2 Chainz' T.R.U. REALigion is one of the best mixtapes of the year. With original production from the likes of Lex Luger and Drumma Boy as well as guest spots from everyone from T.I. to Big Sean to Kreayshawn, the DJ Drama–hosted mixtape is an introduction of sorts for Chainz to an audience beyond his native Atlanta.
But some fans might already be familar with Chainz. He used to (and sometimes still does) go by the name Tity Boy. He was signed to Ludacris' Disturbing tha Peace label and contributed to DTP's Golden Grain album. From there, he and his partner Dolla Boy teamed up as Playaz Circle and dropped the massive Lil Wayne–assisted smash, "Duffle Bag Boy."
Despite the big hit, Chainz's career came to a stall soon after "Duffle Bag Boy" fell off the charts. But he wouldn't let that get him down. Instead, he put his ear to the streets and his feet on the ground and started banging out mixtapes. His "griming" (an original 2 Chainz concept that combines grinding and timing) resulted in his latest mixtape finally getting the kind of attention Chainz feels he always deserved.
Although Complex's "Who Is" features are usually reserved for new artists, we made an exception for Chainz because changing his name might have been the smartest thing he ever did. It certainly gave his career a whole new life. We got on the horn with the Atlanta based rapper while he was busying hanging out with his interior decorator to get the scoop on his belt-buckle game, his original rap name, and whether or not he'll ever sign to a major label.
As told to Insanul Ahmed (@Incilin)