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2 Chainz, T.R.U. REALigion

How did 2 Chainz do it? How did the man formerly best known for playing second-string to Lil Wayne on “Duffle Bag Boy” become one of rap’s most talked about artists? Sure, the name change probably helped (Tity Boy isn’t too radio friendly), but to hear the man himself say it, the rise in popularity is due to one thing: griming.

Griming, according to Tity 2 Chainz, is a mix of grinding and timing, and that’s what the Atlanta MC has been up to. From flooding the market with feature appearances, to doing over 120 shows in 2011, the Playaz Circle member has been rapidly introducing the rap world to his new moniker, a hustle that has culminated in his recent mixtape release, T.R.U. REALigion. And for the most part, the dedication has paid off.

T.R.U. REALigion, is a solid, if conventional, testament to 2 Chainz’s hard work. The tape is at its best when Tity 2 sticks to 808-heavy, dread-shaking type music like the opening track, “Got One,” where the ATL rapper pays respect to his city over a dark, steadily building synth and muffled drums, or “Stunt,” the tape’s high point, where Tity and guest Meek Mill boast over the pounding production, reminiscent of most club bangers that have emerged from Atlanta in recent years.

However, so much on T.R.U. REALigion, is dependent on the quality of the production. When faced with sub-par or low-energy beats, 2 Chainz does not have the charisma or the lyrical ability to hold the listener, like on “I Got It,” where he spits lines like, “Get head while I’m reading, call it Facebook.” In the first half of the tape, it almost doesn’t matter what 2 Chainz is rapping about, because the production, provided by some well known (Lex Luger) and some less familiar names (G-Fresh, who laces 2 Chainz on “Stunt”), is so energetic that it becomes infectious. But when the tempo slows down on the second half—as on “Letter to the Rapgame”—or the beats don’t hit hard enough (“Money Makin’ Mission”), the tape beings to feel stale.

Still, even though T.R.U. REALigion, isn’t a groundbreaking or particularly wholly creative mixtape (some of the long-haired rapper’s rhymes are actually simple but quite funny), when the subject is stuntin’ or ballin’ (or griming), 2 Chainz excels, and creates satisfying trunk-rattling music. That is when both the tape and the rapper are at their best: when the only goal is to get you to zone out and nod your head to the almost primal drums. That’s when the music, like 2 Chainz’ rise to fame, is volcanic. —Martin Spasov

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  • mark

    an xl for dos cadenos, wow y’all done fell off

  • True Fan

    I have finally lost all respect for xxl magazine. Be ashamed of yourselves.
    Martin Spasov, you are pathetic.

  • Another True fan

    Someone teach this stupid magazine what inflation is. 9 of the last 12 albums received an XL rating,with XL ratings in so much supply, you have made it worthless.
    This last album was pure S.H.I.T, REALly

  • Rob

    I thought it was pretty tight. It’s funny everybody is getting mad at what XXL is rating these tapes but yet they still come back the next day.

  • $yk

    If you don’t name songs to dispute the rating…I don’t respect it…

  • T-Mac

    This untalented muthafucka will always be Tity Boy to me. 2 Chainz my ass …

  • Nico

    when you think about it…an XL is only a 7-8 rating….it’s just been a good couple months for tapes and albums. All of which deserve it….

    name tracks. and reasons, don’t just hate and keep hating.

  • FlyQ The Anchor

    Big Fan of all things lyrical, totally deserving of the rating. People see the name or the cover or the lex luger beat and dismiss it immediately. This is a solid tape with some seriously clever bars and mostly above average production.

  • Husslinni

    Letter to the Rap game is the best track on the Mixtape. His ear for beats is impeccable.

    • Realnigga

      exactly what I said when I listened to it……he may not be anywhere near elite at rapping…..but he damn sure has a ear for beats, and matching those beats to create actual songs……most of these other rappers just pick any beat and rap whatever, not caring if the beat even fits the topics….

  • xxl obviously failed math. ur rating system has 2 L’s and 1 XL. so the average would b an L. XXL reviews suck

  • Will

    this is truly embarrassing that you gave this mixtape anything over a medium

  • Pebble

    This is a pretty fucking shitty mixtape, I’d Day an M and im being generous.

  • http://www.twitter.com/TheKingOfNevada Thomas Sipan

    I Really Think You Guys Got The Right Review On This One … Keep Up The Good Work

  • swagkidd88

    they so lame for this

  • Derek

    Everyone who commented is a bunch of haters. 2 Chainz did his thing and usually isn’t this nice. This deserves an XL or maybe a L. Good review anyway. If all you people know so much then why aren’t you the ones doing the reviews? Lames

  • balaramesh

    i was VERY HARD on this guy when duffle bag boi came out. this is a pretty good mixtape. this guy will never be rakim, but he got a couple witty lines on here and good production.

  • MArc

    okay so there basiclly saying in this review he fucking sucks at giving lyrics. So why does he get a L give his sorry ass a S

  • http://mixtapeleak.com joey4100

    This shit tough!