- By Mitchell Northam The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Whatever happened to the Pink Trap House? You remember it, right?
A little more than a year ago, Atlanta-based rapper 2 Chainz leased an unremarkable home at 1530 Howell Mill Road in west Midtown and dumped a coat of paint on it that resembled Pepto Bismol. He etched the word “TRAP” in black lettering under the gable of the craftsman-style bungalow and parked a wide-body classic sedan in front of it. That too, along with a stove placed in the yard, was covered in pink.
It was all to promote his newest album, “Pretty Girls Like Trap Music.” The record was a success, debuting at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 chart and eventually becoming certified gold. Several critics called it his best album yet. Fans flocked to the Pink Trap House is droves.
Soon, the old house will be turned into dust and rubble — only memories, selfies from the fans who took photos in front of it, will remain.
“My plan eventually is to tear it down,” said Matt Rohrig of Cartel Properties, which owns the house. “I’m not leasing it out long term.”
To Rohrig and Cartel Properties, the 0.17 acres of dirt that the home sits on is more valuable than the house. According to Fulton County property records, the land at the address is valued at $237,600 while the house is valued at $194,000.
The house is still standing, for now. It is bland, white, vacant and looks beaten down. Unless you’re looking for it, you won’t notice it. Without its pink coat, the house blends in with similar looking buildings along the road.
Walk up to what used to be the Pink Trap House now and you’ll find all the doors locked, bars on the windows and a porch that needs a sweep. There’s a Cartel Properties sign stuck in the window that says the home is available, but don’t be fooled. The one-time Pink Trap House is not for sale.
Rohrig says he has no timetable for demolishing it.
Built in 1940, the house has five rooms and a total of 899 square feet of residential space. It also features a full basement and a covered porch. According to realtor.com, the home last sold in 2017 for $450,000. Before then, it was sold in 2008 for $392,000. It is zoned as part of a commercial service district. Currently, it’s nestled between another vacant building and Sweet Samba Sugar & Wax Bar.
Torwa Joe, 38, who works at the wax bar, has bittersweet feelings about the Pink Trap House going away.
“The idea was genius, but Howell Mill has gotten so congested,” Joe said. “It was a bit of a nuisance.”
Tauheed Epps — Mr. Chainz’s birth name — grew up in College Park and attended North Clayton High School. At 6-foot-5, he had a brief college basketball career, playing at Alabama State University. Epps began his rap career shortly after college, returning to metro Atlanta to spit bars under the moniker “Tity Boi” with the group “Playaz Circle.” He eventually went solo and changed his stage name to 2 Chainz.
In 2017, he won his first Grammy for Best Rap Performance, for a collaboration with Chance the Rapper and Lil Wayne called “No Problem.” Shortly before taking home the award, he announced that “Pretty Girls Like Trap Music” would be his fourth studio album.
The album dropped on Friday, June 16, 2017. It’s unclear when exactly 2 Chainz and his team started leasing the home, but photos of the Pink Trap House first appeared on his Instagram page on June 12, with the rapper and his son posing in front of it.
Coach Tek, 2 Chainz’s manager, told the AJC last year that they transformed the house in 24 hours, covering it in bright pink paint inside and out, putting furniture and etching the track list for “Pretty Girls Like Trap Music” inside the home.
“We wanted it to look like Atlanta. We wanted it to look like what you would typically see architectural-wise for a traditional Atlanta home, which is always ratch, has one floor and three bedrooms with bars on the windows and the doors,” Tek said.
A listening party was held there on the day of the album release, and people showed up to the home for weeks. Some came to take photos and pose in front of the pink car or stove in the front yard, others came for events at the house. The Pink Trap House hosted art galleries, paint-and-sip events and church services. At one time, it was turned into a free HIV testing center.
“It was a hell of a marketing technique while it was there,” Rohrig said.
2 Chainz also filmed a music video there for his song “Door Swangin” which shows people partying in the front yard and others playing cards and smoking inside.
Rohrig said that 2 Chainz and his crew were “good tenants” and took care of the property while they were there. Before the lease was up on July 7, they repainted it white. Cartel Properties did not say how much 2 Chainz or his management company, Street Execs, paid to lease the home.
While the Pink Trap House turned into a social media sensation, it didn’t come without problems. Nearby businesses complained about visitors to the Pink Trap House using their parking lots. Other neighbors complained about noise.
Joe was working next door at the wax bar while the Pink Trap House was at the peak of its powers, and she said the business often got bombarded with people wanting to use their bathroom or parking lot.
“It was cool to see people at the events, but it was just too crowded,” she said.
Still, Joe has good memories of the Pink Trap House too. In the lobby of the wax bar, there’s a small picture of the Pink Trap House, a one-time Atlanta hip-hop monument.
Said Joe, “A year later, we’ll never forget it.”