On the count of 3, I want you to say ‘2 CHAIIIINNNNNZZZZZ’ at the top of your lungs. Ready? One, Two…………………………………..THREE! *waits*…..Tru.
Alright, now that that’s out of the way, let me give this album a blessed touch of the keyboard, and some sprinkles of STiXXclusive knowledge an inner intellect when it comes to reviewing 2 Chainz’ (formally known as Tity Boi) debut album, Based on a T.R.U Story. If you listened to T.R.U REALigion, then you already understand what the T.R.U stands for, so I won’t get into any explanation about that.
Trap rap; drug dealer music; get hype at the club and jump on couches music (Shout out to Jamz & Pinky aka The Gawd’s Disciples). It’s not necessarily music that’s meant to be heard for great lyricism and crazy metaphors. Given the fact that T.I & Jeezy would be considered lyrical trap rappers because they have a range of subject material in their rhymes, when it comes to rappers like 2 Chainz, French Montana, Rick Ross (meh…I don’t know), their ad-libs & one-liners are the constant drivers for their hype and continues to keep their relevance intact (but you wouldn’t catch me dead as a French Montana supporter).
2 Chainz’ buzz has grown to some astronomical heights in a little over a year, and most forget that he was in Playaz Circle & a member of Ludacris’ ‘Disturbing Tha Peace’ label. That’s basically how I’ve known about him for so long. I’m guilty, I can be the first to say that I didn’t listen to his mixtapes prior, at least not for a couple of years, but this isn’t about me, it’s about this album that has finally come out for this guy that’s been grinding hard to get to this point in life. So, let me get into this.
Plain & Simple, 2 Chainz is about a few things in life: Money, Fashion & Drugs – okay throw in some women with fully rounded backsides and you have the perfect ingredient for quality trap music. The majority of this album is pretty much the same content, but throughout all of it, 2 Chainz goes through the fact that where he used to be, and where he is now, he had to start from the bottom and work his way to the top. The bottom for him started in the gutter, on the streets, dealing drugs. He makes that evident in the first three songs ‘Yuck’ ‘Crack’ & Dope Peddler
‘Before Benihana’s it was canned goods/Before Canned Goods it was Similac/I’m from where they send shots then we send ‘em back’ – Yuck! (Featuring Lil Wayne)
‘Started from the trap, now I rap/ everywhere I go, I got crack’ – Crack
‘Started off with an OZ, ended riding 4 deep’ – Dope Peddler
That line can mean 1 of 2 things: he LITERALLY has crack with him at all times where he goes to sell just because that part of his hustle can’t die, OR, when he’s making music, every record he touches in addictive or…crack.
2 Chainz loves him some big booty women, I must say. Going into ‘Birthday Song’ & ‘I Luv Dem Strippers’ you know that he has no issues admiring the women that shake what their mothers gave them while getting money tossed at them at the same time (I wanted to put ‘damn’ in there, but this is not a Future album review). Features from Kanye & Nicki Minaj (respectively) weren’t the greatest, but like I said, this is club music and stuff to turn up to (Turn Up = getting hype). Nicki Minaj & 2 Chainz, in a very odd way, collaborate well, even though the songs may be annoying, it works for them, and it at least keeps Nicki Minaj, rapping instead of doing pop music, but at this point, I don’t even care about that broad anymore and what she does.
The first five songs on the album set a good tone, but what killed it for me was ‘Extremely Blessed.’ Okay, cool, we all need that one simp song, and to quote 2 Chainz in this song ‘Everybody got one,’ but this one put me to sleep (almost). The Dream is good on hooks and whatnot, plus he’s had good albums, but this right here? Skip. Please.
‘Stop Me Now’ provided a wicked sample in the beginning, and the fact that it was such a smooth track with a quality feature by Dolla Boy (Playaz Circle reunion, this is one of my favourites on the album. I’m one that’s a fan of a nice bass line, a smooth sample and a suitable flow to match. This is definitely an enjoyable one. Real lyrics on here too (for 2 Chainz at least).
‘When they saw me they used to think of dope but now when they see me they just think of hope – Inspiration’ – Stop Me Now
The album definitely took a turn in direction at the midway point (‘Money Machine’ was the most energetic song of the bunch), and 2 Chainz dived into a softer side, embracing his (to quote Jamz) ‘inner simp.’ I can’t knock him for taking a different approach, because remember, this is a major label album, so you have to diversify (music isn’t the same these days, so we have to cope), but for what it’s worth, it’s not terrible.
‘Ghetto Dreams’ is another one of my favourites because of the beat, the meaning behind the song, and John Legend on the hook, shoot, it can’t be THAT bad, and it really wasn’t. Scarface wasn’t all that impressive, but I was still surprised that he was on the album as a feature anyways. The album (if you don’t have the deluxe edition) ends off on a high note with a hype song. ‘Wut We Doin’ is a catchy classic 2 Chainz song that keeps you hype the whole time, so I can’t be all that mad.
Bonus songs included a surprisingly good song with him and Chris Brown called ‘Countdown’, which I really didn’t think I’d like because of my dislike of Chris Brown’s music (or whatever he calls it these days), but I did enjoy it. A more dubstep feel to it, but I felt that it was good.
2 Chainz is great for having sampled The Weeknd in ‘Like Me.’ I heard this song a while back, but it’s still pretty cool that he rapped over the sample. I don’t know why it didn’t make the cut for the album, but I’ll take it as a bonus anyways.
Alright, here’s my overall view of the album (if I haven’t given it already) is that it wasn’t as great as T.R.U REALigion, but I will admit that this is a time for hip hop & rap that many mixtapes (80% of the time) are better than albums that are dropped by the same artist. I’ve come to that conclusion, and it SUCKS that the best material of an artist comes from something that isn’t really what they’re allowed to put out as an album, but for 2 Chainz, he displayed some of his old habits that made people fans of his in the beginning, and at the same time, he tried different approaches that you can either love or hate, but regardless, he tried it, and that’s that. I’ll give this album a pass, because there are enjoyable songs on it. The bonus songs are all fire too, so when you factor that in, it’s not a terrible album. Whether you decide to buy it or not, I’m sure many people won’t, but I won’t lie, I am, just because I’m a fan.
Young Money just doesn’t seem to go away. With 3 of the premiere artists having features on the album (2 of which were snooze worthy), I know for a FACT that you’ll be hearing a good chunk of this album in the club, or the waiting music for any hip hop concert you attend soon. 2 Chainz is continuing to grow and build his fame, and this album will surely help. I had to give it a couple of more listens for appreciation and really understand that if you’re looking for great beats, lyrics, stories and whatever that deems an album to be good, you’ll miss your expectations right as you think about them. I’m not saying to dumb yourself down, but merely adapt to the times and if this isn’t for you, then skip it. Simple. But until then, let the church say TRUUUUUUUUU, and if you happen to listen to the album, enjoy it. So for now, this is my opinion & this is my review
That’s My Word & It STiXX