2 Chainz is on his A-game. Following a two-album stint with his duo Playaz Circle for more than a decade, the Atlanta resident, formerly known as Tity Boi, decided to forge ahead on the solo tip, releasing a staggering seven mixtapes and establishing himself as one of the hungriest rappers to emerge from the South.
While in New York City last week, 2 Chainz stopped by the YRB offices to talk about his upcoming mixtape T.R.U. REALigion (November 1st), which features guest appearances from Raekwon, Kreayshawn, Jadakiss, Young Jeezy, Birdman, Yo Gotti and more. Here, the College Park, Georgia native explains why he still goes by Tity Boi, how he linked with Kreayshawn, the status of Playaz Circle, why he’s suddenly the most buzzed about artist in the game and why the throne is for the taking.
YRB: You went by Tity Boi before. What inspired you to change your name?
2 Chainz: Well, Tity Boi was my original name and still is my name. Basically, it was derived from my household and it just came from country slang, it’s like a country term of a breastfed, dirt road kind of saying. Like you’re a titty baby, a titty boy or a titty man. That’s kind of what happened as far as my introduction to music. When it was time to come up with a name, I went with something I was comfortable with. That’s what it was. In my music, I always talk about jewelry and things of that nature, so I was saying “Tity 2 Chainz” before, but I think recently, the way I said it and delivered it, it kind of got the women’s attention. The lady friends, it got the kids. It kind of helped out my campaign to kind of open up a lot of listeners who would normally not listen to Tity Boi. It really helped my campaign and I really have to thank the streets, because they changed my name. I didn’t do it.
YRB: Tell me about the T.R.U. REALigion mixtape.
2 Chainz: My mixtape is called T.R.U. REALigion, but I definitely spell it a different way and it has a different meaning. Not only do I talk about swag and like to be up to par when it comes to appearance, this T.R.U. is an acronym and with REALigion being spelled R-E-A-L – the letters for “real.” When I say real, I always talk to the minority. I feel like being real is a minority. We’re a group of people, and we’re a dying breed. I definitely attach some of my stories to the tape, talking about what makes me real. And I also have some swag detail in there, so it’s something that I’m very excited about. The production is definitely up to par. I got features on there, everybody from Raekwon to Kreayshawn to Jadakiss to Jeezy. So it’s a well put together project. It’s actually bigger than a mixtape in my eyes, because I kind of go over-the-top when it comes to putting music out as far as having the right visuals and shooting virals and having a photo shoot for the cover. Really coming up with concepts and not just putting songs on there, you know?
YRB: Out of all of the names you mentioned, Kreayshawn obviously sticks out. What made you want to work with her?
2 Chainz: We’re just fans of each other’s work. I got reached out, told months ago, “This little white girl loves you out here man! She’s dope!” This is before she got her deal. We linked up. I found out that she was a fan, she knew a lot of my music. Me being from the Southside of Atlanta, it just really lets you know how the Internet has leveled the playing field and the platform for everybody to kind of get the same thing at the same time. We had built a cool raport and I knew it would be a surprise and I knew we could make it happen. She actually went to shoot my “Spending” video and it was already shot, but that was really our first time communicating and then really seeing it wouldn’t be our last time. She made my tape, which is a very good look, and she definitely went in.