Screen Shot 2012-09-17 at 7.03.20 PM

2 Chainz- Based on a T.R.U Story

“Lock yourself in a room doin five beats a day for three summers/ That’s a different world like Kree Summers/ I deserve to do these numbers.”

2 Chainz is 36, has a four year old daughter, and although he’s been rapping since 1997, when he and his high school friend Earl Conyers (“Dolla Boy”) formed Playaz Circle and first caught the attention of Ludacris, you probably hadn’t heard his name until he yelled it out at the end of Kanye’s acid trip in the middle of “Mercy.”

Not that 2 Chainz isn’t talented. But of all the talented rappers going right this second, the fact that 2 Chainz is the one that debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 speaks to something beyond mere ability; the commercial success of “Based on a T.R.U. Story” is a  tribute to Mr. West’s taste, as well as to his instincts as a business, man.

The premise of “Based on a T.R.U. Story” premise is familiar: the artist formerly known as ‘Tity Boi’ grew up in the trap selling crack, made it out, and now enjoys yacht parties and endorsement deals with Vitamin Water. The “T.R.U. Story” beats are heavy and bombastic- the first five tracks are five nearly identical explosions of skittering trap snares and blunted bass- while the mood is alternately ominous and hectic (see brooding horns and choppy snare hits on opener ‘Yuck!’).

2 Chainz raps like a silkier Lil John, his hooks and one liners sounding like long-winded shouts that have been weathered over time into something smooth. There’s a glint of humour about him that can’t be entirely explained in terms of content or delivery, but still, “T.R.U. Story” is not an original.

It’s a celebration.

Not of the hard work of one man, but of 2.

Watch Kanye and 2 Chainz have a ball, here.