You may not have heard of Tauheed Epps or even Tity Boi, but I'm sure you've heard of hip-hop artist 2 Chainz. Fun fact: They are all the same ridiculous, offensive, yet magnificent person.
It's easy to hate on someone like 2 Chainz. His lyrics are violent and often sexist. He does little to hide his affinity for drug culture. In September, he was arrested when cops found a collection of firearms on his tour bus. With that news, it becomes even easier to judge someone like 2 Chainz — that is, until you get to know him. He grew up in Atlanta, and to say that drugs and violence dominated his childhood would be an understatement. In an interview with Rolling Stone, the rapper recalls when his mother's home was raided. Police threw him on the ground and held a pistol to his head at the age of 12. "If we grew up in Colorado, we would probably know how to ski. My whole neighborhood sold dope. I couldn't go out there talking about 'I'm going to pass out newspapers.'"
Despite the overwhelming odds against him, he managed to graduate high school and land an athletic scholarship at Alabama State. You know, the college where he graduated with a 4.0? And, although his community didn't exactly afford him the best learning environment, he goes back every year to help them.
Still, his lyrics are seemingly reason enough for any self-respecting woman to be turned off. There is not a single part of me that would deny the misogynistic nature 2 Chainz's lyrics sometimes take. But, I think the same can be said of artists like Jay Z, and we worship them anyway. The feminist in me says, "Be appalled by the fact that all 2 Chainz wants for his birthday is a big booty ho." Alas, against my better judgement, I cannot get enough of this rapper.
1. I'm obsessed with words, and cannot ignore the clever ways 2 Chainz manipulates them, even creates them. My personal favorite being "Diddy-ac." His lyrics often make me laugh out loud, even if that wasn't his intention.
2. His newest album came with a free cookbook, authored by 2 Chainz himself. Stop it right now. This cookbook is amazing. The rapper is a huge foodie, and he even has a personal chef who goes on tour with him. The recipes come with very specific instructions: "Once finished, plate racks of lamb alongside a bottle of extravagantly priced Cabernet. 2 Chainz and fine wine. You want true? That's true enough." That's step eight of the herb-crusted lamb rib chops recipe. Some genius at Grub Street took the time to compile all the best instructions.
3. That time he was on Best Week Ever and completely changed the way I view my life. At the end of every day, you probably describe it as either good or bad. Did you know that there's an entirely different ranking system? It's based on chains. And, as you may have guessed, two is the best rating. During his appearance on the VH1 show, 2 Chainz rated a series of movies currently streaming on Netflix on a two-chain system. I've taken said system and applied it to nearly every aspect of my life. How was that sandwich? I'd give it two out of two chains.
I'm not saying 2 Chainz is the next great poet of our generation. Nor am I saying that his sexist lyrics are acceptable just because I find him endearing as a person. Yet, here I am, with two tickets to his show on Wednesday night. He completely owns his persona, often rocking just two chains around his neck. He apologizes for nothing. He is ridiculous, and I love him.