Near the end of his lead-off verse on the churning collabo "Crib In My Closet", the indomitable 2 Chainz snarls "yeah I'm a motherf***ing poet." With such brazenness and delivered in such an oppressive climate, it’s hard to take the claim seriously. The same guy that once went by the moniker Tity Boi is now placing himself in the company of Rimbaud and Walt Whitman? It's enough to rankle anyone who enjoys "Mercy" up until the ATL-rapper makes his appearance.
But the declaration is so authoritative it’s hard not to take 2 Chainz seriously. Amongst the current trap-revivalists, he's comparable to someone like Allen Ginsburg. Every word he utters is comprehensible, but how exactly those words fit together becomes a mystery. As he laces up a pair of "Timbs" he sets aside his "peanut butter MCM" handbag. While he's had a history of intermingling food and fashion, "Feds Watching" immediately comes to mind, the peculiarity is in no way lessened. Who's ever seen a handbag before and thought "Jiffy"?
In some ways, he's the anti-A$AP Rocky which makes their particular partnering on the Metro Boomin track such a joy. 2 Chainz sprints towards the surreal, while Rocky's content to kickback in the land of the literal. When he talks about his collection of Prada from the '99 line you can rest assured it's not a product of his imagination. "I'm in Vogue, this winter, the runaway, no Insta," he waxes over the gothic chants and drum machine slithering. Everyone else needs to stage their photos and add filters when they hop on Instagram; all A$AP does is point and click.
And in the picture "Crib In My Closet" snaps, you'll see Rick Ross looming large. Before you can say "huh" he's filling up his closet with 4000 pairs of shoes. A closet he can't tend to because he's sitting "second row at the fight." Ross is all about conspicuous consumption and in "Crib In My Closet" he devours everything in sight. He goes into seizures over how much his watch costs and buys up Floyd Mayweather's mansion just because. But for all of his chestpuffing, he can't compete with 2 Chainz. Ross has intentionally crafted himself as a Bill Gates figure no one could ever get at. Chainz is the everyman pulling rubber banded money out of Nike shoeboxes. For all of his enigmatic qualities, he's the most relatable one here.