Def Jam’s rapper 2 Chainz debut solo LP, Based On A Tru Story arrives at midnight (Tuesday August 14). The disc will feature guest appearances from Kanye West, Drake, Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne and more. Buy now on iTunes or Amazon! The Atlanta native is in full album mode. All week he will be doing promo, press & public appearances. Complex magazine caught up with 2 Chainz while he was in Baltimore. During his interview, he talks about people criticizing his music, being satisfied with the outcome of his album, having a number one single, playing college basketball, G.O.O.D. Music and much more. Below are some excerpts:
If someone has a criticism of your music—like, some people think your rhyming style isn’t up to their standards—do you think that sometimes it isn’t hate, but that there’s something you could learn from that person’s perspective?
Everybody has their own opinion. Hating is a word I hate to use; it’s so over-saturated. I don’t feel like everybody is a hater. A person does have an opinion of their own. It’s just always cool to have a reason why. I think that’s what people look for: OK, if you don’t like it then why? You gon’ have to have a reason at the end of the day.
Are you fully satisfied with this album? Do you feel you had time to make the perfect project that you wanted to make? Or do you have those “Damn, I could’ve done this,” type of moments?
I have a studio everywhere I go. I wasn’t rushed. It wasn’t a time issue. It’s almost perfect because we have the No. 1 song with “No Lie,” another song up and running—”Birthday Song” featuring Kanye—and I couldn’t ask for a better set up. I mean, people actually want my album before it comes out. I remember when we did that with a couple of albums in the past. I remember the new Hov when he was retired. That Black Album. I wanted that. So I just feel that it’s cool to have that anticipation. People want to hear my music. It makes it more about the music, too.
What are you thinking about for the next single?
I really like this record “In Town” with Mike Posner. That’s my friend. Cool-ass dude. I got the “Extremely Blessed” record with Dream. I got the video to “I Luv Dem Strippers” with Nicki Minaj. It was fun doing that.
Follow me @donbleek88
NEXT PAGE: MORE EXCERPTS FROM 2 CHAINZ’S INTERVIEW WITH COMPLEX
There’s a lot of personal things that have been reported about you that you don’t really touch on. As you said earlier, people know Lil Wayne’s life story, they know Jay’s story. But people think about 2 Chainz and they think about whatever song is on the radio. They don’t think about something from your life story. Do you consciously keep those details murky to try to maintain some level of mystery?
Lil Wayne was rapping since he was 11 years old. There was no way you couldn’t know his story. You didn’t know Toya until she got her reality show, and I’ve been known Toya. People do different things at different times. 50 Cent got shot a whole bunch of times, and it created that curiosity. Certain things put you at a certain space where you you have to do certain things
For me, my whole story is just about me having a second chance. It’s not that I got out of prison, I just walked out of a hospital, I just beat a case. My line is my persistence, my hard work—that’s my story. My work ethic got me right here. People want to hear that shit. They’re gonna hear about my daughter and all that real soon, but they wanna hear how you never give up. How you can be an inspiration to others. And this is coming from O.G. rappers who been in the game. This is my story, like, “Damn dog, you did it. I’m proud of you.”
You played college basketball, apparently you were shot at some point. Don’t you feel like that’s important to your story too?
We’ll see, bruh. I just can’t tell you right now. Right now I’m doing what’s definitely interesting to people right now. That’s what we’re doing. What’s interesting to people right now is that “This is the same dude from ‘Duffle Bag Boy’? I didn’t know that.” They don’t ask me, “Can you hoop?”
That’s what they’re interested in. How the hell did “Mercy” come up? How did he do “Beez in the Trap?” “No Lie” is the No. 1 record. It kind of had nothing to do with nothing but hard work. That’s the story behind it. That’s what’s happening. It’s the work ethic. My lack of sleep.
What was the most frustrating moment? Did you ever doubt yourself when it seemed like the odds were stacked against you?
I never doubted myself. I’ve always thought I had a pretty cool flow. I would compare anything I hear and I would be like, “I could go get that. I’m iller than that.” I used to hear that kind of stuff. When i put out my Playaz Circle albums and the numbers didn’t do well, I just felt like I was ahead of my time. I didn’t feel bad.
I made myself feel good about it. Maybe the rest of the world was slow. When my last album didn’t do well, I bought a Porsche to make me feel better. I did different things for my therapy, but music is my therapy. I feel like releasing a lot of things. I don’t have a best friend, I don’t have a brother or sister. So when I record, it’s kind of like my diary.
In our G.O.O.D Music cover story, you also say that you were an only child, you don’t have best friends, and that you have trust issues. Is that a part of your personality that you’ve accepted at this point, or do you feel like, “Damn, I would like to get over this shit?”
Yeah, it’s just one of those things that it is what it is. I would definitely love to get more trust and find somebody that I could trust in. But that’s a weird characteristic to have. We’ll see. So far, so good—I got a great team around me. I got a great crew around me who I’ve seemed to build more trust with than anybody else. I’m working on it. I’m definitely working on it.
Read the entire story over at Complex.