You want to know the key to 2 Chainz's success? The Atlanta Ambassador says it’s simple; he asked himself “what would 2Pac do?” As the hip-hop community takes time today (September 13) to reflect on the 15th anniversary of the tragic death of Tupac Shakur, Chainz spoke to on the greatest lesson he learned from the rap legend.

“I guess it would be the thing I’ve been talking about, hard work,” Chainz, who is formerly known as Titiy Boi, said. “He’s been gone for 15 years and I’m sure we’ve had 15 songs if not albums that have been released after his passing. So with my [mixtapes], I had a tape called Me Against the World. I had All Ice On Me like All Eyes On Me and I made it a double disc. Then I had Trap-A-Velli 1 and 2. On all my tapes I used to tell people during the drops I’m flipping the titles of Tupac [albums]. And I would tell them it’s not because my music is similar, I’m flipping the names of the titles and I’m trying to develop the work ethic.

“It’s not that I had the same revolutionary campaign that he had, “ Chainz continued. “Mine is more like… It’s the same thing, being real and being an individual, he actually preached that. But for the most part, besides the Codeine… series, all them had to do with Tupac’s titles. “

Chainz said after years of getting slept on, he decided to step his studio game up and log in countless hours in the recording booth.

“I’m coming at this like ‘what would Pac do?’” Chainz explained. “Niggas ain’t fuck with him, he would work hard. Then when niggas fuck with him, he’ll say kiss his ass. That’s what I took from 'Pac. I watched his DVDs. I was definitely around and a big fan when he was active, the biggest thing I took from that is hard work. Hard work is something you can’t see. We didn’t see him in the studio every night, but he kept coming out with songs.”

On November 1, Chainz is dropping his first tape since February with the DJ Drama Gangsta Grillz Edition of T.R.U. REALigion. —Shaheem Reid