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The 50 Best Rapper Mixtapes

27. 2 Chainz, T.R.U. REALigion (2011)

Ah, the siren song of 2 Chainz: His name. Before this tape came along, the world didn't know we needed 2 Chainz, but T.R.U. REALigion presented a compelling case that we did, one that was simply impossible to ignore after a certain point. That exact point was somewhere during the first listen, right around the ninth time he'd said his new name. That name, so much better than his former moniker, Tity Boi, was perfect for screaming at the top of one's lungs. And who better to showcase his new name than an all-star roster of producers (Mike WILL Made It, Dumma Boy, Lex Luger) and some of rap's most reliable rhymers (Jadakiss, Raekwon, and, uh, Kreayshawn)?

Of course, none of them were quite like 2 Chainz, whose grimy brand of fun worked because it was both serious about being weird and weird about being serious. This tape would be essential if all it did was give the world "Riot," a song most memorable not for its chorus, or piano-driven MPC knockout beat, but the way it so perfectly epitomizes the 2 Chainz way of boiling things down to their ineffable essence (in this case, the gun goes: "click clack and pow pow"). True. —Foster Kamer

RELATED: 2 Chainz's 25 Favorite Albums

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