Since changing his name from TityBoi to his current alias 2 Chainz, the former half of Playaz Circle has taken the hip hop industry, and pop culture in general, by storm.
Although it may seem as if it happened overnight, it has been anything but that for 2 Chainz. From being in the shadow of former boss Ludacris, to being held back by a stagnant record label push, it seemed like it would never work out for him.
This was the case until 2012 when, through the momentum of the name change and a major label deal with Def Jam Records, 2 Chainz made the year his own and even carried the momentum into 2013.
From a slew of popular guest features, including "Mercy" with Kanye West and G.O.O.D. Music to "Beez in the Trap" alongside Nicki Minaj, to his chart topping debut album "Based on A T.R.U. Story," 2 Chainz made his mark in music and proved he was here to stay.
Everything was set up for 2 Chainz to have a solid follow up to his debut album with "B.O.A.T.S II: Me Time," yet his new release misses his previously set mark.
While performing his set at Summer Jam 2013, 2 Chainz kicked off the summer by releasing the lead single "Feds Watching" from "B.O.A.T.S II." On this unique song, produced by and featuring Pharrell, 2 Chainz steps of out his comfort zone and shows how truly versatile of an artist he is. Instead of the usual trap beat, 2 Chainz takes this very melodic instrumental. Not only does he refuse to let it overshadow; he molds it around his own street persona and crafts one of the standout songs of the year.
Judging off "Feds Watching," we were left to believe that 2 Chainz would take a similar approach for the rest of the album, yet we were sadly mistaken. From the first tracks on the album "Fork" and "36," it seemed likely that 2 Chainz had reverted back to his previous and lackluster sound as a mix-tape artist.
Upon full listen, it was clear that "B.O.A.T.S II" is, for the most part, a combination of very repetitive songs and that 2 Chainz took very few chances on this album. Due to this, "B.O.A.T.S II" can be considered a disappointment that barely scratches the surface of what type of artist 2 Chainz can be.
Although the album misses the mark, there are a few bright spots that show the potential that the album had. On the fifth track, "I Do It" featuring Drake and Lil Wayne, they both deliver amusing guest verses including a back and forth reminiscent of competitors Jay-Z and Kanye West on their joint album "Watch the Throne."
Also on the song "So I Can Live" featuring T- Pain, 2 Chainz takes the opportunity to share a story with us about how his whole rap career could have been halted before it even started. In this song, 2 Chainz describes an encounter with the police in which illegal substances were found in the trunk of his car.
He then relives the conversation he had with the police officer that allowed him to continue to be a free man. This is one of the rare times throughout the entirety of his career that 2 Chainz has let us into his personal life and it shows what type of artist he could be if he took this approach on more often.
With experiences from being a high school basketball star to being a drug dealer and now a rap phenomenon, the stories he could share are endless and coupled with his knack for writing standout verses, 2 Chainz has the potential to be one of those generational artist that only come around every few years.
However, if he continues his recent trend of releasing generic and replaceable music, his career will end up being thought of in the same light.