From the outset, it’s clear that the rapper formerly known as Tity Boi (calling him this should be a requirement of pretty much any feature about 2 Chainz from now until infinity, by the way), had one very clear goal in mind going into the concept and execution of this album: Make the best trap rap imaginable. Pretty Girls Like Trap Music delivers on the back half of its promise, delivering some of the most self-assured tracks of 2 Chainz resurgent career. He has created a collection of his most lyrical, resonant music to date, and really that’s all any of us really want out of most recording artists — including pretty girls.
Only one track out of the sixteen on Pretty Girls Like Trap Music really lands in the traditional “for the ladies” realm with, but guest singer Ty Dolla Sign does most of the heavy lifting on the mellow, guitar-driven beat of “It’s A Vibe.” While he does occasionally address pretty girls — usually in the context of sexual conquests — for the most part this album finds 2 Chainz runs through his other favorite topics: Working, trapping, flexing, spending, and aiming absurd amounts of artillery at theoretical haters.
Here’s how 2 Chainz himself described the album in a recent interview with John Kasich on The View:
“You can expect growth and maturation. It’s still edgy content, but trap music is kinda defined as low socioeconomic background music where you have to hustle to get out. And it’s a situation where a lot of good girls used to like the bad guys, and that’s what this album is about.”
The question then becomes, how does one stretch the lyrical subject matter of bricks, birds, sticks, and bandos beyond the limits of what’s already been done? 2 Chainz’ answer? Don’t. Instead, he folds the music into itself, working in clever references to the history and mythos of the genre throughout the album. An OJ Da Juiceman sample sets off “Sleep When U Die,” the stuttering snare and ominous piano on the beat to “Trap Check” morphs into the iconic, anthemic horns from T.I.’s “A.S.A.P.,” and the outro to “4 A.M.” features a monologue from an O.G. describing the surreal tableau from inside the trap house.