2 Chainz, real name Tauheed K. Epps, was born in September of 1977 in College Park, Ga., right outside of Atlanta. He attended North Clayton High School, where he graduated second in his class. He later enrolled at Alabama State University on a college basketball scholarship and ultimately graduated from Virginia State University before fully pivoting to rap. After forming the hip-hop duo Playaz Circle in 1997, 2 Chainz—then known as Tity Boi—was introduced to Ludacris, who eventually asked the duo to sign with his label, Disturbing Tha Peace, a subsidiary of Def Jam Records. Playaz Circle’s debut album, Supply & Demand, was released in 2007. The lead single, ”Duffle Bag Boy” featuring Lil Wayne, became an underground hit.
After changing his rap name to 2 Chainz, which he deemed more “family friendly,” he decided to embark on a solo career. In 2012, he released his first solo album, Based on a T.R.U. Story, anchored by the Drake-assisted single, “No Lie.” The project debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, was nominated in the Best Rap Album category at the 55th Grammy Awards and earned a platinum certification from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in 2016.
2 Chainz has released six additional studio albums, including 2017’s Pretty Girls Like Trap Music, another platinum record. The album featured high-profile contributions from the likes of Travis Scott, Nicki Minaj, Swae Lee, Migos, Jhené Aiko and Pharrell Williams as well as production by Murda Beatz, Mike WiLL Made-It and Mike Dean, among others.
2 Chainz has also proven to be a savvy businessman and entrepreneur. In 2016, he launched a hoodies line called CEO Millionaires (short for Create Every Opportunity Millionaires) and a sweaters line, Dabbing Sweaters. He also acquired a minority ownership stake in the Atlanta Hawks G League affiliate, the College Park Skyhawks, in 2019. Other ventures include hosting the VICE TV show, Most Expensivest, and two Esco Restaurant & Tapas establishments, one in Atlanta and another in Ohio.