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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

2 Chainz listening party is now open to the public

PEEK-A-BOO: 2 Chainz snaps back at his Tree Sounds Studios private listening party
  • Brandon English
  • PEEK-A-BOO: 2 Chainz snaps back at his Tree Sounds Studios private listening party

About halfway through the industry listening session for 2 Chainz' highly anticipated Def Jam debut Based On a T.R.U. Story, it dawned on the Atlanta rapper that with all the bloggers aiming digital cameras and boom mics at him, his private listening party wouldn't be private for long. So he did what any artist would who, after a year and a half of self-made mixtape buzz and star-turning cameos alongside the likes of Kanye West, Drake, and Nicki Minaj, finally hopes to capitalize come next Tuesday's release date.

He stopped the music.

"I really like that song, too, but I don't want it to be out before the album comes out," he said from the sound stage inside a hot shoulder-to-shoulder crowd at Tree Sounds Studios. "I thought we were just going to chill. [Y'all] in here tryna make money."

It speaks to the stellar year the artist formerly known as Tity Boi has had that the studio located on Peachtree Industrial was packed with tastemakers, writers, photogs, DJs, collaborators, and well-wishers including B.o.B and Killer Mike. Atlanta was there to show love, but also to witness the culmination of what's amounted to an inspiring reinvention on 2 Chainz' part — one that's earned him shout-outs from the likes of Forbes along the way.

After a few formalities — including the presentation of his first gold plaque for "No Lie," his current No. 1 hit with Drake — 2 Chainz got down to business. The first song he played from the album was "Yuck," a track full of chonky beats, featuring Lil Wayne.

"My daughter always says "Yuck, daddy," 2 Chainz said, explaining the title. "Plus, it's so nasty."

He followed it up in the order of the tracklist with "Crack," featuring some hellafied scratches from DJ Jaycee; "Dope Peddler," a Bangladesh production that 2 Chainz said he had to jump on after all of the other major Atlanta artists it was offered to passed; and of course "No Lie."

"I bet I know the words to this shit — it's No. 1," 2 Chainz said in the mic before rapping along to his verse and continuing with "Birthday Song" feat. Kanye, "I'm Different," and his collaborations with The-Dream ("Extremely Blessed") and Nicki Minaj ("I Love Dem Strippers").

Jaycee and Bangladesh joined 2 Chainz on stage, along with producer Mike Will Made It, Dolla (the other half of 2 Chainz' duo Playaz Circle), and Tree Sounds Studios' own Groove Chambers and Mali Hunter — who's home-catered listening party meals have become a bigger draw than the sponsored liquor at the open bar.

Tree Sounds Mali Hunter (left) with 2 Chainz

After 2 Chainz stopped the music during track five to rein in the bloggers gone wild, he resumed play, but with a caveat: "Come on, we'll just play snippets of the rest of the album." True to his word, he proceeded to tease verses and hooks from "Stop Me Now" feat. Dolla, "Money Machine," "Ghetto Dreams" feat. John Legend and Scarface, "What We Doin" — and the four extra songs that will only come with the purchase of the album's deluxe version. He even made an impromptu sales pitch to those on the fence, reminding listeners that the Chris Brown feature will cost a little extra. Because after nearly two years of giving LPs away to the public for free, 2 Chainz' is due to collect some serious album royalties.

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