2 Chainz, formerly known as Tity Boi, released his much talked about and anticipated mixtape, T.R.U. Realigion today (November 1). Coming off months of heavy buzz, appearances on awards shows, and hit remixes, 2 Chainz is ready to reintroduce himself to the Hip-Hop community and music industry as a force to be reckoned with.
After the success of Playaz Circles’ first albums on Ludacris’ Disturbing Tha Peace imprint, which 2 Chainz was and still is a part of, the talk about Tity Boi and Dolla seemed to fizzle out. In 2011, it seems people can’t get enough of the Tity 2 Chainz movement, and more importantly, the music.
AllHipHop.com got the opportunity to speak with the “humble hustler” on a number of topics, including his past with Playaz Circle, what kind of empire he is trying to build for himself now, his BET Cypher, and much more. Before his mixtape, T.R.U. Realigion, was released, 2 Chainz shed some light on his relationship with the mixtapes host DJ Drama, as well as artists like Wale, T.I., Ludacris, and even Kreayshawn. Read below to see what exactly was on the mind of the “Codeine Cowboy” also known as 2 Chainz:
AllHipHop.com: What’s going on, Chainz?
2 Chainz: What’s going on, brother?
AllHipHop.com: I heard you were just wrapping up a video. What were you working on?
2 Chainz: I’ve been doing a lot of promo stuff; it’s just been crazy with the media. There’s a lot of outlets, so I’ve been speaking to all of them.
AllHipHop.com: So first things first, and I’m sure you’ve been asked this a lot, but what happened to Tity Boi, and who is 2 Chainz?
2 Chainz: Tity Boi - nothing happened to him - and 2 Chainz is basically the same person. They are still the same humble, hungry person. The name change just came with experience. It’s crazy, I’ve been asked that question so many times. [laughter] Basically what happened was I was going by Tity Boi as like a family, household name. My mother called me that, my father called me that, and when it became time for me to rap and put music out, I couldn’t think of an MC name, so I just stayed with a name that people called me and I was comfortable with in my area. SO, when I started moving around and telling people my name was Tity Boi, some people thought it was derogatory; other people thought it was cool. But in all my raps, dating back to my second album, I was calling myself Tity 2 Chainz.
2 Chainz: So, I think what happened was the way I delivered it made it sound friendly and made it easy for the kids to get out. Not to mention, I go hard as 2 Chainz.
AllHipHop.com: S0, just out of curiosity, as a pretty flashy guy, what are two of the favorite chains that you own?
2 Chainz: My plane chain is definitely one of them. I had that made for the Flight 360 album with Playaz Circle, and probably my “Duffle Bag Boy” logo would be the other one. That duffle bag logo is heavy as sh*t like a little midget.
AllHipHop.com: Nice! Since you just mentioned it, what is up with Playaz Circle? Are you still working together and signed to Disturbing Tha Peace?
2 Chainz: Yeah, I’m definitely down with Dolla [Boi] still. We have a studio together back home, and we’ve been working on future business and ventures, but for right now, I’d be a fool to ignore the type of buzz that I’m creating as 2 Chainz and the music I’m putting out on mixtapes. I’m just really trying to follow my dreams right now. I’m ready to be my own boss, and that’s something I’m prepared for.
AllHipHop.com: Definitely. I saw online that a week or two ago you had made a surprise appearance at Wale’s show in Chicago. What is your relationship with him like?
2 Chainz: Well, Wale stays in Atlanta. A lot of people don’t know that. Even before that, we were rocking with each other. We had a little rapport with one another, so it’s a situation where we talk to each other like once a week. He had invited me on the tour, not knowing what my schedule was going to be like, and I had to be in Chicago for a video shoot that I was doing for someone. We have a record together that’s not actually on his album, but has done well in the streets called “Globetrotter.”
AllHipHop.com: What about you and T.I.? That “Spend It” record is all over the place right now. What was it like to be one of the first artists to work with him when he got out of prison?
2 Chainz: It felt good, man. I got word that he was going to be coming out, and it was a pleasure when he actually came home. I had one of the hottest songs out in the area, so when he came home and was around for BET Hip-Hop Awards weekend, I put him on the remix, and it just blasted off. It worked out good for me as another reintroduction of 2 Chainz, formerly Tity Boi.
AllHipHop.com: You were one of the last minute additions to a BET Cypher this year, where you got to spit alongside Reek Da Villian, Busta Rhymes, and Ludacris. What was that experience like for you?
2 Chainz: Yeah, it was definitely last minute. I appreciated it, though. You just always have to be ready for things like that. I just had to grab some things and make it to the plane; I can’t really complain. It was dope to show off my skills in the Cypher.
AllHipHop.com: For sure. Let’s get into your upcoming project, T.R.U. Realigion that you have DJ Drama hosting. You were featured on two tracks on his recent album Third Power, and now he is hosting your mixtape. How did all of this come together?’
2 Chainz: Well, originally Drama reached out to do the “Oh My” remix before I had even heard the original song, and he has always been a part of my marketing strategy as far as how to win goes. Me not really having a co-sign, me not doing a Gangsta Grillz, it just made sense to get Drama on there. The anticipation for my mixtape, T.R.U. Realigion, is already high, and it gets an added value to it with the inclusion of DJ Drama.
AllHipHop.com: So, assuming the mixtape is done, what can the fans expect on T.R.U. Realigion? And how does Kreayshawn end up on a 2 Chainz project?
2 Chainz: Yeah, that’s my girl; we’ve built up a good rapport. One of her friends, who was a fan of my campaign, showed her what I was doing. She’s special and very entertaining, so since then, we’ve always had ideas and plans on doing something together. She reached out, and shorty was always down with it; so yeah, the track came out real good. It’s produced by C-Note and called “Murder.” I think I want her to shoot the video, too, so we just have some crazy stuff going on.
AllHipHop.com: What are the chances of her actually directing the video?
2 Chainz: Yeah, that’s what I want to happen. She actually wanted to shoot the “Spend It” video, and so that’s kind of how things started coming together.
AllHipHop.com: Well, that’s definitely a surprise that’ll be found on your mixtape. Are there any other big surprises other than the artists that have already been announced to be on T.R.U. Realigion?
2 Chainz: You’d probably want to know about this Meek Mill track, “Problems.”
AllHipHop.com: And who produced that?
2 Chainz: This producer by the name of G-Fresh. People that follow me know that I’m not really a fan of big name producers.
AllHipHop.com: That’s interesting, because I had seen something online that you were helping doing some A&R work for Ludacris’ new album Ludaversal. Tell me a little bit about that.
2 Chainz: That’s what I do. I just go around, and I might get a dude that still stays with his momma, but that doesn’t even matter as long as the beat is hot and on point.
AllHipHop.com: So beyond your A&R work you’re doing with Luda, is it safe to say that you’ll also end up on the album as a guest?
2 Chainz: Oh, yeah, definitely.
AllHipHop.com: You have, for the most part, been everywhere lately. You’re not a new artist by any means. You’ve been in the game for almost a decade now, but with all of the new attention and spotlight being on you, do you tend to look at yourself as a new artist? Are you starting fresh so to speak?
2 Chainz: Oh yeah. I definitely reinvented myself. This is my first time doing things like this as 2 Chainz - this is all me. It definitely feels new and definitely feels refreshing. I have to make the most of it. Every other time I went to Japan or Africa or somewhere, it was for another person, now it’s for me. It feels good. I feel reinvented.
AllHipHop.com: Not just your own material, but lately you’ve been making appearances on records with Bun B, T.I., Juicy J, Lil Scrappy, etc. Is this all attributed to a strong work ethic, or do you simply have a desire to just try and outshine everyone that you work with?
2 Chainz: It’s definitely a strong work ethic, man. I just work hard. If people give me something, I give it back within 24 hours or less. My turnaround is good, and I’m just a humble cat who can charge the sh*t out of somebody or can do it out of love, just depending on how I feel.
AllHipHop.com: And your consistency has been something to applaud as well.
2 Chainz: Thank you.
AllHipHop.com: As we finish up, I just want to ask you about some of the work you have done within your community. Do you plan on doing more work and helping with more initiatives for the city and kids, much like the literacy campaign you were a part of recently?
2 Chainz: Oh, absolutely. I always said that if I got to a certain point, that I would use my celebrity status to give back to the community. There will be a lot more stuff like that coming next year.
AllHipHop.com: So other than your desire to do more work within the community, what do you have in store for 2012?
2 Chainz: 2 Chainz will definitely be putting [down] a major label album, getting a tight grip on the game, and just working as hard as possible.
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