2 Chainz - Based on a T.R.U. Story Review
Posted by Tony Acero on 08.17.2012
The former Tity Boi has reinvented himself as 2 Chainz and has taken over the world the last couple of months. Does his first studio album prove worthy of purchasing, or is he just another run-of-the-mill rapper of 2012? 411's Tony Acero checks in with his full review!
1. Yuck! ft. Lil Wayne
3. Dope Peddler
4. No Lie ft. Drake
5. Birthday Song ft. Kanye West
6. I'm Different
7. Extremely Blessed ft. The Dream
8. Stop Me Now ft. Dolla Boy
10. Money Machine
11. In Town ft Mike Posner
12. Ghetto Dreams ft. Scarface and John Legend
13. Wut We Doin ft. Cap1
14. Countdown ft. Chris Brown
15. Like Me
16. Feel Good
The name 2 Chainz has grown exponentially in the past year alone, but some may be surprised to know that he has been in the in the rap game since 1997 and has already tasted the inner workings of a large label. Some say this rebirth is well-deserved, based off of an impeccable work ethic and a bit of luck while others claim it’s oversaturation and guest spots that helped him. Regardless of how he got to the level of fame he’s at now, the name 2 Chainz is being screamed all over the country. Even with him being in the business since 1997, Based on a T.R.U. Story is his first studio release. Does it show a maturation of an artist that’s been around for over 10 years, or is it a mere ploy for more radio play?
The album starts off strong, highlighting the stronger points of 2 Chainz. The intro track, “Yuck” co-stars Lil Wayne who adds absolutely nothing to the song, but that’s not what’s important here. 2 Chainz, essentially sets the tone here with somewhat clever lines and a lot of humor that pretty much signifies he’s here to have some fun. The issues, however, start quickly thereafter, setting another tone for the album; simplicity and repetition.
The list of guest stars is pretty long, and that was almost a given considering how 2 Chainz got to the table. His guest spots on songs like “Mercy,” “Beez in the Trap” and even his first big hit, “Duffle Bag Boyz” are all highlights. On this album, however, he’s not the guest star, he’s the main attraction, and he can’t hold the weight that this pressure brings. The stronger tracks have someone shining a bit more then him, such as “Ghetto Dreams” where John Legend lends a great voice, and Scarface comes from out of nowhere with a good showing. Another track that’s evidence of this issue is “No Lie” where Drake comes off the greatest he’s come off in some time, especially after the lady friendly Take Care.
Songs like “Crack,” “Money Machine,” “Dope Peddler” and “I’m Different” all have an unfortunate similar thread of excessive repetition and pretty subpar lyrics. While Chainz gets off the occasional clever line, songs such as the aforementioned are bogged down with his own language and repeated, simple lines such as “started from the trap, now I rap” In “Crack,” specifically, he adds the letter ‘n’ in random spots, which seems alright until he gets to referring to the female genitalia as “pinuss.” I don’t know why no one told him that sounds more like penis than pussy.
Perhaps what’s most obvious comes in a great display of irony with 2 Chainz’s song, “I’m Different,” which is anything but proof of that. His sound isn’t unique or new, and there’s nothing wrong with that. I just don’t want it tossed at me with the presumption that it’s something brand new and worthy of my ears. I can’t help but laugh at the guy with some of his one-liners, but at the end of the day there is little substance to bite your teeth into when it comes to the album.
On the production side, there’s a much more positive approach, as some of them are just far too infectious not to enjoy. Some songs are carried solely by the beat, such as “I’m Different,” “Stop Me Now,” and “No Lie.” 2 Chainz apparently has a hell of an ear for simple yet addictive beats, because this album has them aplenty.
2 Chainz attempt at music for the ladies doesn’t go too bad, as he enlists the help of Chris Brown, The Dream and Mike Posner, but the problem is one that seems to show through in a majority of the album, and that’s that he can’t seem to make one whole song. With one verse focusing on the apparent content that the title presumes, the other two fall into a category that goes elsewhere. While some are strong as single units, as a cohesive unit, they fall flat and seem scattershot. One interesting track on the bonus side of the disc uses a personal new favorite, The Weeknd, to add to a track that is actually one of the stronger ones on the album, using a definite 2 Chainz sound and adding a heavy bass line to add to a pretty strong track. “Like Me.”
With 2 Chainz having a college education and being in the business for a long enough time, it’s practically palpable that the man knows exactly what he’s doing with each song, and I can see the wheels turning in his head as he brings the epitome of simplicity in songs such as “I Love Dem Strippers” and “Money Machine.” These two songs – and a few others – have some of the most below average lyricism I’ve heard in a while, including Nicki Minaj explaining a stretched metaphor of the little engine that could, as if we didn’t truly understand the depths of her insult.
All in all, this album seems more like the album that one would buy to attempt to live a lifestyle that doesn’t really exist, which is a societal issue more than a music issue. At the end of the day, 2 Chainz seems to be having a lot of fun and doesn’t really take himself seriously, ever. It appears that he’s smart enough when to turn the talent on, and when to go World Star on the world, which is applaudable. From an album review standpoint, however, this album falls just above average.
The 411: 2 Chainz has an audience that will be very happy with this album, and the production goes a long way in helping it achieve the recognition. The lyrics are simple and repetitive, while the content is lacking, which makes the album an easy throwaway shortly after listening. Most guest stars fall flat, while others shine. It’s an album that hits just above average.