Charting trap's evolution in charismatic style...
'Pretty Girls Like Trap Music'

Consistency has always been the greatest ally of 2 Chainz. Like a southern LL Cool J, the former DTP rapper has continued to stay relevant over the years by adapting to the ever-changing musical landscape. Walking the line between trap rapper and lyricist with ease, he’s always been an artist respected by his peers. Going from Tauheed Epps to Tity Boi to 2 Chainz — by way of Playaz Circle — the evolution of the now Grammy Award winner has been an exciting ride with a constant upward trajectory.

Listening to ‘Pretty Girls Like Trap Music’, it’s obvious from the jump that 2 Chainz isn’t looking to slow down anytime soon. And with mumblings of ‘album of the year’ being heard already, there’s no way this album should be overlooked this month.

The LP sounds like a continuation of Young Jeezy’s ‘Let’s Get It: Thug Motivation 101’ — it’s a hustler’s story. ‘Saturday Night’ starts the album off playing like a trap national anthem with help from Mike Will Made It and some crying guitars. Making sure listeners haven’t forgotten about the struggles that came before the success, in typical 2 Chainz fashion he’s quick to point out the luxuries he now enjoys but they weren’t without hard work or sacrifice. If your chest isn’t puffed out after hearing this one then there’s definitely something wrong with you.

The rest of ‘Pretty Girls Like Trap Music’ follows suit for the most part. Whether it’s ‘Sleep When You Die’, ‘Trap Check’, ’Big Amount’ with Drake or ‘Good Drank’ with Gucci Mane and Quavo, which is without doubt one of the year’s best singles, it’s an album designed to motivate those that need some get up and go.

Simple yet effective, the Nicki Minaj-featuring ‘Realize’ cuts back on the bass the album embraces throughout and lets the lyrics do the talking. Whether it’s the Young Money rapper throwing shots at Remy Ma or Chainz potentially calling out mumble rappers, it’s a must hear for fans of controversy and self-promoting braggadocios rap.

Stand-outs include the Monica-assisted ‘Burglar Bars’, which evokes so many feelings plucking at the heartstrings of even the most thuggish individual. Labelled as soulful trap music by Chainz himself, it’s also a reminder of just how good a vocalist Monica is. Her crystal clear pitch seems effortless.

There’s also ‘It’s A Vibe’, which as the title suggests is, well… a vibe. The track combines Ty Dolla $ign’s low key vocals, Jhene Aiko’s beautiful tone, and the explicit content of Trey Songz’s mind with a short but sweet 2 Chainz verse, which over a perfectly blended bed of guitars and trap drums makes kicking back feel like it’s the only thing you need to do once you’ve enjoyed one full spin.

The production on ‘Pretty Girls Like Trap Music’ is top notch throughout. Sonically giving you an idea of what Atlanta sounds like right now — check out ‘4 AM’, ‘Poor Fool’ and ‘OG Kush Diet’ — with names like Mike Dean, Mike Will Made It, Murda Beatz, Buddah Bless and Ducky McFli on the boards your ears are in safe hands on this one.

While it doesn’t quite have the same urgency as ‘Based on a T.R.U. Story’ or ’T.R.U. REALigion', ‘Pretty Girls Like Trap Music’ is perfectly positioned to be a 2017 favourite catering to both fans of this generation’s trap music and those that were knee deep in trap during its late ‘90s/early ‘00s inception.

7/10

Words: Will Lavin

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