- 02:15 PM, Jul 23
2 Chainz saw an opportunity to rise up as solo artist when T.I. was in prison, Young Jeezy was busy with his album and Ludacris was too busy. For years, 2 Chainz had been either one half of Playaz Circle or featured guest. In 2012, he changed it all with his first solo album.
Born September 12, 1976 as Tauheed Epps, 2 Chainz was the only child. His father was in and out of prison a lot of times in his childhood, so his mother practically raised him alone. "The fact that my mom raised me, used to bother my pop. He didn't know if a woman could raise a man. And they'd have differences of opinions all the time. My pops used to tell me things from prison and as soon as he hung up my mom would say 'don't listen to him'," he said in an interview with The Urban Daily.
He met Earl Conyers, who would later be known as Dolla Boy, in high school and formed a hip hop duo with him called Playaz Circle, an acronym for Preparing Legal Assets for Years from A to Z. Epps was known as Tity Boy at that time, a reference to how he's the only child his mother breastfeed. Playaz Circle was officially born in College Park, Georgia in 1997. Together, they recorded indie releases until they met Ludacris.
Luda was a disc jockey at that time, making it possible for him to play their collaborative tracks on his radio station. There came a time when Playaz Circle were dormant because Epps was shot and Dolla was in jail. Ludacris remained to have faith in the duo, signing them to his Disturbing Tha Peace label. Playaz Circle started with mixtapes before releasing two studio albums under the label.
In 2010, Epps felt the need to move on in his career. Thus, he left Disturbing Tha Peace and changed his stage name to 2 Chainz. Under the new moniker, Epps released a mixtape "T.R.U. REALigion" which peaked at number 58 on the US Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. He also continued being featured guests in other artists' tracks.
Chainz's debut album "Based on a T.R.U. Story" spawned the first single "No Lie" in May 2012, featuring Drake. The song debuted at number 45 on the Billboard Hot 100 based on digital downloads alone. Meanwhile, the album was set to