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2 Chainz's "Daniel Son; Necklace Don": First Thoughts

The ATL trap star is back with his third project this year, which just might be his best one.

Daniel DeSlover // Press

2 Chainz is hot again with two releases already under his Gucci belt this year, the mixtape Felt Like Cappin and his Lil Wayne-assisted album, ColleGrove. That means people wanna get in his pockets and the ATL native isn't having it. The rapper sounded off on Twitter this past Thursday to make his point while promoting his new release: "Since the bootleggers wanna fuk up my release time here yall go... Daniel Son ; Necklace Don," and he proceeded to drop the tape via Soundcloud.

There are only two featured artists on this one—Drake and Atlanta's YFN Lucci, a young man on the ascent who grew up about 20 minutes north of 2 Chainz' old stomping grounds. But the 10-year offering boasts production from M88, DJ Spinz, Mr. 2-17 and others.

For those who have only gotten to know 2 Chainz since his storied rebirth—after the name change and the splitting of ties with Ludacris' Disturbing Tha Peace imprint— Daniel Son may seem like the strangest name for a mixtape. There is a correlation though, if you're paying attention. Chainz, a child of the '80s, pulls the reference from 1984's "The Karate Kid," the tale of a scrappy Jersey kid who befriends a Japanese maintenance man who, through the guise of painting fences and waxing cars, essentially teaches the youngster how to defend himself against the neighborhood scumbags. Here, 2 Chainz is both Daniel Son, the student, and the Necklace Don, the teacher.

"Get Out The Bed"

On the opening number, "Get Out the Bed," Chainz speaks about what it means to rise to the cream only to find yourself down again, still learning. Wax on, wax off, you know? "Get out the bed I grind, I hustle... Did it before I'ma do it again...," he sneers on the hook, showcasing his hard-nosed motivation to win on wax. "I fell off, came up, fell off, came back up..." Here the come-up affords Chainz the royalty treatment at Atlanta's Magic City. You know, ones, wings and things.

"Big Amount" feat. Drake

Chainz has had a few lifetimes in this rap game. In fact, this alone would make him a Mr. Miyagi, and everyone knows it. Drake joins him on "Big Amount" and name checks Playaz Circle's 2007 smash "Duffle Bag Boy" before dropping a few slick lines about his current affairs and sneaking in a nod to the late Bankroll Fresh. "I'm a J Prince investment/Niggas love to talk reckless/Then see me, like Best friends.../ You could move into Hidden Hills and we still wouldn't live by the same code/I'm respected everywhere I go/Nigga, Long Live Bankroll..."

"1 Yeezy Boot"

With the air of a man who's "made it" out of the struggle, 2 Chainz puts glitter on everything. "1 Yeezy Boot" is another track where hyperbole runs rapid. "I'ma talk that shit that niggas wanna hear/Nigga drinking lean like he drinking beer/Told them one time, it was all year/That was last year, now the cash here... He's practically giddy with impeccable comedic timing: _"Where I come from my bedroom was real lil'/Now it's mansion status, and my apparatus/When they bring my check, I start Cabbage Patchin'." Later, he mentions having a "lame reaction" after meeting a young lady's boyfriend. "Had me all itchin' and shit...."


Throughout Daniel Son, Chainz revisits definitive moments in his past life, like living adjacent to "bandos," stealing cable from neighbors and being assigned to trash pickup as a knuckleheaded youth. He does this even as he bounces through dizzying stories about his current day-to-day. It's not an easy trick to balance, but he does this affirmatively on the standout track "Ghetto": "I came from the mud/I came from the bottom/This morning I got up and bought a bandanna for $600." Else on the project Chainz mentions paying half a mill for daycare. Mr. Miyagi status. Then there's this: "When you was wearing the new Js/I was out serving the new Js..." Daniel Son. See?

It's as if there's no Miyagi without a Daniel Son and 2 Chainz seems to embody both on this set. Tit cashed in on those past struggles, it finally clicked. The grind had to happen, he had to wax the car in order to learn how to block the punches and these days 2 Chainz, as both student and teacher, just might be untouchable.

This new mixtape is 2 Chainz's third project this year, including ColleGrove, his collab LP with Lil Wayne. REVOLT was on hand in ATL when the pair performed earlier this year, check it out below.

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