Monday, 16 January 2012

New Favourite Rapper: 2 Chainz

To call 2 Chainz a newcomer would be incorrect. Formerly known as Tity Boi, a member of moderately successful Disturbing Tha Peace group Playaz Circle, 2 Chainz has begun carving out a promising solo career. Visually striking with his 6'5 frame, long braids and large glasses dominating his face, the Atlanta MC made a memorable appearance on the Uncut BET Cypher.

The dropping of his ridiculous previous alias along with a stream of popular mixtapes has worked miracles on his status in the rap industry. Chainz delivered a somewhat confusing explanation of his decision in a radio interview covered by HipHopDX:

“I’ve been doing a lot of media runs up in New York lately promoting my CD T.R.U. Realigion and every single interview I do they like, ‘What’s up with the name change?’ So this is the universal answer... I go by Tity Boi, let me run this to ya’ll, I’m one half of Playaz Circle. I did a song called ‘Duffle Bag Boyz’ in ’07 with Lil Weezy. I was signed to DTP/Def Jam and all that. And so people ask me where the 2 Chainz came from I tell them I always talk about jewelry and I always been saying 2 Chainz in a lot of my songs. But lately like the last year or so I’ve been saying it in introducing my records like ‘2 Chainz!’ and kinda making it family friendly. However you wanna say it.”

Extracting some sense out of this leads us to conclude that the rapper is still contractually obliged to DTP under his Tity Boi moniker, therefore cannot fully renounce the name until he has fulfilled his obligations. He is not contracted to Def Jam as a solo artist, however, so currently remains independent under his 2 Chainz alias.

After a series of mildly popular mixtapes established Chainz as a rejuvenated voice, the rapper found his first major success with the release of T.R.U REALigion. The tape features newcomers and old faces alike, Big Sean, Meek Mill and Kreayshawn being joined by veterans such as Raekwon, T.I. and Young Jeezy. The free project has amassed over 100,000 downloads on 

As a rapper, Chainz relies on effective bass rattling Southern beat selection, similar in mould to fellow ATLiens Jeezy and Yo Gotti. Also shared with them is a penchant for the repetitive hook and simple lyricism, focused on providing something to destroy the sound system rather than deep, meaningful material. This, however, doesn't seem important when listened to in the right context. As he explains himself:

"I'm the new kid at school... The new kid come to the school, know how to dress a little bit, know how to talk a little game... I done been around, but I transferred."

Currently promoting the T.R.U mixtape, 2 Chainz knows there is a lot of work to do before he achieves mainstream success (for example, he does not yet even have his own Wikipedia page). A continued focus, however, will almost certainly guarantee him a fruitful 2012. In an industry that is currently crying out for more substance, 2 Chainz is notable for going against the grain. When the music is this fun, however, it doesn't really seem to matter.

2 Chainz feat. Kreayshawn - Murder
2 Chainz - Undastatement
2 Chainz - Kesha

2 Chainz - Spend it:

2 Chainz - T.R.U. REALigion (mixtape)

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