Second chances are rare in hip-hop. Once an artist is labeled a one-hit wonder or some one who has “fallen off” it’s nearly impossible to reclaim — much less surpass — one’s past glory. Atlanta’s 2 Chainz is one of the few rap artists who has done this.
As a member of Playaz Circle along side his partner Dolla Boy, 2 Chainz (then known as Tity Boi) got a taste of success with his Lil’ Wayne-assisted hit single “Duffel Bag Boy” in 2007. Success was fleeting for the man born Tauheed Epps, and after the song’s buzz died his relationship with Ludacris‘ Disturbing The Peace label dissolved as well. Rather than be dejected and fading into obscurity he returned to his Southern indie rap roots cranking up his productivity and taking on his signature exclamation of 2 Chainz as his new moniker.
Now six mixtapes, a Grammy nominated album, and countless guest verses later he’s one of the hottest commodities in hip-hop courted by artists like Kanye West and signed to an endorsement deal with Adidas. For going from under to allover our TV and computer screens, we honor 2 Chainz with the Shine Award for Best Comeback.