The nearly year long delay of French Montana’s Excuse My French debut has put Chinx Drugz’ career on the backburner, but the Queens-bred Coke Boy hasn’t just been sitting on his hands. Drugz has actually made a pretty convincing case for himself within the past year, shining on the Coke Boy collective N.W.C. Niggas Wit Coke (Coke Boys 3) and having strong showings on Wale’s “Let a Nigga Know” and Vado’s “You Ain’t Good.” “I’m a Coke Boy” and the record’s star studded remix should have been (pun intended) Chinx’s “Shot Caller” moment, but it seems like French’s album needs to see the light of day before his underling can get a proper push. On Cocaine Riot 3, Chinx attempts to further his case that he’s deserving of one.
CR3 leads off with “Intro (Voices)”, where Chinx shows some French-esque inflections and loosely chronicles the transition from a gloomy past to glowing present, rapping “I’m yelling ‘mo fire/Glock shells getting sold to the first buyer/Hard knocks, we been there/Now, our whips is this year/Came up out them cuffs/I done switched up my wrist wear.” “Right There” and “One Night” have strip club anthem potential and Chinx proves pretty versatile, excelling on these in addition to records that carry more somber tones. He’s most convincing on “Maybe,” a heartfelt ode to the late Stack Bundles that closes out the mixtape. “Blow out the smoke, then I take a swig/ Just reflecting on the things we said as kids/ Maybe if I wasn’t incarcerated I’d been there with you to fight the devil and then you probably made it/ But then you caught a headshot/Now my heart is nothing but a dead spot,” he laments.
For all its signs of promise, CR3 also has some rookie mistakes. “Wild Ones” is scattered, and the delivery doesn’t match the production. There’s also an over-reliance on features here that the mixtape could do without – appearances from Lil Durk, Yo Gotti and Flip should have been left on the cutting room floor. The heavy guest list prevents Cocaine Riot 3 from being a landmark release, and so this mixtape ends up being more of a continuation of what we’ve already heard from Chinx Drug, rather than a step to the next level. Time will tell if he’s up for that challenge. —Christopher Minaya (@CM_3)