2 Chainz Dishes On His Secret Fashion Week Diet
I could tell you 2 Chainz isn’t intimidating—hell, I could tell you he didn’t call me “suga!”—but then I’d be lying. On both accounts. The 6’5” Atlanta born rapper, traumatically commanding in a KTZ cape, marched into Milk Studios last night with an entourage of more than six, in full, unconcerned stride. He wears sunglasses inside with the casual air that you or I might wear crumbs on our collar on any given morning. And he wears a lot more than just two chains—a titillating twist, sure, but then again not really, given the fact that the moniker “2 Chainz” is more a metaphor for second chances than a materialistic reference. To every one phone that you own, he owns three. I know this because I not only saw them, but also witnessed him ask his camera man for his phones—“all three of them,” he said. And no, I’m not yanking your (2) chain(z).
2 Chainz is not your average rapper—and he seems to know it too, if his hit “I’m Different” is any indication. He graduated high school at the top of his class, went to Alabama State University on a basketball scholarship, and finished with a 4.0 GPA. The fact that he, immediately after college, didn’t take the finance or real estate route, but rather began pursuing a rap career under the moniker “Tity Boi,” speaks to his dedication, assiduous work ethic, and overall baller-ness (definitely a word).
Since then, he’s only continued to defy expectations. His Instagram is rife with snaps and videos of his three daughters, as well as shots of extremely palatable dishes. In the past couple years, he’s released a cookbook, as well as a line of Christmas themed merchandise that marries the ugly sweater motif with “dabbing,” the most recent dance craze to come out of Atlanta. The line made him a casual 2 million dollars.
Years from now, we’ll look back on 2 Chainz as a highly influential figure in hip-hop. He’s a storied man—complex, intelligent, and always the lifeblood of the party. I sat down with Mr. Chainz last night before he took the stage at our MADE fashion week kickoff party in Milk Studios’ jam room, and talked career highlights, his favorite designers, and Chilean sea bass (don’t ask—just read).
You’re obviously very accomplished. What, in your opinion, is the coolest thing to happen to you in your career so far?
Very good question. One thing that was dope at the beginning of my career is I was on “Mercy,” and it went number one. And I replaced it with “No Lie,” which is another song that went number one. I remember that time feeling pretty awesome. I remember the song “I’m Different” going platinum and me feeling pretty awesome because it was just me on the track and it was just Mustard, my producer—it was like 50/50.
Is it true you never write any of your music down?
Nah. [Turns to camera man] That’s my camera man—how long have you been my camera man?
Camera man: About six months.
You ever see me write anything?
Camera man: Nope.
That’s crazy. What music are you listening to right now?
I like Bryson Tiller’s album, I’m an R&B type. I was listening to D’Angelo earlier. So stuff like that.
What was the idea behind your “Watch Out” video?
Shareability. I don’t think people have time to watch videos anymore, so I think you have to create something to make people want share it via social media, and so that was really my idea behind the video. It was so ignorantly funny, and [I knew] people would be like, “Girl, have you seen this?” or, “Dude, have you seen this?” So someone who doesn’t watch TV, they would still watch this video, this would still come across their desktop because [it has] shareability. Something that I’ve been trying to work on the last year actually, with the increase of Snapchat, IG, all that, and Facebook especially.
What else are you doing to maximize shareability?
Everything I’m doing, from the clothes to the—everything I’ve done has to do with shareability. Everything I’ve done is something you just can’t have on your own. Everything you get from 2 Chainz has a piece of something contagious in it that you have to spread. Like you’re doing the work for me, supporting me. It’s something you just can’t keep to yourself. Everything I have going on, even “Watch Out.”
“I hardly ever wear the same thing twice.”
Can you tell me about the line you released?
I did the “Dabbin’ Sweater” thing that made two million dollars, [and then] I created CEO Millionaire which is [my way of] try[ing] to have meaning behind a brand. To have some kind of substance. Dealing with being a boss in the field that you’re in, having that mentality, that mindset. The CEO hoodie is more like the jersey for that team, it’s like creating a team full of entrepreneurs who have different [ways of] thinking. This is the brand, [and] I make the jerseys for it, for these entrepreneurs. Obviously anybody can wear them and support it, but the meaning behind this is to try to [establish] a mindset.
What’s your favorite piece of clothing or accessory right now? Like your go-to piece.
I hardly ever wear the same thing twice. Unless it’s like a coat or something, or maybe a pair of jeans. So I don’t have a go-to piece. You gotta mix it up.
Do you have a favorite label or designer?
It’s just how I’m feeling, man, how it’s fitting. A lot of my jean preferences are Balmain, Saint Laurent, Enzo. My shoe selection is—well, obviously the most popular shoes in the world, Yeezys. And Jordans. I’m subtle up top, I wear a lot of my ice and stuff like that, so I don’t feel like you need to have a lot of designer shit with a lot of ice on your neck. And winter’s my time—I love the winter. You can layer up and really give it to ‘em.
“Fashion week you gotta eat something light, ’cause all the models and stuff. You can’t get fat. You gotta go with, like, a Chilean sea bass.”
So I love your cookbook. Is there a recipe you’d recommend for fashion week?
Fashion week you gotta eat something light, ’cause all the models and stuff. You can’t get fat. You gotta go with, like, a Chilean sea bass or something like that, and sweet potatoes. Super duper light, especially with all the models walking around—you can’t be fuckin’ bloated.
Do you watch any cooking shows?
Basically all of them. If it’s a cooking show, I’ll watch it. It’s funny you said that cause I didn’t even know I had a problem. I didn’t even know that was a problem until recently. I would just watch videos all the time. If I’m skimming through and they got a cooking show on, I would just see what they cook. I don’t eat beef or pork. So if it’s not that, I will get highly interested. If they’re making, you know, ground lamb chop balls and shit, I’ll just be like, “What is this?” So I don’t have a favorite. Anybody who has a cooking show can get my attention.
Do you cook for your kids a lot?
No, I have a chef. But I did used to trick my kids. My youngest daughter didn’t like to eat breakfast, so I’d tell her I’ll make her some “magic bread.” That’s toast with butter and cinnamon and a little bit of honey on it.
What was the coolest thing you saw on GQ’s Most Expensivest Shit series?
Everything is kind of a big deal for me because it’s kind of sporadic, it’s very impromptu. I guess that’s why the show is such a hit, because we know nothing about each other. It’s like, getting to know somebody for the first time, on camera. Imagine getting to know your boyfriend or your fucking best friend or whatever for the first time, you know what I mean? Or whoever, just anyboy. Like imagine first class, you’re meeting somebody for the first time, that conversation. They put that on camera. And so it’s not so much about the expensive stuff. I mean it is, but it just shows how two people from two different sides meet that really know nothing about each other.
Are you following the election at all?
Yes and no. I don’t really have anybody to vote for.
Are you still thinking about running for mayor?
That could definitely happen. I’m just gonna let everything do what it do right now. If I wanted to, I could be the mayor right now.
Do you have any music coming out soon?
I have an album coming out in less than a month.
I’m excited about that.
Photos taken exclusively for Milk by Andrew Boyle.
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