They say you only get one chance to make a first impression, but if there ever was an exception to that rule, 2 Chainz is it. True fans might remember the Atlanta MC as Tity Boi, half of the "Duffle Bag Boy" duo Playaz Circle, but now 2 Chainz is getting a second start with his solo debut, Based on a T.R.U. Story.
Through powerful mixtape material and memorable guest features alongside Kanye West ("Mercy"), Nicki Minaj ("Beez in the Trap") and even Justin Bieber ("Girlfriend" remix), Deuce is without a doubt the most anticipated newcomer in rap — even if he's been here before.
So far, Based on A T.R.U. Story has been shrouded in mystery — besides the two singles 2 Chainz has already released ("No Lie" with Drake and "Birthday Song" featuring Kanye West), not much is known about the LP, set to drop August 14. In a candid interview, 2 Chainz breaks it all down for MTV's Hip-Hop Music Preview. The wait is almost over.
The Title: Based on a T.R.U. Story
"T.R.U. is an acronym for The Real University. It was something that I felt like hip-hop was missing for a while. ... I been working on this album my whole life because it's my debut album as 2 Chainz. I kinda wanted it to be like 'to be continued' or 'part 2' of where I left off with my mixtape [T.R.U. REALigion], which I thought was a great piece of work."
The Album Cover
"That actual cover was me, Kanye, Donda, the whole team over there at G.O.O.D. Music, we had a meeting for like two hours. It was just symbolism."
The Cinematic Influence
"Based on a T.R.U. Story can be the soundtrack for maybe what LeBron [James] went through. Being in a situation, thinking you're gonna be in a situation, striving in that situation, struggling in that situation, having faith like, 'Let me try this again, but just do it a different way' ... and then getting good results. I feel like it's a soundtrack for a championship team, a soundtrack for somebody that's winning or goin' through ups and downs."
"Ghetto Dream": "It's reality music; it's reality rap, just to give you a heads-up. It just talks about the things you do on those sleepless nights to try to make yourself tired to actually go to sleep. It's conceptual in a couple of ways. To me, I'm the epitome of what a ghetto child is: I was raised by a single parent; I stayed in apartments my whole life; I don't think I've ever cut the grass. I definitely touch on childhood experiences on there because it made me the man I am today."
The Five-Word Description
"Entertaining, classic, gritty, eargasm, conceptual. ... This is my first album as 2 Chainz. I think I'm gonna be around. I don't think it's just gonna be a one and out thing with me, so this has to be a classic for me."
Check in with MTV News all this week for our Hip-Hop Music Preview, when rap's biggest names give you an in-depth look at some of the year's most anticipated albums. Join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #MTVHipHopPreview!