Op-Ed | 2 Chainz for Spring Fling
Published: Monday, January 28, 2013
Updated: Monday, January 28, 2013 01:01
Tufts, allow me to state my most controversial opinion: I think the best headliner that Spring Fling 2013 could offer us is one Tauheed Epps, better known by his current moniker, 2 Chainz.
In my opinion, 2 Chainz is nothing less than 2012’s most prolific and successful rapper, reaching the top of the Billboard album charts with his solo debut “Based on a T.R.U. Story” (2012) and releasing a whopping 98 singles, charting 7 of them in the top ten of the R&B/Hip−Hop charts. (That’s more than twice as many as Kanye, for those of you keeping track.) His verse on the smash hit “Birthday Song” has become a pop−culture touchstone and has been quoted in countless Facebook statuses. By sheer volume, Epps has worked his way into the cultural mainstream—just note the “2 Termz” tees floating around after President Obama’s re−election.
Now, I am aware that 2 Chainz is juvenile, repetitive, misogynistic, insensitive, vulgar and asinine. I am aware that his flow is notoriously weak. I am aware of the inherent contradiction of a man who once called himself “Tity Boi” dropping lyrics like “Cup full of pink, I’m supporting breast cancer.” Most importantly, I am aware that Tufts is a place that needs to feel smug about listening to the “right” hip−hop and would thus find lines like “Black diamonds, apartheid” egregious.
Nonetheless, I’m convinced that Jumbos would enjoy 2 Chainz more than any other serious contender for Spring Fling headliner. A recent Concert Board survey found that most Jumbos want a hip−hop artist atop the bill, but past “socially conscious” (that’s a loaded term) headliners like The Roots and Lupe Fiasco have largely fallen flat. What we want is what 2 Chainz does better than anyone else: a large catalog of hits like “No Lie” and “Mercy” with rump−shaking beats and raucous lyrics. Anyone pretending to the contrary is just posturing. At the very least, we should all be prepared to admit that Spring Fling is a better occasion than any other to give in to inane yet infectious radio hits beckoning us to dance suggestively—the type of songs like “I’m Different” and “F−−kin’ Problem”, of which 2 Chainz’s catalog is chock−full.
We even proved that we were prepared to abandon any pretension of good taste at this time last year by voting for LMFAO as our preferred headliner. I recall being surprised by the lack of controversy—everyone I know who voted for them was fully conscious of the fact that their lyrics include assertions that “the ladies love us/ When we pour shots/ They need an excuse/ To suck our c−−ks,” which is a bit odd, given the many Jumbos who care about important issues like slut−shaming and objectification of women (and whom I admire for working to change negative attitudes). We Jumbos should acknowledge that we’re willing to separate dubious mentions in otherwise−enjoyable pop songs from our actual opinions. In fact, we’ll even do so when the music unabashedly sucks—so long as the choruses are catchy.
2 Chainz is no different from Redfoo and SkyBlu—he is this year’s laughably cringe−worthy but ironically lovable pop act/party animal that can get us off our high horses so we can start twerking. Spring Fling is the highlight of the year on this campus, and I can’t think of a more compelling way to spend it than shouting “all I want for my birthdaaaayyy is” with 5,500 of my friends and peers. Dumb fun is the best fun, and no one offers more of it than 2 Chainz.
Alex Dobyan is a sophomore majoring in international relations. He can be reached at Alex.Dobyan@tufts.edu.