Georgia’s 2 Chainz and Virginia’s Pusha T — two of mainstream rap’s biggest, most ubiquitous names — are coming to Seattle’s Showbox SoDo for a stop on their national 2 Good to be T.R.U. Tour.
The rappers — both 36 — have become a strange type of new-school veterans to their genre. Though they could be easily mistaken for young, contemporary artists to new listeners, both have already had eventful careers starting in different groups from their specific home regions.
2 Chainz’ roots go back to Georgia duo Playaz Circle and later Ludacris’ imprint/collective Disturbing Tha Peace (DTP), when he still went by the name Tity Boi. Pusha T, along with his brother Malice (now a preacher who goes by the name No Malice), made up groundbreaking Virginia Beach duo The Clipse, whose 2002 Neptunes-produced debut album “Lord Willin’ ” is still being copied stylistically by modern rappers and producers.
Now both signed to Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music imprint, the two have slightly overlapping, Venn diagram-like styles. Though both can be found contributing guest verses on each other’s albums and appearing on the same remixes, 2 Chainz hammy, punchline-packed verses stand in pretty stark contrast with Pusha T’s street-hardened reflections.
2 Chainz’ latest album “B.O.A.T.S. II: Me Time,” a quasi-sequel to his hit-filled 2012 “Based On A T.R.U. Story” (B.O.A.T.S., get it?) is filled with lower-brow yet radio-friendly party music with electronic-pop sensibilities that even border on whomping EDM-brostep at times.
Pusha T’s “My Name Is My Name” is a more adventurous, ambitious effort featuring warped vocal samples, cold synths and bluesy Auto-Tune croons, seemingly taking a page straight from Kanye West’s “Yeezus” album, on which Pusha was one of the only featured artists.
And while both albums showcase their respective talents, it’s hard to ignore the big-budget superstar-production crews at work behind the scenes. Among the production credits for 2 Chainz’ album: Mike Will Made It, Diplo, Drumma Boy, Da Honorable C-note, J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League, and Southern legend Mannie Fresh.
Pusha T’s includes Kanye West himself, even more Pharrell Williams, The-Dream, Swizz Beatz and Glasgow beatmaker prodigy Hudson Mohawke. With some of the biggest producer names ranging from mixtape street-rap to club electronic on the team, it’s probably not hard to not make only hit records.
Still, it’s the rappers who are the voice and face of these albums and songs, and both performing on the same stage on the same night should be quite the event. And though Pusha T’s style sounds better on record, 2 Chainz’ onstage enthusiasm and crowd-pleasing simplicity make him the deserved headliner. His music is better to “turn up” to, and for today’s mainstream, radio-listening crowds, that’s usually what matters most. Turn up.
7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 13 at Showbox SoDo, 1700 First Ave. S., Seattle; $42.50, $45 at the door (206-652-0444 or showboxpresents.com).