Free Advice From 2 Chainz: When the Guns Come Out, Run

Categories: 2 Chainz, Q&A

Two For The Road...
Though critics may argue 2 Chainz's music is a "lesson in thematic narrowness," the man once referred to as Tity Boi [even by his own parents] makes some strong points to the contrary. Talk with Chainz even when he's fresh off a blunt break and you can't deny the guy's intelligence. A gregarious dude protected by a blanket of optimism that seems to deflect all hate thrown his way, Mr. Epps never says "die." After years of relative obscurity on Ludacris' Disturbing Tha Peace label, he released new material under a "new" [Chainz claims he's been called 2 Chainz since high school] nom de plume and found mainstream acceptance and respect from peers like Kanye West.

Even after a recent robbery in San Francisco, he's not letting anything interfere with him repeating last summer's success. Guess that's why he named his sophomore LP Based On A True Story 2.

2 Chainz performs tomorrow, July 19th, at Jones Beach.

See also: What Artistic Movements Do These Rappers Exemplify?

More »

Defend Your Ballot: Drew Millard, Pazz and Jop 2012 Contributor

Pazz and Jop
You can't really know where you're headed unless you know where you've been. For that reason, we're taking a look back at Pazz & Jop 2012 to drill down into the ballots of contributors and voters who participated. Maybe amongst the rubble we'll find clues about what lies ahead for music lovers in 2013. Here, Noisey's Drew Millard defends his ballot.

See Also:
- Pazz and Jop 2012: Top Albums

More »

Live-Blogging The 2012 Video Music Awards: We Are Never Ever Ever Gonna Use Tonight As A Bellwether

How much Swiftian shock will we see tonight?
Has the live-blog been obliterated by Twitter? Let's find out on MTV's biggest night of the year, the Video Music Awards, which this year will feature Taylor Swift (in business casual on the double-decker red carpet right now), Frank Ocean, Rihanna, and Green Day, among others, as well as honors to various clips designed to big-up the biggest pop tracks of the year.

More »

Hot 100 Roundup: Brandy Comes Back, Lil Wayne Gets Gross, And More

Editors' note: Each week in this space, chart-watcher Robert Myers will offer his reactions to all the new entries on the Hot 100, Billboard's big board for popular songs.

The late-summer doldrums continue in the world of Hot 100 debuts with two less-than-stunning rap records that won't be on the chart next week, an attempted comeback (its release timed, no doubt, to take advantage of the lack of competition), and a country debut that will probably outperform them all in the long run.

More »

2 Chainz Brings His T.R.U. Story To The 40/40 Club

Last night at the 40/40 Club, during the listening session for 2 Chainz's debut Based On A T.R.U. Story (Def Jam), it became apparent that the Atlanta MC grew up watching What's Happening?—he kept insisting that he could feel someone recording his album in the crowd a la Rerun's run-in with the Doobie Brothers. As a result he said he wouldn't play the entire album for the assembled; he played enough of it to give the fiends in the crowd a breeze, but not enough to catch a real vibe.

Chainz packed the house with "a lot of black card holders," as he put it. DJ Enuff, Ebro and Angie Martinez repped for Hot 97. Def Jam was heavy with their fairly newly appointed president Joie Manda, as well as Universal Republic/ Island Def Jam chairman Barry Weiss. Even Memphis Bleek (!!!), sporting his trademark white tee and Yankee fitted, stepped off the back of a milk carton to be there.

All the screens in the glamorized sports bar played 2 Chainz videos with the sound off while staff handed out 2 Chainz fans with a graphic of his album cover. Behind the bar, the bartenders doled out free Ciroc while cocktail waitresses carried trays of 40/40 Club patron Jay-Z's new cognac, D'Ussé.

After two hours of DJ SNS spinning MMG, YMCMB and G.O.O.D. (a lot initials in today's rap) a waft of weed filled the sports bar; Tity Boi and his entourage had arrived. Chainz, wearing some tie-dyed spandexish shirt with splashes of animal print that everyone immediately commented on, wasted no time getting on the mic to introduce the songs to NYC. "I know the songs aren't familiar... yet," he explained. "But you might as well start getting used to them." Here's what was played.

More »

Live: 2 Chainz, Asher Roth, Ace Hood, Vado, And Gunplay Pass Through The Gramercy Theatre

2 Chainz, Asher Roth, Ace Hood, Vado, and Gunplay
Gramercy Theatre
Tuesday, February 21

Better than: Clicking through the 50 best hip-hop jumpsuits.

Is a show still a success if the audience has a great time, but never quite figures what's being promoted? Last night at the Gramercy Theatre, a website called Best of Both Offices brought a handful of rappers from along the east coast to help them re-launch their website and announce a new partnership with Complex Media. Yet the next morning I'm still not exactly sure what that website is. The company refers to itself as a "fully equipped lifestyle and artist development brand designed to creatively develop, market, promote and establish brand new upstart or prominent artists or brands into the marketplace," but that doesn't help much, and Complex claims that it has "successfully marketed, developed and digitally promoted artists including... Jay-Z," which I have trouble believing.

More »

Live: 2 Chainz Has All Eyes On Him At S.O.B.'s

2 Chainz w/ Marcus Manchild
Monday, January 30

Better than: Spending today watching the 50 or so videos that were taken during the performance.

2 Chainz is tall. I was going to guess 6'5", but an internet answers site—and we all know how reliable they are—is telling me he's 6'8". Whatever the number, he needed every inch of it to remain visible over the mob of hangers-on, loose affiliates, and camera people, especially camera people, that surrounded him as he performed the best cuts off his two 2011 mixtapes, February's Codeine Cowboy and November's T.R.U. Realigion, last night at S.O.B.'s.

As a rapper, 2 Chainz's success is based more on the thrill of recognition than the thrill of innovation: Both on stage and on record, he does little new but, from his flows to his beat selection, nearly everything well and—perhaps most important to his recent success—with a consistency that has grown increasingly rare. Anyone with a DatPiff account can tell you how few of the hundred of new mixtapes that appear on the site every day remain strong from track one through track 15. In 2011, 2 Chainz released two of them.

More »

Q&A: 2 Chainz On Giving Back, Being Independent, And Fitting Work Into Every Hour Of His Day

What's in a name? The storied quote would imply that a rapper by any other name is still just as [fill in the blank], but 2 Chainz, the Playaz Circle member who was better known as Tity Boi until fairly recently, might have a different perspective.

Since switching nom de plumes, the Georgia MC's popularity has skyrocketed. It could be a coincidence, but either way, the kid's everywhere. He spent the last week recording verses for a slew of remixes. He popped up on Wale's "Bait," rocked with French Montana for a joint, and rapped side by side with Juicy J. And that's just his features.

2 Chainz's mixtape Codeine Cowboy, which came out last winter and contained the song "Spend it," has been a staple for DJs at New York hotel bars and Atlanta hole-in-the-wall-clubs alike. People are still bumping "Spend It" all over, but that didn't stop him from releasing the mixtape T.R.U. REALigion last month. We caught up with him on a visit to New York, where he was—what else?—working.

More »