Although 2 Chainz has been rapping since 1997, he is relatively new to the music scene as a solo artist. Formerly known as Tity Boi, he decided to change his name to the more family friendly 2 Chainz in 2011. The change proved to be genius because soon after he released T.R.U. REALigion, the first mixtape to appear on Billboard Music Charts. Since then 2 Chainz has risen meteorically, becoming one of the hottest names in hip hop and making numerous guest appearances on hit songs by Kanye West, Nicky Minaj, Juicy J, Young Jeezy and his tour co-star Lil Wayne. His debut album Based on a T.R.U. Story went gold and earned him three Grammy nominations including Best Rap Album.
Surprisingly, on stage 2 Chainz could be best described as understated in his performance, making for a distinctive style and swagger that likely only adds to his appeal. Without the need for an entourage of ten or twenty on stage with him, characteristic of many rap concerts, the 6’5” rapper is an imposing presence on stage all by himself. It was as if the energy in the arena went from zero to 100 in an instant as soon as he stepped on stage. 2 Chainz has the sort of lyrical flair, style, and presence that make his music irresistible and if the crowd was any indicator, he was a fan favorite of the night rapping his hit songs “No Lie”, “Birthday Song”, “I’m Different” and “Feds Watching.”
The night opened with performances by California natives G-Eazy, Hit Boy and Adrian Broner. As opening acts usually go, it is not unusual to hear struggling or somewhat mediocre artists, but surprisingly, both grabbed the attention of the crowd and likely found new fans here in Oklahoma City. First, hip hop newcomer G-Eazy seems promising, bringing with him impressive beats and a flair and sound characteristic of the Bay area. The second opening act, Adrian Broner, showed off his lyrical skills and energetic beats. Lastly, as a music producer for superstars Kanye West, Jay-Z, Lil Wayne and Justin Bieber, Hit Boy is new to performing as a recording artist but not to hip hop. His musical ability is proven by the numerous hit singles he has produced for other recording artists and it will be interesting to see if his own solo career can follow that trend.