20 September, 2013@3:22 pm
In 2012, it was hard to avoid 2 Chainz. Dude was everywhere, riding off the success of his T.R.U. Religion mixtape from the year before. He managed to ride that success by churning out a number of club smashes from his Def Jam debut, Based On A T.R.U. Story. To be honest, this critic hated 2 Chainz’s music at first, that is, until songs like “Birthday Song”, “I Luv The Strippers”, “I’m Different”, “Spend It”, and others became staples of my weekend DJ sets. While the subject matter might be simple, 2 Chainz had a knack for sliding in little lyrical gems from time-to -time that I couldn’t help crack a smile at. Doing over 100 features over the past year, the artist formerly known as Tity Boy was hard to avoid, and hard to hate.
B.O.A.T.S. 2: Me Time, is the follow-up to the original Based On A T.R.U. Story, arriving just a year later. The question is, can 2 Chainz duplicate the success of his debut?
There’s no doubt about it that we’ll be hearing some of these songs all year long, like the Dr. Dre-esque “Where U Been?” and “Used 2″, a Mannie Fresh produced spirtual successor to Juvenile’s “Back That Azz Up”. 2 Chainz is great at producing this kind of thing, and once the alcohol is flowing at the club, you quickly forget your real world rules for hip-hop. Another track that stands out is the perfectly executed “I Do It” with Lil Wayne and Drake, which finds the trio in top form, building on top of one another’s verses, in one of the most cohesive collabos of the year.
The Pharrell helmed, “Fed’s Watching”, was the album’s first single, which didn’t have the same impact as some of 2 Chainz earlier singles, but here finds a nice groove with it’s Caribbean flavored beat, and motto for the stylish, “Im’a be fresh as hell if the fed’s watching.”
The rest of the album does not fare so well, however. His collabo with Fergie, “Netflix”, not only suffers from a ridiculous concept (“Let’s make a sex tape and put it on Netflix” ?!?), but also falls flat when she steps up to the mic. The album hits a slump midway through as songs like “Extra” (feat. Rich Homie Quan) and “Beautiful Pain” (w/ Lloyd and Mase) just kind of plod along. “So We Can Live” suffers an overdone T-Pain hook, but does have a nice breakdown in the second half of the song.
After that, the album is never able to catch back up to it’s stronger first half. It’s pretty clear that this is somewhat of a rush job, as Chainz has miraculously made more guest appearances than any other rapper this year, toured relentlessly, and churned out another full-length in the process. While he has undoubtedly made a mountain of cash to sit on for the next decade or so, it might be a good idea to indeed take some “me time”, and slowly craft his third LP to perfection.
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