Critics seem to have mixed opinions on Based On A T.R.U. Story, the debut solo album from Georgia rapper 2 Chainz. The 35-year-old has been around the block, having been a member of Playaz Circle since the late ’90s, before heading out on his own and changing his stage name from Tity Boi to 2 Chainz last year. And just as he’s guested on a slew of other artists’ tunes recently, the MC’s album comes packed with quite a roster of featured pals. Head below to see our review roundup for 2 Chainz’s first outing as a major label force.
:: We’ll kick things off with this bit from our own review: “In his Def Jam debut Based On A T.R.U. Story, the more playful 2 Chainz, now age 35, reintroduces himself as an executive of sorts who’s ironed out his operations — in this case, that he has the women and income he wants, but that he doesn’t take himself too seriously.”
:: Consequence Of Sound rattles 2′s chains: “The artist formerly known as Tity Boi had dwelled in the world of obscure mixtapes since the late nineties — what made his rocky flow suddenly attractive to some of pop music’s biggest names? The Georgia rapper’s Def Jam debut, Based on a T.R.U. Story, leaves that question unanswered, as the album is at its best when guests take the microphone and falls short nearly everywhere else.”
:: The Los Angeles Times isn’t impressed, either: “Contrasted with Lil Wayne’s easy, seemingly effortless guest verse, 2 Chainz sounds like a rank amateur whose topics of choice — strippers, money, drugs — have been examined to death in hip-hop by others with a much more varied vocabulary. ‘Crack’ is about crack, how he started in the biz as a seller, and now he’s a rapper. Sound familiar? It should, because the story has been told better nearly everywhere else, and even guest appearances by Kanye West and Nicki Minaj don’t provide much boost.”
:: The Washington Post digs the album, though: “There are laughably simple declarations (‘She got a big booty / So I call her Big Booty,’ from ‘Birthday’), but also clever punch lines. On The-Dream produced “Extremely Blessed,” he says, ‘Different day, different escapades / They don’t like it they opinions like Escalades / Everybody got one.’ Lines like those go a long way toward silencing talk that the 2 Chainz empire is built solely on a cool catchphrase and a couple of chains — although those things definitely don’t hurt.”
:: Says Vibe, “2 Chainz doesn’t try to get too deep or take things too seriously on the album. In the long run, this could hurt 2 Chainz. Artists with staying power are able to give a little bit of themselves to their listeners. But, for now, we’re glad that 2 Chainz didn’t take himself too seriously on his debut. If you’ve heard him rap in the past on other peoples’ stuff, you’re not going to be thrown for a loop when you listen to his album.”
:: XXL adds the following: “Even so, it’s difficult to pinpoint what exactly distinguishes a line from being grossly underwhelming rather than inexplicably fantastic. Most often, though, the Ls come with marks of unoriginality.”
:: All Hip Hop sums it up with this: “…Based On A T.R.U. Story isn’t the album of the year candidate I secretly hoped it to be. This is also not 2 Chainz best project, or even him at his best due to a few tracks in the early half of the project sounding too redundant. However, move past that, and it’s a solid, fun output with a few singles that should turn heads.”