2 Chainz has been a busy man since dropping his debut, Based on a T.R.U. Story, and joining hip-hop’s commercial kingpins. The College Park, Georgia MC is living the stereotypical rap star life –– a lot of groupies, a lot of hits, a lot of bud and a lot of police contact.
“I’ve been arrested more times rapping than I did when I was out there in the streets, trying to get a break. It’s crazy,” the Grammy-nominated spitter, flossing a mouth full of shines and decked out in all white told Hot 97’s Angie Martinez during an exclusive meet and greet for her daily radio show on Manhattan’s West Side.
Martinez sat down with 2 Chainz in an intimate setting of about 25 fans, got the low down on his recent arrest and was treated to a couple of new songs from his sophomore effort B.O.A.T.S. II: Me Time, to be released on Sept. 10th.
A couple of weeks back, 2 Chainz was among 11 men arrested in Oklahoma following a nine-hour standoff over access to his tour bus.
“When my bus got pulled over… it’s always the same thing all the time as far as the cops saying they smell weed or something, and I admit all the time that it’s true. I never deny that I smoke (weed) but I told them that if something was smoked on here, it was probably at the venue because we’re not smoking and riding with it. Sometimes it’s a good outcome and sometimes it’s been bad like when I had to go trial for having a (weed) grinder with nothing in it”.
Earlier that evening 2 Chainz did a show at Oklahoma City's Chesapeake Energy Area with Lil Wayne. In the early morning hours, police stopped the rapper’s vehicle and its occupants locked the door, refusing to let officers on to search for drugs. 2 Chainz says his reasons for being difficult had nothing to do with guilt.
“The last time this happened, a lawyer told me that this is my bus, my coach, and my private living quarters. It’s like a mobile home and so if someone wanted to come on here they needed certain paper work. There wasn’t anything on the bus… No weed. No drugs. They took tires off the bus…turned off the generators and towed us while we were on it… to the police station to wait for warrants.”
After all of that hoopla, all the homies got hit with was “complaints of interfering with official process,” but in hindsight, it caused 2 Chainz to miss his next gig and he regrets that.
“I just want to apologize to everybody. I just try to make decisions that people who are under me and coming up from where I came from, can learn from me and try to exercise their rights when they can, because it just gets overwhelming sometimes when people always just accuse you of doing negative stuff.”
Martinez asked him about reports of guns being found on the bus.
"I have security, those guns aren’t mine,“ said 2 Chainz. He followed up by saying he hired armed security following a potentially deadly incident on June 9th in San Francisco, when he was robbed and shot at in broad daylight before a show.
“I come from the streets so I know what it is,” 2 Chainz told Angie while tugging on his gold chains and adjusting his Versace shades.
“For two guys to have two big ass guns and all they really got is a wallet, I feel like I came out pretty good. You know the streets and hip-hop play this close thing with chain snatching and all that stuff. Although it’s nothing you wanna die or get killed over, it’s very much a part of the culture. By the time they were around the corner I ordered another license for like $5 and cancelled my credit cards.”
He says he hates the way the media and police present exaggerated accounts of his situations, but show no regard for his well being.
“I almost got killed in San Francisco,” 2 Chainz riffed.” Somebody shot at me, stole my wallet and I had bullet fragments in my hair, but no police called me to see if I was OK or if I wanted to file charges. It was on TMZ nobody asked me how I’m feeling, nothing. I went about my business and did a show. Now I have armed people around me because, who wants to keep being shot at?”
After the serious chatter, Angie played a couple of new songs off B.O.A.T.S. II, including "Netflix"; a joint with Fergie about what 2 Chainz says is a personal goal, to “put out a big-time sex tape.”
When questioned about the odd collabo, 2 Chainz said it’s just him “widening his lane on this album” and spreading his “ratchet” style of music across the globe.
The 35-year-old MC just completed a US tour, opening for Weezy and promoting his accurately-named new single "Feds Watching" (w/Pharrell), which 2 Chainz says is an all too true reflection of his life these days. Despite the typical police harassment, earlier this summer, 2 Chainz’s track with Wiz Khalifa “We Own It” (Fast & Furious), reached No 6 on the UK singles charts, and he’s trying to go plat with this latest album. A sample of songs immediately displays high quality, turned up production and less of a mix tape feel as the first.
2 Chainz ended the interview by graciously reflecting on his journey, and the fans from different countries that speak his words but don't understand them. He’d hate to lose that.
“I'm trying to branch out and establish relationships outside of music and I don't want these situations (with the law) to make people afraid to associate with me."
If he's familiar with hip hop history nothing that's happened to him over the past year is out of the ordinary. He just has to stay a step ahead of the game of life, like he does with his music.