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19/08/2012 The T.R.U. Story of 2 Chainz
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|The T.R.U. Story of 2 Chainz|
|19-08-2012 09:47 | 0 comment(s)|
| What is the true story -- er, excuse me, the T.R.U. story -- of Tauheed Epps, better known as 2 Chainz? The past year of the Atlanta rapper's life has encompassed a remarkable comeback story in which a 35-year-old man the world knew as Tity Boi changed his alias, became BFF with a score of major hip-hop artists, signed with Def Jam and started shaking up the charts as a lead artist ("No Lie" featuring Drake) and a guest star (G.O.O.D. Music's "Mercy"). This is not a story often told in mainstream hip-hop. How did such a whirlwind resurrection happen, and how does 2 Chainz -- a rapper whose radio aspirations were an afterthought at the beginning of 2011 -- feel about it?|
Unfortunately, "Based on a T.R.U. Story," 2 Chainz' much-anticipated new album, does not really reveal that story, or any substantial story, for that matter. That's not to begrudge 2 Chainz for making an album filled with sinewy beats, repetitive hooks and comically constructed one-liners -- all of those elements made mixtape cuts like "Spend It" and "Stunt" knock hard against any preconceived notions of who 2 Chainz was. The problem is that the hints of personality underneath the braggadocio overflowing on "Based on a T.R.U. Story" exist as faint flickers, pointing to a storytelling skill that has yet to be given the spotlight.
The highlights are enjoyable enough: "No Lie" still pops out as the most immediate cut, while the Nicki Minaj-assisted "I Luv Dem Strippers" is a logical follow-up to "Beez in the Trap" that may offer even more unadulterated joy than that "Roman's Revenge" track. Too often, however, the best parts are bogged down by what could have been -- "Birthday Song," for instance, could have been 2 Chainz' next trap smash, but the chorus lands with a thud and the "skip" button is pressed before its five minutes roll by. 2 Chainz is still a vibrant character within the hip-hop universe, and has a knack for tossing off zany sayings like they're pennies falling out of his pockets.
But "Based on a T.R.U. Story" is based on an interesting artist we don't get to know well enough. At this juncture, 2 Chainz' comeback tale feels incomplete.
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