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Interview:
A change has done 2 Chainz a world of good
 

By GARY GRAFF
for Journal Register Newspapers

» See more SOUND CHECK



It's safe to say change was indeed good for rapper 2 Chainz.

Known as Tity Boi as part of the group Playaz Circle until early 2011, the Georgia native (real name Tauheed Epps), has, as 2 Chainz, scored the No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 with his debut "Based on a T.R.U. Story," as well as a No. 1 R&B and No. 2 Rap hit with the single "No Lie," a collaboration with Drake. And that's on top of guest appearances on songs by Kanye West, Nicki Minaj, Big K.R.I.T., Ciara and many others.

"I feel like good things come to those who work hard," says 2 Chainz, 35, a onetime church choir singer and high school basketball hot shot who worked for a time in Ludacris' Disturbing Tha Peace camp and also released seven of his own mixtapes. "I feel like I planted a lot of seeds coming up to this point. When you plant seeds, the thing about them is you don't know when they're going to grow, but they do grow for me.

"And it felt like everything started popping up at one time. Everything stared lining up...But I worked hard for that to happen."

2 Chainz is in the midst of his own headlining tour after being on the road already this year with Drake and Minaj. He acknowledges that "No Lie" allowed him to make his mark as a solo artist -- which is no small feat considering the circumstances that brought it about.

"(Drake) invited me out on tour, and I told him I had a record for him," 2 Chainz recalls. "He said, 'Cool, give it to me.' Well, I didn't really have a record, so I had to find one right quick.

"But I wasn't panicking. I have a studio on my bus so it was like, 'Yo, pull up some beats, man. Let's do it.' I went on a verse and communicated with (Drake) and we kinda played ping-pong and bounced it back and forth 'til we got the No. 2 (Rap) song in the country, and we got to do it together every night when we were on tour."

2 Chainz performs Wednesday, Sept. 5, at Saint Andrews Hall, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit. Doors open at 9 p.m. Tickets are $22-$150. Call 313-961-6358 or visit www.livenation.com.

Web Site: www.livenation.com

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