2 Chainz new album doesn’t go far from his roots as Tity Boi, or from his public image as a rapper with particular trouble with the law. All that just adds to the allure of the trapping to rapping journey outlined in B.O.A.T.S. II #METIME.
The first song “Forks” seems to make a premonition and statement on the album itself. 2 Chainz proclaimed in an interview “‘Fork’ is basically the reality of music and record sales not doing well, someone that has that ‘from trap to rap’ mentality.” This sets the tone for the album. Mike Will Made It, as always, knows what he is doing. The dirty, southern beat – complete with a strong organ driving the melody – fits with the memorable line “So much money I can’t even fold.”
The single is, no doubt, “Fed’s Watching.” Pharrell continues his summer of domination. The beat is a little tropical, with soft electric guitar switching up the sound of the album so far. Best line? “To the top you never been, you might need a respirator. Money on the rise like I’m counting on a elevator”. But with 2 Chainz, lyrics are secondary to a good beat. This song delivers that.
The best song on the album may be “Where U Been?”. Maybe I’m a hopeless romantic but I just love “bought a new house just to fuck you in”. Every girls dream ::sigh::.
Best album feature goes to Drake on “I Do It”. “Camouflaged out, put that camera phone down” catches some attention. Even if Drake has never been trappin’ in his life, he still owns it. The theme of selling drugs for your family is in full effect on this track, and Drake and Weezy do their best to add some Cash Money flavor. Worst feature might be Fergie on “Netflix”. Her contributions to the track could have been cut and been better off for it. She proclaims “When I die bury me in the liquor store”. Ok Fergie. Ok.
A surprise throwback styled joint is “Used 2”. Mannie Fresh is back in a big way. I can literally hear “Back that Ass Up” overlaid on this track, to the point where I just want a remix of them together. 2 Chainz pretty much bites Mystikal‘s flow on this one, to their point where I’m just going to assume its an homage to one of the great strip club rap masters. “Extra” has as pretty strong beat but then the lyrics are laughable. 2 Chainz seems to be trolling us all with rhyming “extra” with “plethora” talking about drug money. It must have been the Word of the Day on his calendar and he wanted to be the first one to put a 14 point Scrabble word in a rap song.
When I saw the title “Mainstream Ratchet” I immediately wanted it that phrase a t-shirt. The song has a dope beat. There is some dirty leveled bass happening which I kinda love in the background. This might be my #2 fave song on the album despite the description of a girl where her ass is so big it “looks like she’s trying to walk backwards bruh”. I can’t really picture that. At all.
Overall this album tried to walk that line of hustler/pop act and 2 Chainz does not really hit either. The beats are somewhat generic. 90% of the lyrics are at a 3rd grade level, which is actually kind of funny (See “Forks”: “My wrist deserves a shout out/I’m like what up wrist). He should be less concerned with selling drugs and more concerned with motivating strippers to put in work. 2 Chainz seems to be justifying his struggle a little too much. He forgets that people don’t really care about his saga and would rather hear something that makes every girl get up and twerk. There are hustler anthems that do it better, and strip club anthems that do it better. 2 Chainz remains best in small doses: preferably on a track with Juicy J.
For all 12 of you who bought this album…. What do you think of this attempt at “mainstream ratchet”?
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