2 Chainz heavily influenced by TikTok

Rapper’s new album sparks creativity in younger generation


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Several songs in 2 Chainz newly released album were targeted for a TikTok audience, straying from his normal sound.

By Chase Keller

In the last couple of years, many artists have attempted to appeal to a new and larger audience by making what some call “TikTok songs.” These songs have more of a mainstream sound than normal. Artists do this in hopes of sparking the next TikTok trend, ultimately increasing their popularity.

This phenomenon is what I thought 2 Chainz was performing with his single “Pop Music,” the lead single to his seventh studio album “Dope Don’t Sell Itself.” He even linked with artist BeatKing, the artist of the song “Then Leave,” which was a massive TikTok hit.

In fact, 2 Chainz had a popular lyric, that while not the smartest thing to say, got TikTok users laughing and creating their own videos to it.

Being in the rap game for nearly 25 years, 2 Chainz, real name Tauheed Epps, continued to flip up his typical style throughout the first half of this album. Whether it’s the lyrics, production, or flow, an unnecessary amount of the songs on this project are clearly influenced. 

Songs like “Bet It Back,” “Neighbors Know My Name,” and “Million Dollars Worth of Game” used uncreative and easy-to-make beats. The lyricism on some of these tracks is questionable as well, like:

“Likе a janitor/I got keys dancin’.” (“Bet It Back”).

Maybach so big it came with an office/Where the secretary?” (“Neighbors Know My Name”).

The quality of lyrics is just the normal 2 Chainz, as he makes up for the bad with some catchy and innovative punchlines:

“Whatever necessary/Got more heart than February.” (“Neighbors Know My Name”).

“First rapper with a Versace deal/Did a chain reaction/Soulja Boy ain’t do that.” (“Outstanding”).

According to Twitter page @HipHopNumbers, 51% of the lyrics on this project are punchlines, including three songs having 85% of these one-line lyrics. Many rap fans recognize that 2 Chainz is the “king” of punchlines.

From the eighth song, “10 Bracelets,” to the end, the TikTok influence disappeared. The final stretch had more of a mainstream appeal, with the likes of Lil Durk, Swae Lee, and Youngboy Never Broke Again making feature appearances. 

“Lost Kings,” the ninth song on the project, was not only one of the better songs but also one of the better performances. The addition of Lil Durk was a great one, as the style of rap fits him very well. 

The lyricism also drastically improved in this second half, with the offered punchlines being more creative.

“I’ve been thinking like a trapper since the pacifier/In the mix like jambalaya.” (“Lost Kings”).

“You got the same twenty-four hours I got/Why wait?” (“If You Want Me To”).

The final five songs saved this album, bringing it from a bad label to an average label. As a 2 Chainz project, this was an underwhelming listen and a significant step backward from his last album “So Help Me God!” 

The number of albums released by mainstream artists on Feb. 4, the same day as “Dope Don’t Sell Itself,” was minimal, so 2 Chainz luckily doesn’t have to deal with much competition.