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2 Chainz

Tauheed Epps (born September 12, 1977), better known by his stage name 2 Chainz (formerly Tity Boi), is an American hip hop recording artist. He was first known for being one half of the southern hip hop duo Playaz Circle, alongside his longtime friend and fellow rapper Earl "Dolla Boy" Conyers. They were best known for being signed to Ludacris' Disturbing tha Peace label, as well as their debut single "Duffle Bag Boy". In February 2012, Epps signed a solo record deal with Def Jam Records, an imprint of Universal Music Group. The following August, he released his debut studio album Based on a T.R.U. Story to mixed reviews. The album spawned three successful singles: "No Lie" (featuring Drake), "Birthday Song", and "I'm Different". All of them charted in the top 50 of the Billboard Hot 100. Life and career: 1977-1996: Early life and beginnings: Tauheed Epps was born September 12, 1977, in College Park, Georgia. He attended North Clayton High School with R&B singer Monica and exceeded his teacher's expectations of him by finishing second in his class. In high school, Epps also joined the school's basketball team. Standing at 6'5, Epps was a standout basketball player and later attended college at the University of Alabama State on an athletic scholarship. 1997-2010: Playaz Circle and Disturbing tha Peace: Epps formed the hip hop duo Playaz Circle (the word "Playaz" being a bacronym for Preparing Legal Assets for Years from A to Z) in College Park, Georgia in 1997 with his high school friend Earl Conyers (known as Dolla Boy) while Epps adopted "Tity Boi" as his stage name. Following the release of an independent album titled United We Stand, United We Fall (2002), the duo were introduced to fellow Atlanta rapper Ludacris, when he moved into their College Park apartment complex whilst he was acting as a DJ. After taking interest in Playaz Circle, Ludacris began to record several songs with the group, playing some of them on his radio station. Ludacris soon become one of the highest-selling rappers in the Southern United States. After hearing of their situation, Ludacris requested of Epps that the duo join his newly formed record label Disturbing Tha Peace, a subsidiary of Def Jam Recordings. Epps agreed to sign, although Conyers did not officially join the label until his mother regained her health, a year after the initial signing. Their debut album Supply & Demand, was released on October 30, 2007. The lead single and their debut single, "Duffle Bag Boy", became an urban hit single. The song features Lil Wayne, and was performed by the duo at the BET Hip Hop Awards. The duo released their second studio album Flight 360: The Takeoff, on September 29, 2009. In January 2010, Playaz Circle filmed a music video for their single "Big Dawg" featuring Lil Wayne and Birdman at Studio Space Atlanta. Shortly afterwards, Epps left Disturbing tha Peace, a move he claimed was taken in order to advance his career. Although Ludacris was initially reluctant to allow Epps to leave the label (as he felt Epps could still prove financially successful), he eventually accepted the decision. 2011-present: Name change, guest appearances, Based on a T.R.U. Story: Throughout Epps' career, critics and fans alike have speculated the pseudonym "Tity Boi" was meant to be derogatory towards women, although he repeatedly denied such accusations. In early 2011, Epps decided to change his stage name to 2 Chainz as he perceived it to be more "family friendly". Following his name change, Epps released a mixtape entitled T.R.U. REALigion, which became his first mixtape to appear on the music charts, peaking at number 58 on the US Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. Since the success of his most recent mixtape, Epps has made numerous guest appearances on tracks by prominent recording artists such as, Kanye West's single "Mercy" and Nicki Minaj's "Beez in the Trap. The clean versions of "Got One", "K.O." "Riot" and "Money Making Mission" are featured on DJ Angry's compilation "Tha Clean Versions Vol. 1". "No Lie" is also included. On March 24, 2012, Epps announced his debut studio album, Based on a T.R.U. Story (originally titled T.R.U. to My REALigion) was set for an August 14, 2012, release date. The album's lead single, "No Lie", features Canadian rapper Drake and was released on May 8, 2012. On May 11, it was under speculation that Epps had signed to Kanye West's GOOD Music label after West tweeted: "2 Chainz is charging 100k for a verse now cause he's G.O.O.D!!!!!". However Epps later denied those rumors, saying: "He just said I'm good, like I'm ill. But we was talking and I think I was jeopardizing my brand sometimes by doing the homeboy special. So I think he felt like we should just put that out there that we ain't doing no more of that." On May 30, 2012, Ciara revealed 2 Chainz was featured on "Sweat", the first single from her fifth studio album One Woman Army. Based on a T.R.U. Story debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200, selling 147,000 copies in its first week. The album was met with mixed reviews, earning a score of 55 on metacritic. As of September 23, 2012, the album has sold 288,000 copies in the United States. In September, Epps performed at the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards alongside longtime friend Lil Wayne. After the release of his debut, Based on a T.R.U. Story, Epps made momentous strides. He facilitated his first solo worldwide tour, selling out most dates, nominated for over 13 BET Hip Hop Awards, bringing home 4 trophies, earned the Source Magazine's "Man of the Year ", release a collaborative endeavors with ADIDAS and Beats By Dre and is nominated for 3 Grammy's, including Best Rap Album. In late 2012, Epps stated once he completed the B.O.A.T.S. concert tour, he will head back into the studio. In November 2012, he revealed he was three songs deep into his second studio album. The album's estimated release date was April 2013. On February 14, 2013, Epps was arrested in Maryland en route to a concert at UMES for marijuana possession. Epps was then cited and released. The rapper will make a guest apppearence on Law and Order: Special Victims Unit as former Narcotics parter of Ice-T's character, Det. Finn, in an episode scheduled to air, May 8, 2013.

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