Finally, 2 Chainz steps into the spotlight with his solo debut Based On A T.R.U. Story, but let’s not forget how he got here. The artist formerly known as Tity Boi seemed to be destined to go down, with Dolla Boy, as a one-hit-wonder. However, after a much needed makeover and crazy work ethic, 2 Chainz is now one of the hottest rappers in the game. How’d that happen?
Maybe it’s the name change or the fact that 2 Chainz is currently the industry’s lead assist man? After all, Teta Chico has collaborated with some of the hottest artists in the game, from Justin Bieber to Drake. Also considering the abundance of music, his whimsical rhymes, and hard-hitting melodies, maybe 2 Chainz personifies what this generation of listeners prefer. Whatever it is, Chainz got it and his new album Based On A T.R.U. Story is an embodiment of who this trapper-turned-rapper wants fans to know.
2 Chainz wastes no time giving us that ignorant, bass heavy music we all love with his intro Yuck featuring Lil Wayne. An epic brass buildup with sharp strings gives you that gladiator-like feel as Chainz comes in “Uh cut the top off call it Amber Rose, just bought a big body time to paint the toes”. Weezy supplies the hook and a few lines, but 2 Chainz carries the load on his opener. Crack finds 2 Chainz creating his own lingo and bolstering about being a trapper-turned-rapper. Dope Peddler continues this theme, with a sick sample from Tom Lehrer, and serves as one of Tity’s solo tracks that actually holds its own on his debut. This is one of those tracks you turn up to as soon as the hook kicks in—“Started off with a O-Z end up riding four deep/ pull up to the club like muthaf*ckin hoe you don’t know me”.
2 Chainz keeps the pace up with his lead single No Lie featuring Drake and it’s exactly what we expect from their collaboration—Drizzy stealing the show with a catchy hook and killer verse, of course. Tity Boi cleverly matches one hit with another as Birthday Song featuring Kanye West follows. The instrumentation really shines on this single, but 2 Chainz manages to amuse us with lines like “She got a big booty so i call her big booty”. Yeezy overshadows Chainz, but it isn’t his best lyrical display.
Teta Chico experiments with I’m Different and Extremely Blessed featuring The Dream, which are essentially album fillers. Dream supplies a great hook, but 2 Chainz doesn’t sound comfortable over the smooth lady-friendly banger. However, he returns to rare form quickly on I Luv Dem Strippers assisted by Nicki Minaj. A very playful track with humorous verses (ex. “First I bag back Louis backpack/ where is Paris Hilton where is Kat Stacks) from both rappers makes for another enjoyable single.
Tracks like Stop Me Now (feat. Dolla Boy), Money Machine, Ghetto Dreams (feat. Scarface), and Wut We Doin (feat. Cap .1) also all live up to what we expect from a 2 Chainz album. Unfortunately, more experimentation ensues on In Town accompanied by Mike Posner and Countdown crooned out by Chris Brown. The only successful ladies track 2 Chainz manages to pull off his Like Me backed by a sample from The Weeknd.
So, overall Based On A T.R.U. Story is what we expected with a few surprises that, for the most part, could’ve been left at the gift store. 2 Chainz lacks the lyrical substance that most hip-hop heads crave, but makes it up with his humorous character, catchy hooks, and trunk-rattling instrumentation. Some music is made simply for entertainment and 2 Chainz is the best “entertainer” in the game right now. His affection for big butts, cars, jewelry, clothes and, of course, seafood is the focus of this solo debut. Don’t expect anything more than that if you pick up Based On A T.R.U. Story. Now pass the lobster, TRUUUUU!
ill Tracks: Yuck, Dope Peddler, No Lie, Birthday Song, Ghetto Dreams