Review : 2 Chainz - Based on a T.R.U. Story
PitchforkAt this point, the artist formerly known as Tity Boi's unlikely, winding career path has been discussed heavily. The quick rundown: He dropped several albums and one smash hit (which benefited heavily from a peak-era Lil' Wayne hook) as a member of Playaz Circle. He worked as Ludacris' understudy at DTP. He's had his fair share of great music scattered across a career that now touches three different decades of hip-hop history. After building a sudden, cult-like mixtape buzz across the country, his solo debut, Based on a T.R.U. Story, has moved an impressive 147,000 copies, a new industry benchmark of how to shift from mixtapes to sales, and a cynical example of the bare minimum of creativity required for that level of success.
He's released solo mixtapes for several years, but it wasn't until 2010's Me Against the World 2: Codeine Withdrawal and Trap-A-Velli 2: (The Residue) that the spark seemed to find a fuse. These tapes even pre-dated the mainstream-friendly 2 Chainz name transition, and indicated possible new momentum behind what had been an aging franchise; tracks like "Between Me and U" and "Up in Smoke" (a masterful, underrated fusion of forgotten Roc-A-Fella singer Christión's "Full of Smoke" with Art of Noise's "Moments in Love") indicated the rapper had a gift for the hazy afterparty slow jam, in an era when most artists reaching for the brass ring of Atlanta's rap game had to knock out peak-time hits. It's easy to see Tity's presence in Gucci Mane's "Everybody Looking" video as a kind of Styrofoam baton pass; just as Gucci's popular appeal reached a fevered pitch, he returned to prison. He was joined by T.I., hamstrung by repeated probation violations, while Young Jeezy, ready to capitalize off a hot street single, languished in label purgatory. Atlanta and its major hip-hop infrastructure-- the strip clubs, mixtape trade, and tour circuit-- had a star machine to generate revenue with a vacuum in its center. Into the void gawkily sauntered a new hero, who took the path pioneered by 50 Cent, adapted to the internet era by Lil Wayne, and fully fleshed out with three-dimensional songcraft by Gucci Mane....full text
IdolatorCritics seem to have mixed opinions on Based On A T.R.U. Story, the debut solo album from Georgia rapper 2 Chainz. The 35-year-old has been around the block, having been a member of Playaz Circle since the late ’90s, before heading out on his own and changing his stage name from Tity Boi to 2 Chainz last year. And just as he’s guested on a slew of other artists’ tunes recently, the MC’s album comes packed with quite a roster of featured pals. Head below to see our review roundup for 2 Chainz’s first outing as a major label force.
:: We’ll kick things off with this bit from our own review: “In his Def Jam debut Based On A T.R.U. Story, the more playful 2 Chainz, now age 35, reintroduces himself as an executive of sorts who’s ironed out his operations — in this case, that he has the women and income he wants, but that he doesn’t take himself too seriously.”
:: Consequence Of Sound rattles 2′s chains: “The artist formerly known as Tity Boi had dwelled in the world of obscure mixtapes since the late nineties — what made his rocky flow suddenly attractive to some of pop music’s biggest names? The Georgia rapper’s Def Jam debut, Based on a T.R.U. Story, leaves that question unanswered, as the album is at its best when guests take the microphone and falls short nearly everywhere else.”...full text
Consequenceofsound2 Chainz’s rapid ascent to fame over the past year, which included verses on hits such as Nicki Minaj’s “Beez in the Trap” and Kanye West’s opus “Mercy”, is bewildering. The artist formerly known as Tity Boi had dwelled in the world of obscure mixtapes since the late nineties — what made his rocky flow suddenly attractive to some of pop music’s biggest names? The Georgia rapper’s Def Jam debut, Based on a T.R.U. Story, leaves that question unanswered, as the album is at its best when guests take the microphone and falls short nearly everywhere else.
Nine of the 13 tracks here have featured verses, and the result is that 2 Chainz ends up a guest on his own album. Drake’s extended chorus and verse on single “No Lie” carry the song, just as Nicki Minaj’s characteristically bipolar delivery on “I Luv Dem Strippers” makes the uninspired beat and chorus tolerable. “Birthday Song”, the club-ready collaboration with Kanye West, strikes a better balance, with 2 Chainz “in the kitchen, yams everywhere” and Kanye manning an understated verse over trap and bass-heavy production....full text
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