no ceiling on how high 2 Chainz can get. Or is it just that there are no limits at all for 2 Chainz? Or, damn, did 2 Chainz get pissed off and really just rip off the ceiling on his car? Who knows. As Sartre says, just go with it.

“Click full of killers, please don’t get us excited.”

2 Chainz lays some real vituperation on anyone who talks shit about him and his crew. The wordplay in this particular instance is noteworthy. 2 Chainz’s clique becomes his “click” implying his clique is always locked, loaded, and not afraid to shoot your dumb brains out with guns if you’re acting whack (we know from other songs his favorite gun of choice is  an AK-47). So don’t act whack around 2 Chainz. Or click from his clique. Don’t think making guns illegal is going stop dem’ either. THEY ABOVE THE LAW BITCHES.

“Our first date was at the waffle house.”

Porn star Alexis Texas, source Twitter
Porn star Alexis Texas, source Twitter

This is a lyric most of us can relate too. 2 Chainz was at a strip club where he found a stripper named “Alexis” from “Texas.” Perhaps it was the porn star Alexis Texas? But, anyway, after she did her thing on the stage, 2 Chainz brought her out to the Waffle House (where else would be open?). Presumably, they ate food there and chatted. The name of this song is “Extremely Blessed” and it has various religious references, thus suggesting 2 Chainz is capable of a passionate romance and not just sticking his huge dick in dem’ girls bellies. What a well-rounded dude.

“So I’m extra charged like a state tax”

In this lyric, Drake and 2 Chainz are hanging in a club looking for sum fresh puss. They are drinking a lot at the club and spending a hefty dime to get all these hoes crunk on high-end alcoholz, maybe even doing some yams that 2 Chainz cooked up in the kitchen earlier in the day. Yet, even though they’re partying hard, they’re still thinking about business and socio-economic issues. Why is the Man always trying to steal their money? Although there is a half black president, many a rapper ain’t happy about this whole economic redistribution thing, granted they the 1%. They would rather put a cap in a brother than give him sum damn penicillin. As 2 Chainz’s good friend Kanye West sings, he aspires to be like Romney and protect his money: “these niggas tryna hold me back, I’m just trying to protect my stacks. Mitt Romney, don’t pay no tax.” Too bad Rommney ain’t black, cause, as 2 Chainz says, “me and broke niggas don’t get along.” Motherfuck the system, motherfuck taxes! And fuck you poor people.

“I just woke up, tell me where the drugs at?
And after the drugs, where the girls at?
And after the girls, where the love at?
And if ter ain’t no love, I’m like fuck that!”

While Immanuel’s Kant’s great philosophical treatise the Critique Of Pure Reason spans over 600 pages in German, 2 Chainz manages to impart the same level of ethical insight in four catchy lines. How are we to live? Easy question.

  1. Wake up.
  2. Find them drugs.
  3. Find them girls, preferably a “big booty hoe” not on her period.
  4. Find that love.

If you fail, well, fuck it. There you have it, the meaning of life and the Four Commandments of 2 Chainz.

“There is something wrong with my life.”

2 Chainz Presents John of the Cross' "Dark Night of the Soul"
2 Chainz’ Dark Night of the Soul?

When one listens to 2 Chainz, one must wonder about the psychology of this larger-than life character. Is 2 Chainz ever sad or existentially confused about his life and decisions? In this simple yet straightforward lyric 2 Chainz gives us a glimpse into his emo side. Is 2 Chainz here admitting that perhaps he has an unhealthy lifestyle? …No, as it turns out, the confession means nothing. Because the reality is, at least for 2 Chainz, there is nothing wrong with smoking crack out of his Gucci® crack pipe and effing the eff out of strippers all day, as long as he can still dedicate time to coming up with dope rhymes in the studio and afford fly clothes from Louis Vuitton. Fuck everything else. 2 Chhhhaaainnnzzzzzz! TC mark

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