2 Chainz Talks Lil Wayne Collabo, Upcoming ‘Personal’ LP
Atlanta’s perennial prince of punchlines 2 Chainz is storming through 2016. His long-rumored, word-heavy collaboration LP with Lil Wayne, ColleGrove, debuted at Number Four last month; his brief and satisfying Felt Like Cappin mixtape continued a career rooted in independent hustle; and he even promises that there’s more music on the way in the form of the proper follow-up to 2013’s B.O.A.T.S. II: Me Time. Rolling Stone caught up with trap-rap’s pun king about going Run-DMC with Weezy and why he had to “unlock his heart” for its emotional follow-up.
On “Bounce,” you and Lil Wayne really went back and forth in that Run-DMC style, playing off each other…
Yeah, that track was kind of the catapult for starting that project, that was one of the first tracks we recorded with having a purpose to it. We was in Miami, Hit Factory, it probably took about 12 hours to do the record. I don’t even know how many bars is on this song, let’s just be clear.… Neither one of us writes, so our process of recording music is very similar, yet very different. He has a skate ramp in the booth so he goes skating — I don’t know he’s skatin’ or fuckin’ thinking of the verse…. I go in there and do the [chorus]. I come out the booth and this motherfucker goes back in and raps again! My chef, is just like, “Ohhhhhh, whatcha going to do now?” So I had to go back in. This process was probably one of the best rap processes that I’ve ever been a part of. Straight up.
Was it a linear recording, basically recorded as you wrote it?
It’s built just like you heard it, man. He went, I went, he went, I went, I suggested the hook, he went, I went, I put the hook back in, and I left, like stop. He will rap for 20 minutes. At the end of the day, that is Lil Wayne. It just raises the bar for competition, like sharpening up your steel, for both of us.
Did you get that competitive vibe when you were in there with Wayne
Oh hell yeah, no doubt. You just can’t be slumping. This is not a place to come slump around. You gotta bring your A game. This album has very little melodic type vibes. There’s rapping on here. You want to hear some rapping you need to get ColleGrove, if you want to hear some rap shit? We made some rap shit. We made some Southern. Rap. Shit.
Lyrical-style rapping isn’t too hot these days. Right now the vibe is very much about melody and vibe and emotion.
I think we need it all, man. I love hip-hop. I love that hip-hop is such a wide range, so universal. I love the fact that we got melodic, I love the fact that we got the Auto-Tune, I love the fact that we got mumbles.… I mean, when I first got on the phone I was getting out the shower and I was jammin’ Bryson Tiller. I was just vibing on some Bryson, I wasn’t listening to no rapping-ass shit when I was just getting myself together.