Tity Boi grew on me. Wait, that reads so terribly. 2 Chainz grew on me. I’m a big fan of the slow burn in the mainstream. There are so many artists that (seemingly) come from nowhere, command the entertainment landscape, pop, fizzle and die. 2 Chainz has circumvented that to become a huge star that will be here for a long time because: he has already been here a long time.
As one half of the acclaimed southern duo Playaz Circle, Chainz born Tauheed Epps entered the recording industry in 1997, but did not enjoy any commercial success until 2007, with their single “Duffle Bag Boy”. The song features a Li’l Wayne that was turning a corner – the bluesy, scruffy autotuned Wayne everyone has come to know and love. The song definitely catapulted Epps into an upper echelon of the industry.
After announcing his solo efforts, Epps underwent a name transformation that ultimately worked for him. Going from Tity Boi to 2 Chainz is obviously better for the mainstream, as radio DJs can’t always mention breasts when mentioning your song. After a very successful Gangsta Grillz mixtape, Chainz started enjoying more and more commercial success, culminating in the release of his major label effort, Based on a T.R.U. Story, which debuted at number 1 on Billboard.
The 2 Chainz style is infectious and playful, straddling the lines of ladies man, drug dealer and fashionista with ease. If you’re new to his music, here’s a list of some of 2 Chainz’ best efforts:
“Duffle Bag Boy” (Single featuring Li’l Wayne, with Playaz Circle)
Codeine Cowboy (A 2 Chainz Collective Mixtape)
Codeine Cowboy (Video Documentary)
T.R.U. REALigion (Breakthrough Mixtape)
Based on a T.R.U. Story (Studio Album 2012)
I suggest starting with the documentary and going from there. 2 Chainz will be performing at Lollapalooza in Chicago this summer.