Atlanta-based rapper 2 Chainz is many artists rolled into one. He gets it done with solid trap hits, but he can also pull off traditional southern rap unlike the rest. Born Tauheed K. Epps in College Park, Georgia, 2 Chainz has established himself as a hitmaker over the last couple of decades. His studio albums has given him a platform to showcase his personality and identity even more. By the late 90s, 2 Chainz had worked with famous names in rap and hip-hop such as Ludacris and Lil Wayne. It would only be a matter of time before the rapper would break out on his own and forge his own path in the industry. 2 Chainz has released 6 studio albums since 2012, and here we’ve ranked them from worst to best.
6. ColleGrove (2016)
Collegrove is largely a collaboration album between 2 Chainz and Lil Wayne. The album was labeled a 2 Chainz album likely due to Lil Wayne’s unresolved disputes with Cash Money at the time. In a way, 2 Chainz marketed the album as a dedication to his fellow rapper and his heavy influence in the rap genre. The album received generally positive reviews, and the cohesiveness of the artists in the project was undeniable. There are about 6 tracks on the album that’s solely 2 Chainz driven, but they fall a little out of place without Lil Wayne’s backing. MFN Right and Not Invitedgive off a more minimalist and soulful vibe compared to the rest of the album, and they do offer a welcome respite from the synths. A little more depth and a lot more 2 Chainz—these are what the album needed. But we get the drift. The album is fun in the end, and 2 Chainz got to help a friend out.
5. B.O.A.T.S. II: Me Time (2013)
Still reeling from the success and hype of his first album, 2 Chainz decided to switch it up a bit on his second studio album release, B.O.A.T.S. II: Me Time. There’s a palpable switch from trap to soul here; although it didn’t necessarily pan out as well as intended. This is evident in the single, Feds Watching, which also features Pharrell. The effort was noticed, but it seemed unfocused throughout the album. Lyrically, the songs lacked the zing that 2 Chainz had become known for at this point. Either way, the album is a good listen, and we’re just glad that we kept listening.
4. Based on a T.R.U. Story (2012) 510
The 2 Chainz hype preceding the debut of his first album was real and grounded on the fact that people already knew him as an excellent feature artist. Based on a T.R.U. Story was released under Def Jam Recordings and was a star-studded success. The album was nominated for a Grammy for Best Rap Album but lost to Drake that year. Certified platinum 4 years after its release, this debut gave us hits such as I’m Different, Yuck, Birthday Song, and its lead single, No Lie. The album received most of its criticism on its lack of lyrical substance, mostly on 2 Chainz’s part. The level of creativity was lacking in many of the tracks, but the vibe was still solid. It’s the kind of album you can bop your head to, but not necessarily one that will challenge you in any way.
3. So Help Me God (2020) 640
Thank God for So Help Me God because it proved to us that 2 Chainz can only improve with time. Call it maturity; call it the quarantine; or call it what you will, this album is probably the artist’s most creative work to date. There’s a lot of restraint here sonically, and it’s a welcome change from his previous work. You can find some soul in tracks such as Save Me, but there’s a lot of narcissistic tendencies in others like the openers Lambo Wrist and Grey Area. Even his long-time collaborator Lil Wayne’s appearance in Money Maker is a welcome sound. It’s a solid album that finally gave us the proper diversity that we knew 2 Chainz had in him.
2. Pretty Girls Like Trap Music (2017)
This was the album that established 2 Chainz as a legit album maker in the industry. Pretty Girls Like Trap Music brought us the singles Good Drank, It’s a Vibe, and 4 AM—all of which were hits commercially. The album debuted at number 2 on the US Billboard 200 when it came out, and it wasn’t the trap music that many expected. In a way, 2 Chainz offered us something even better. Mature and creative, the album described the changes that were happening in society at the time. This was the time when trap music became pop and the type of music that the masses listened to. At this point in his career, 2 Chainz had just found his most solid footing and was just getting started on his run.
1. Rap or Go to the League (2019)
Back in his youth, 2 Chainz was offered a full ride to attend Alabama State University on a basketball scholarship. In another lifetime, 2 Chainz could’ve been a professional baller. In this one, he’s established himself as a true rap artist. There’s a whole lot of layers here to peel apart and a lot of delicious substance to digest. Organized and thoughtful, the songs flowed in a cohesive manner, working together for almost an hour of great listening. Tracks such as I’m Not Crazy, Life is featuring Chance the Rapper and Rule the World featuring Ariana Grande are so unlike what he’s done in the past. Rap or Go to the League is as refreshing a rap album as it gets. It’s the 2 Chainz we’d been expecting to hear.