What's in a name? In the case of the Atlanta-based rapper Tauheed Epps, it turns out the answer is "a whole lot." Epps initially launched his career under the exceptionally cringeworthy moniker "Tity Boi," laboring for more than a decade in relative obscurity as one-half of Playaz Circle on Ludacris' Disturbing Tha Peace imprint. In 2011 he left that label, and with it he left his stage name behind, adopting the more "family friendly" (his words) 2 Chainz. In just a year's time he released Based on a T.R.U. Story under the new name; it debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, eventually earning the now-powerhouse rapper four BET Hip-Hop Awards (ironically, including one for "Rookie of the Year") and even a Grammy nomination for Best Rap Album. Fast-forward to the present and June's Pretty Girls Like Trap Music is one of the hottest albums of the entire trap genre, packed wall-to-wall with the biggest stars in the game. Alert the Bard — it turns out names are pretty important after all.
The New Pop? Trap music, with its huge beats, skittering hi-hats and marble-mouthed delivery, has largely eclipsed more traditional forms of hip-hop in 2017 — for better or worse. 2 Chainz knows it, too." We're the pop stars," he told Rolling Stone in June. "Trap rap is pop now. People's ears have adjusted to what we have to say and how we say it."
8 p.m. Tuesday, August 29. The Pageant, 6161 Delmar Boulevard. $42.50 tp $45. 314-726-6161.