The Score: "[On 'T.R.U. Story'] 2 Chainz Commands The Spotlight - Rapping About Success & Sex"

Tuesday, Aug 14, 2012 3:00PM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

Buy Now
  • Based On A T.R.U. Story
  • 2 Chainz
  • August 14, 2012
Los Angeles Times 1/4
All Hip Hop 7.5/10
The Versed 3/5
Rolling Stone 3.5/5
Idolator 3.5/5

It's been a long time coming and the artist formerly known as Tity Boi is ready to shine courtesy of his new Based On A T.R.U. Story. Through all the G.O.O.D. Music hype and overnight co-signs, 2 Chainz's new LP finally arrives for fans and critics alike to judge.

Over the past year, 2 Chainz has exploded onto the music scene stealing the spotlight from rap's biggest stars as a serious hip-hop heavyweight.

There's no question about it - in a matter of months, G.O.O.D. Music's 2 Chainz (commonly referred to as TWWWWOOOOO CHAAAAIIIINZZZZZ, or "the artist formerly known as Tity Boi") has become one of the most talked about figures in hip hop. Whether that's a good thing or a bad thing depends on who's doing the talking though. In fact, outside of Lil B, his might be the most polarizing name in the industry today. It seems like half of hip hop's fan base can't get enough of his wild, mindless brand of music, and the other half swears his emergence might just signal the official "end" of a dying genre. With the drop of his first solo studio album, Based on a T.R.U. Story, that argument is probably only going to get louder. (The Versed)

Chainz managed to drop an album which seemingly meshes R&B and hip-hop talent together courtesy of artists like John Legend and Scarface.

The great tracks start as soon as he begins to take chances, and the Mike Posner feature on "In Town" is as big of a chance you'll see on the regular edition of the LP. Surprisingly, 2 Chainz handles the song quite well, considering the vibe seems more suited for Posner. "Ghetto Dreams" is more of a lock as far as standout tracks; featuring John Legend and Scarface, it serves as a reflective track that has everyone at their best. 2 Chainz wisely chooses to avoid the punchline-every-bar approach and sticks to the subject of the song (mostly), and proves to be one of the strongest songs on TRU Story that even select Hip-Hop heads should appreciate. (All Hip Hop)

Rather than present an overly conscious project, the rapper focuses on flaunting his lavish lifestyle.

Tauheed Epps has been around since the Nineties, when he was one half of the Southern duo Playaz Circle. But he recently took up the moniker 2 Chainz, and turned into hip-hop's most promiscuous, and hilarious, guest verse-supplier. His commercial solo debut is packed with A-list cameos and producers, but 2 Chainz commands the spotlight - rapping about success and sex with the irrepressible enthusiasm of the upstart he isn't. Occasionally he admits he's been around for a while. But the confession comes with a punch line. Actually, two punch lines: "Former Posturepedic, I was slept on/So many chains it look like my neck gone." (Rolling Stone)

Only a teaser of what is to come, Based On A T.R.U. Story tends to have the listeners wanting more.

Still, like many rappers who ascend from the no-rules mixtape to the corporate mainstream, 2 Chainz had to please two distinctly different crowds with his major-label debut. Fortunately, instead of skirting either set of expectations, Based On A T.R.U. Story tries its damnedest to meet both with a catchier name, choruses tailor-made for a tipsy stupor and punchlines that promise to tickle lyrics-oriented listeners. Best of all, even coming from a rapper with veteran mixtape status and growing industry clout, Based On A T.R.U. Story delivers perhaps the best feeling to get out of a debut -- that he's only just getting started. (Idolator)

Although liked by many, some music critics took aim at Chainz's lack of originality and content.

The first things to know about the Atlanta rapper 2 Chainz are that he's not a very good lyricist, his flow is a little clumsy and his phrasing is monotonous. A purveyor of a hip-hop subgenre known as trap music, which is typified by sparse but hard beats, synth clusters and frantic high-hat rhythms, 2 Chainz has a distinctive style that values bounce over brains, is created for clubs and not hipsters, and conveys its message simply and unapologetically. (Los Angeles Times)
Contrasted with Lil Wayne's easy, seemingly effortless guest verse, 2 Chainz sounds like a rank amateur whose topics of choice -- strippers, money, drugs -- have been examined to death in hip-hop by others with a much more varied vocabulary. "Crack" is about crack, how he started in the biz as a seller, and now he's a rapper. Sound familiar? It should, because the story has been told better nearly everywhere else, and even guest appearances by Kanye West and Nicki Minaj don't provide much boost. (Los Angeles Times)

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