For many years now, 2 Chainz, T-Pain and Lil Wayne have had their names at the very top of hip-hop’s upper echelon. From hit-singles to sold-out world-tours to critically-acclaimed albums, they’ve done it all. In an age where many newcomers are beginning to equal the trio in relevance and impact, all three artists still hold onto and fight for their position in the modern scene. TV appearances, constant touring, new music — all three kings are still doing it all and they’re doing it masterfully. Recently, we linked up with the trio at Bud Light’s Party Convention to catch up on what they are currently up to and how recent months have been treating them.
What’s the feedback been like since the release of Daniel Son; Necklace Don?
2 Chainz: You might as well say it’s album, it’s hotter than a lot of n*****s albums that’s out there. Daniel Son; Necklace Don is one of those projects where you reverse the role, you play underdog, you go back to being a student again and you relearn the techniques & styles, you know what I’m saying? Just the basics. I like to have concepts. I put my thinking cap on with any project I do so ‘Daniel Son is definitely one of those things – it’s a rebrand, it’s in your face, it’s energetic, it’s a vibe, trench God stuff all on there.
What are working on right now with G.O.O.D. Music and what’s the status of your Before Chainz album?
I’m still working on it, I don’t really want to talk about that.
Did you ever imagine your CEO Millionaires brand to take off like it has? How did that come about and will you be expanding into fashion?
I appreciate everybody supporting the CEO Millionaires man, like a it’s been such a blessing. We just got back from Vegas, I did Agenda out there – you know the trade show where hug the fans, kiss the babies (laughs). It’s just a blessing to really be one of the freshest n*****s in the game to actually start a brand that people support.
That word gets thrown around a lot. How would you define the term CEO?
CEO is about creating every opportunity you can you know what I’m saying? Like what you’re doing right now, be your own boss entrepreneur coming up with something that can actually tilt the culture and change the world. Like the fuck waiting on somebody to do it for you. A lot of times with us, brothers and sisters don’t got the resources.
Aside from the music, we’ve seen you venture into the YouTube space with “Most Expensive Shit” and it’s been going viral. How’s being in front of the camera been like?
It’s dope, that show just got picked up on the FUSE channel. I’m going to do another season. To be honest, I wasn’t even going to do another season unless it was going to be on a television network. I don’t want to be that guy wearing out the Internet. But yeah, it’s another blessing and I’m cool with that.
What do you say to fans who say they miss the “mixtape Weezy?”
Lil Wayne: Dedication 6 coming soon (laughs).
What’s the good word on your Dedication series?
I’m working currently working on it as we speak. I’m going to find some time to get with DJ Drama when it’s right and then give it to the world!
Your favorite rapper of the modern era?
What happened in Buffalo man? It was all over the news, they said 25,000 kids were stampeding, knocking down fences to see you. How does it feel to still have that type of impact on your fans?
T-Pain: It brings you back to reality man. You know, there comes a point where you can get real negative at times. You know what I’m saying? When you not seeing the world, like you know I went from traveling the world to not even wanting to step outside of my house anymore. So you know when you distance yourself from the things that made you as happy as they do, you tend to be real negative about everything & then once I step back on stage you know.
What’s the dynamic like performing in the suburbs? Do you find yourself buzzing more in markets like Buffalo?
I just kinda was like alright whatever it’s a small town ain’t nobody gonna say anything bad about us. Let’s go ahead and do it. Next thing you know two thousand people showed up to the club real quick (laughs). We went out to the stage and man they was breaking them gates down, and there was a storm of them. I mean before I even went on they was breaking them down. It felt, it felt right. It felt like it was suppose to. You know what I’m saying? That’s the kind of crowd I’m use to and with the short term tendencies of the youth today, I didn’t thik it would happen again, so this experience definitely brought me back to life.
Speaking of “brought back to life,” autotune is being “brought back to life.” It wasn’t fully accepted during that 2007-2010 era, but it’s so prevalent now in hip-hop. You were essentially a martyr for autotune. What are your thoughts on that?
I ain’t gonna take no credit for making music what it is cause I don’t want no credit for the shit out these days, hell nah (laughs). But If you give me some credit for some good shit then yeah, absolutely. I mean look, it feel it was bound to be found by somebody. I guess it wasn’t like I took something that was non-existing and invented something – so it wasn’t innovative in that sense. But sometimes it’s not the hammer. it’s the carpenter, you know what I’m saying? So I don’t want to take credit for what music sounds like right now. But I’ll take credit for curving it.
Aside from autotune, people just started taking notice of your natural singing ability, we will ever see T Pain autotune-less R&B album?
That’s the crazy thing. On my albums, nobody really noticed that I had 70% auto-tune on all of my albums. I would always make sure that there’s at least two songs on each one of my albums with no auto-tune. My voice sounds so much like it with or without it. As far as like a R&B album, that’s what I do, all I do is R&B. It just so happens to have auto-tune, but what people don’t know is most of their favorite R&B artists been using auto-tune for the longest. People think auto-tune is the answer to everything. No sir, you still gotta be able to write a song. You still gotta be able to actually make a goddamn song. It ain’t just something you can throw on your voice and just think you a freaking superstar now.
First of all man, I’m happy to be here. It’s good to see Bud Light bring people together with music, beer, chicken and shit like that. (laughs)