Based on a T.R.U. Story (to be released August 14, 2012)
One of my boys and I have been playing this game for the past week where we text each other the most ignorant lines from Rick Ross’ latest album. I’m glad the wifey doesn’t read my texts behind my back – she would probably be concerned to see texts that say, “She got that wet wet/I repeat: WET WET.”
But if you thought that Rawsssssse album was the height of ignorance, 2 Chainz’s debut makes it look like a Jeopardy competition.
I still don’t know exactly how or when 2 Chainz became a legitimate rapper, but we’re here now and there’s no turning back.
About a year ago, when buzz arose about a new Southern rapper who was taking the game by storm with critically acclaimed mixtapes, I was shocked to learn that 2 Chainz was just ol’ Tity Boi, Ludacris’ henchman from Disturbing Tha Peace and Playaz Circle. Besides his name change (which is only slightly better than Tity Boi), I saw nothing new or improved about him.
Oh, but I was constantly corrected. You see, 2 Chainz has swag for dayz.
What 2 Chainz lacks in actual rap skills (you know, the thing they actually pay these guys for), he makes up for in style and the most bizarre, random collection of punchlines you’ve ever heard.
Don’t believe me?
“I’m so fly I can sue an airplane.” – “Money Machine”
“Car so big it got a stripper pole” and “Going so hard Viagra tryna sign me” – “Crack”
“I don’t like her if she got a ‘fro between her legs” – “Wut We Doin’?”
And sometimes the punchlines are so head-scratchingly weird that you have to rewind to catch what he said. But not in a good way:
“I wish a n*gga would like a kitchen cabinet.” Let that one sink in. By the time I did catch on to what he meant, I just said, “playa, please.”
Now before you write off my complaints as the musings of a hip-hop grouch, I’ll admit that 2 Chainz’s swag does win me over at times. 2 Chainz is definitely at his best over smoother cuts. “Stop Me Now” and “Extremely Blessed” are much more suited for his lethargic flow. Lord knows, when 2 Chainz tries to get amped up we get nightmares like “Dope Peddler,” where he yells and tramples all over the track and nearly bursts my eardrums.
2 Chainz is also much more tolerable when paired with stronger artists. Scarface and John Legend make 2 Chainz a guest star on his on track on “Ghetto Dreams,” but it’s the only time the guy is focused. It probably helps that the song has an actual concept and he’s not just randomly spitting his ADHD punchlines into the atmosphere.
That’s when I realized the problem with the album, and 2 Chainz in particular. He’s fine in small doses like on Kanye West’s “Mercy,” when he can inject a track with his odd charisma and go away after 16 bars. Right now, he’s just not strong enough to carry a whole song, let alone a whole album.
This album is STRICTLY for 2 Chainz fans, and even some of them might be disappointed by the lack of solid material here. I have a couple of 2 Chainz mixtape tracks on my iPod that are a light-years better than everything here.
Sadly, the most entertaining thing about Based on a T.R.U. Story is listening to him scream him name.
See, all swag, little substance.
Best tracks: “Stop Me Now,” Ghetto Dreams,” “Extremely Blessed”
3 stars out of 5