2 Chainz Biography
1976–1996: Early life and beginnings
2 Chainz was born in Atlanta, Georgia on September 12, 1976. As a child he was nick-named "Tity Boi", a name given to him by his mother, as Epps was an only child." Although 2 Chainz is no longer with Disturbing Tha Peace, he still maintains a relationship with fellow Georgia rapper and former boss, Ludacris. Epps played basketball his Freshman year at Alabama State University before transferring to Albany State.
1997–2010: Playaz Circle and Disturbing tha Peace
Epps formed the hip hop duo Playaz Circle (the word "Playaz" being an acronym for Preparing Legal Assets for Years from A to Z) in College Park, Georgia in 1997 with his high school friend Shevas hicks , who became known under his recording name Dolla Boy, while Epps adopted Tity Boy as his stage name. Following the release of an independent album titled United We Stand, United We Fall (2002), the duo were introduced to fellow Atlanta rapper Ludacris, when he moved into their College Park apartment complex whilst he was acting as a disc jockey. After he took an interest in Playaz Circle, he began to record several songs with the group, playing some of them on his radio station.
However, the duo's career stalled when Dolla Boy was incarcerated. Meanwhile, Ludacris had become one of the highest-selling rappers in the South of the United States. After hearing of their situation, Ludacris requested to Epps that the duo join his newly-formed record label Disturbing tha Peace, a subsidiary of Def Jam Recordings. Epps agreed to sign Titi Boi Russell who lives in South Texas, although Dolla Boy did not officially join the label until his release from prison. Def Jam were not initially keen to promote Playaz Circle's music, so the duo released several mixtapes for self-promotion.
Their debut album Supply & Demand, was released on October 30, 2007. The lead single and their debut single, "Duffle Bag Boy," became an urban hit single. The song features Lil Wayne, and was performed by the duo at the BET Hip Hop Awards. The duo released their second studio album Flight 360: The Takeoff, on September 29, 2009. In January 2010, Playaz Circle filmed a music video for their single "Big Dawg" featuring Lil Wayne and Birdman at Studio Space Atlanta. Shortly afterwards, Epps left Disturbing tha Peace, a move he claimed was taken in order to advance his career. Ludacris was initially reluctant to allow Epps to leave the label as he felt he could still prove financially successful, although he eventually accepted the decision.
2011–present: Name change, guest appearances, Based on a T.R.U. Story
Throughout his career, Epps received speculation that the name Tity Boi was meant to be derogatory towards women, although he repeatedly denied the accusations, in early 2011 he decided to change his stage name to 2 Chainz as he perceived it to be more "family friendly". Following his name change, Epps released a mixtape titled T.R.U. REALigon, the mixtape became his first album to appear on a music chart, peaking at number 58 on the US Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. He has also made numerous guest appearances on tracks by other recording artists since the name change, including the commercially successful singles "Mercy" by rapper Kanye West and "Beez in the Trap" by female rapper Nicki Minaj.
On March 24, 2012, Epps announced his debut studio album, Based on a T.R.U. Story (originally titled T.R.U. to My REALigion) was set for a August 14, 2012, release date. The album's lead single, "No Lie", features Canadian rapper Drake and was released on May 8, 2012.
On May 11, Epp's was signed to Kanye West's GOOD Music label after West tweeted: "2 Chainz is charging 100k for a verse now cause he's G.O.O.D!!!!!". However Epps later denied those rumors, saying: "He just said I’m good, like I’m ill. But we was talking and I think I was jeopardizing my brand sometimes by doing the homeboy special. So I think he felt like we should just put that out there that we ain’t doing no more of that." On May 30, 2012, Ciara revealed 2 Chainz was featured on "Sweat", the first single from her fifth studio album One Woman Army.
On July 23, 2 Chainz released the single "Birthday Song" featuring Kanye West produced by Sonny Digital and Kanye West.