2 Chainz – “Dope Don’t Sell Itself” review

2 Chainz is a 44 year old rapper from Atlanta, Georgia who came up as 1/2 of the duo Playaz Circle. They eventually signed to Disturbing tha Peace Records & Def Jam Recordings in the 2000s releasing only 2 albums. He eventually ventured off into a solo career, with the biggest standouts being Pretty Girls 👍 TRΛP MUSIC & Rap or Go to the League. Last we heard from him was a little over a year ago with So Help Me God! but after dropping 2 singles last month, Tity Boi is returning in the form of his 6th full-length outing.

“Bet It Back” starts off the whole album with a rubbery bass-line & a sputtering sample talking about working hard to be well made whereas “Pop Music” with Moneybagg Yo & BeatKing comes off as a boring strip club anthem. “Kingpen Ghostwriter” picks things back up as Lil Baby tags along over a symphonic Buddah Bless instrumental talking about money coming in a hurry leading into “Outstanding”, which has a high spirited Hit-Boy beat & lyrics paying tribute to his lifestyle.

Meanwhile on “Neighbors Know My Name”, we have 2 Chainz bastardizing the classic D4L joint “Laffy Taffy” for 2 minutes just before 42 Dugg comes into the picture for “$1M Worth of Game” to talk about how shit can’t change them accompanied by a mediocre Lil Ju instrumental. “Free B.G.” takes a more wavier route with the help of Mannie Fresh obviously calling for the former Hot Boy$ member of the same name to come home, but then “10 Bracelets” has a more feel good tone to it as he & YoungBoy Never Broke Again get materialistic.

“Lost Kings” with Lil Durk has some woozy synthesizers throughout pondering how they’re supposed to breathe if all people do is kill & fight while the song “Caymans” with Swae Lee goes into a more stripped back direction talking about taking care of you & yours if you got something that people wanna see or be a part of. The penultimate track “Vlad TV” with Major Myjah, Stove God Cooks & Symba finds the trio over a funky ass beat calling out the interview platform for being the feds & “If You Want Me To” just seems like an awkward send-off to the album trying to get seductive.

Coming from someone who’s enjoyed his last 3 albums, I feel like Dope Don’t Sell Itself is slightly above average in comparison & could’ve been a tad bit better. 2 Chainz’ lyricism is absolutely not the problem at all because he’s the been the best he’s ever sounded throughout the past 5 years. The main problems I have with this album are the production & the features being hit or miss.

Score: 3/5

2 Chainz – “So Help Me God!” review

This is the 5th full-length album from Atlanta veteran 2 Chainz. Coming up as 1/2 of the duo Playaz Circle, they eventually signed to Disturbing tha Peace Records/Def Jam Recordings in the 2000s & only released 2 albums before venturing off into solo careers. His last 2 outings Pretty Girls 👍 TRΛP MUSIC & Rap or Go to the League have truly become staples in Tity Boi’s career as both of them excellently showcasing his maturity. But after being hyped all year, here we are with the man’s 5th full-length album.

The album starts with “Lambo Wrist”, where 2 Chainz boasts over a wavy instrumental from STREETRUNNER & LilJu. The next song “Grey Area” talks about being old enough to be & do a number of things over a jazzy beat while the track “Save Me” with YoungBoy Never Broke Again sees the 2 talking about being their own worst enemies over a soulful instrumental from Mike WiLL Made-It. The song “Money Maker” finds ColleGrove reuniting to make a decent strip club banger backed by an awesome sample of “Piece of My Love” by Guy while the track “Can’t Go for That” ponders where to draw the line with this woman over an instrumental sampling The Bird & the Bee.

The song “Feel a Way” with Kanye West finds the 2 talking about how God don’t make no mistakes over a nightly beat from Boi-1da & Mike Dean while the track “Quarantine Thick” with Mulatto sees the 2 paying tribute to all the sexy ladies in the world over an instrumental with a dope piano-loop. The song “Ziploc” with Kevin Gates finds the 2 talking about drug dealing over a monstrous beat while the track “Free Lighter” with Chief Keef & Lil Uzi Vert sees the trio talking about getting hooked up with their dope over a rowdy instrumental from Keef himself.

The song “Toni” talks about how ill this bitch by the same name is over a TM88 beat with some prominent bells while the track “Southside Hov” if you couldn’t tell by the title compares himself to JAY-Z over a climatic instrumental. The song “Vampire” talks about keeping a gun by his car seat over a lavish beat from Cool & Dre while the track “Y.R.B. (Young, Rich & Black)” with Rick Ross finds the 2 talking about what it means to be such over an orchestral instrumental. The penultimate song “Wait for You to Die” talks about how no one cares about you until you’re gone over a David Banner beat with an Alan Lomax sample & then the closer “55 Times” talks about how he’s doing something right over a chilled out instrumental from Dem Jointz.

A lot of cats put out their best work when they’re younger, but 2 Chainz is one of the few instances of an artist getting better as they get older & it’s undeniable. There are a few features in the tracklisting that I could’ve done without, but the personal lyrics are compelling & the production choices are very consistent as well.

Score: 3.5/5

2 Chainz – “Rap or Go to the League” review

2 Chainz is a 41 year old rapper from Atlanta, Georgia who came up as 1/2 of the duo Playaz Circle. They eventually signed to Disturbing tha Peace Records & Def Jam Recordings in the 2000s releasing only 2 albums. He eventually ventured off into a solo career, with his previous album Pretty Girls 👍 TRΛP MUSIC easily being his most mature work yet. But almost a couple years later, he’s back with the long-awaited follow-up.

The album kicks off with “Forgiven”, where Tity Boi gets spiritual over a trap beat with some beautifully alluring background vocals. The next song “Threat 2 Society” vents about not getting the credit he deserves over a pretty 9th Wonder instrumental while the track “Money in the Way” is a boring diatribe about this chick even though I like the triumphant beat. The song “Statue of Limitations” reflects on his drug dealing days over a bass heavy beat from 30 Roc while the song “High Top Versace” with Young Thug sees the 2 getting braggadocious over a disappointingly bland beat. The track “Whip” talks about going back to drug dealing over a WondaGurl beat with a dark atmosphere to it while the song “NCAA” of course talks about hustling over an eerie Honorable C.N.O.T.E. instrumental.

The song “Momma I Hit a Lick” with Kendrick Lamar of course has perfectly vivid storytelling accompanied with a Pharrell instrumental kin to “Amazing” off of T.I.’s 2010 album No Mercy while the track “Rule the World” is a smooth ode to his ride or die chick over a luxurious instrumental. The song “Girl’s Best Friend” talks about diamonds over a vintage West Coast instrumental from Cardo while the track “2 Dollar Bill” sees ColleGrove teaming up with E-40 to deliver a dime a dozen club banger with a dime a dozen DJ Mustard beat. The song “I Said Me” is all about how real he is over a nondescript beat while the penultimate track “I’m Not Crazy, Life Is” with Chance the Rapper & Kodak Black talks about how he’s never changed over a somber trap beat. The album then finishes with “Sam”, which gets conscious over a druggy beat.

To be honest, this is neck & neck with Tity Boi’s previous album. Sure some of the beats are generic, but it’s just as mature as last time on all fronts. Makes me really happy to see him continuing to progress as an artist & flexing his lyrical prowess a bit more.

Score: 3.5/5

2 CHΛINZ – “Pretty Girls 👍 TRΛP MUSIC” review

Just a little over a year after dropping the ColleGrove self-titled album with Lil Wayne, Playaz Circle member 2 Chainz is now delivering his 3rd full-length album. The opener “Saturday Night” sees Tity Boi talking about treating every day like it’s a Saturday & the production from Mike WiLL Made-It has these ominous piano keys as well as a KILLER electric guitar throughout. The next song “Riverdale Rd” talks discusses going from grams to Grammys & the beat is eerie, yet very abrasive. The track “Good Drank” with Gucci Mane originally appeared on 2 Chainz’ 3rd EP Hibachi for Lunch back from last October & it’s still as much of a spacey club banger as it was when it first came out then. The Quavo hook doesn’t really bother me at all either, especially with the hilarious Dr. Dre/André 3000 line that pops up near the end of it. The song “4 AM” talks about selling drugs at the titular time & while I do like the murky production that fits the vibe, I was disappointed that Travi$ Scott only did the hook & a couple adlibs on here. The track “Door Swangin'” goes in about hustlin’ & the atmospheric production isn’t too bad, either. The song “Realize” sees 2 Chainz talking about partying as well as Nicki Minaj dissing Remy Ma over a cloudy-ish beat & I gotta say, Nicki actually went in on this song. Oh, & the “fuck mumble rap” line that 2 Chainz spits at the end of his verse surprised me as well. The track “Poor Fool” has an ambitious tone lyrically & I really love the wind chimes throughout the beat. I’m also happy that Swae Lee only does the hook on this track & he definitely did a decent job at that here. The song “Big Amount” with Drake originally appeared on Tity Boi’s 9th mixtape Daniel Son; Necklace Don from last August & it still sounds as much of a chill braggadocious tune as it originally was then. However, the Drake verse is still average. The track “It’s a Vibe” with Ty$ as well as Trey Songz & Jhené Aiko is a sex banger that really does live up to the title. Especially with the funky guitar on here. The song “Rolls Royce Bitch” talks about believing in yourself & the really smooth guitar passages on here actually make it my 2nd favorite track on the entire album. The track “Sleep When You Die” talks about never resting & while the sampled OJ da Juiceman adlibs do kinda get annoying after a while, the production is on some straight sensei shit. The song “Trap Check” talks about cashing in checks & buying shit with the money over an sinister beat with some rattling hi-hats. The track “Blue Cheese” has a wavy beat, but the Migos feature is what REALLY kills the vibe for me on here & the 2 Chainz verse at the beginning does it little justice. The song “OG Kush Diet” talks about getting high since his friend passed as well as saying your favorite rapper has no talent (presumably another shot at mumble rap) & I absolutely love the beat change halfway through. The penultimate track “Bailan” is actually my favorite track on the entire album. Not just because of Pharrell’s relaxing production, but also how charismatic Tity Boi sounds on here too. The album then closes out with “Burglar Bars”, where it gets motivational to the listener over an instrumental that compliments the vibe perfectly! Even though I’ve never been a big fan of this guy, this new album of his took me by surprise. The production’s hard as Hell as one would expect, but what got me the most was how 2 Chainz was sounding a lot more interesting me over them this time around. If any of you are like me & didn’t care for his last 2 albums B.O.A.T.S. (Based On A T.R.U. Story) or it’s sequel Me Time all that much, then I HIGHLY recommend checking this new album out because it truly is like night & day

Score: 3.5/5