2 rappers on top at the Tower

2 Chainz showed off multiple personalities and math skills at the Tower.
2 Chainz showed off multiple personalities and math skills at the Tower. (PHIL McCARTEN / Reuters)
Posted: March 25, 2014

Mob bosses hold their conferences. Government leaders hold their G8s (I mean G7s.) On Saturday, though, at a packed-tight Tower Theater, hip-hop held a mini summit when 2 Chainz and Pusha T ruled the roost. In the continuum of post-gangsta rap, a thug MC talking money and sexual prowess with cocaine and crack thrown in (reversing gangsta's trajectory) is the next best thing to going full-blast NWA.

2 Chainz, known first for Atlanta-based Playaz Circle, has made his good hard name by dropping raw-knuckle rhymes and pushing a jagged live sound (his albums hold various soulful flavors) with nary a hint of nuance. That's his charm: a blunt-force cackle of a voice tackling rude, unjust subject matter with tense, snapping rhythms.

Crouching on a lightbox, its shimmering red glow beaming from below, 2 Chainz looked like a Hammer Horror character, a crimson-toned cartoon monster with multiple personalities (the "me, myself, and I" of "I Do It"), a love of pop-cultural soft drink references (the "had a Coke, had a smile" of his consumerist anthem "Spend It," the talk of Red Bull and wings on "Fork"), and a predilection for proving he's good at math ("36" and its scowling but catchy lyrical hook, "That's how many ounces in a brick").

Despite a love of math that matched 2 Chainz's - "Millions" and its longing for the days of hidden kilos - Bronx-born Pusha T, onetime member of the Clipse, had his own issues. He started off shouting and never stopped. Along with throwing around the name of his 2013 album ( My Name is My Name) like so much rice at a wedding, Pusha T growled through a piano sample's ominous pulse with the singsongy, lullaby lilt ("all killer, no filler, been iller") of "Suicide," a vicious vibe he repeated throughout his set.

comments powered by Disqus
|
|
|
|
|