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2 Chainz Stays True To Himself On ‘B.O.A.T.S. II: Me Time’

The first thing to know about the new 2 Chainz album is that the opening song is called “Fork.” The second thing to know is that you probably already know what it sounds like. The beats are typically menacing and orchestral, the hooks are unbelievably catchy, and the verses swing back and forth between laugh-out-loud ridiculous and shake-your-head ridiculous. Basically, it’s 2 Chainz’s first album, part two—exactly what he said it’d be. But while the album is billed as the continuation of his first record, last year’s No. 1-debuting Based On A Tru Story, Chainz also branches out a bit in a way that makes the album feel like he’s bringing at least some new records to the table while remaining stylistically consistent.

B.O.A.T.S. was such a breakout success for a couple reasons: the ubiquity of Chainz verses throughout the first nine months of last year, his distinctive, immediately recognizable cadence and subject matter, and the sheer number of hits it carried, from the Drake-assisted “No Lie” to the Kanye-helmed “Birthday Song,” the personal manifesto “I’m Different” to “I Luv Dem Strippers” with Nicki Minaj. B.O.A.T.S. II didn’t have that same help from radio—outside of the Song of the Summer contender “Feds Watching” featuring Pharrell—but there are plenty of tracks here that fit the 2 Chainz formula.

“Fork,” “36,” “Where U Been” and “Used 2″ could have easily popped up a year ago, while “Extra” features a verse from Rich Homie Quan, who could conceivably carve out a career for himself as the second coming of Chainz based on his own radio-friendly hooks. “I Do It” features some of the usual suspects Drake and Lil Wayne, with the two actually combining in the midst of Drake’s verse, creating a bit of a back-and-forth hand-off, which is brilliant in its subtlety. Drake wonders what Tunechi would do, Weezy pops up in the middle of the verse and takes over effortlessly, then drops back out as Drizzy picks up the thread without every stopping to miss a beat. It’s the type of verse that can actually be created when two artists are in the studio together rather than e-mailing verses back and forth, and Chainz doesn’t sleep on it either.

Lyrically, too, Chainz mostly stays in his hand-crafted lane even on back-to-back tracks, tossing out his desire to film a sex tape and put it either on YouTube (“Used 2″) or Netflix (the Fergie track “Netflix”). Take your pick for most ridiculous line of the album: “My wrist deserve a shout-out, I’m like ‘What up, wrist?’/My stove deserve a shout-out, I’m like ‘What up, stove?’” (from “Fork”); “Sippin’ and my soda pink/You niggas is toilet seat” (from “So We Can Live” featuring T-Pain); or “I’m on top like a toupee/You on the side like a toothache” (from “Mainstream Ratchet”) are all strong contenders. The best verse on the album probably goes to Ma$e, who pops up on “Beautiful Pain” and drops some self-effacing real talk (“But who I’m I kidding I had bridges but I just burned them”).

Maybe it’s Ma$e’s influence, maybe it’s his own experiences over the past two years, but Chainz gets more personal than he’s ever been on the second half of the album—both “So We Can Live” and “Outroduction” feel highly autobiographical, though both have verses that dip back into the absurd. They are different types of songs for him, and they stick out because of it, though not in a bad way. 2 Chainz has, at this point, identified the type of hip-hop that he’s going to continue making, and it’s the kind of rap you’ll most likely continue hearing on the radio. He’s perfected his lane, but he hasn’t pushed anything forward or changed anything significantly. He is what he is, and it’s okay to love that. - Dan Rys (@danrys)

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  • dentaldamboy

    This album going to sell a million 1st week. Also, Drake will sell 2 million opening week.

  • Peso

    not happening lol …Chainz will go GOLD over-time like the first album and Drake will go atleast Platinum with about 400,000-600,000 first week

  • Myslef3k

    This album is fire! Beats are XXL, and orginality is XL.

  • Paulo

    You write about beats and you didn’t mention Diplo? Are you high?

  • BrianRaider

    Awwwww Man. Y’all mY Niggas But C’mon Now… The 1st LP Gets An L And So Does This. I Think Its Better! The Review Even Reads As If It’s An XL But It Get’s An L. Y’all My Niggas But I Think Both His 1st LP & This Are Deserving Of XL!

  • Keith

    That is actually Drake doing the whole verse on “I Do It”. He is mimicking Wayne with Wayne doing adlibs. Why do I know this and you don’t? Oh yeah, you all are the same publication that gave J. Cole an L and Kanye, Juicy J and Big Sean XLs. Nevermind.

    • Truth

      Wayne wasn’t doing adlibs, he was actually rapping that part

  • junj03

    The album is terrible, the one liners get tiring and the
    lyrics are too dumb down.

    The true religion mix tape and his first major album at
    least had some huge bangers, great features but this album is trash. Now “L” rating? Really? XXL keeps loosing credibility

  • Jay DeLuca

    its okay wrth 2 putnin my burned cdssss storage but not wrth my $ 2 buy and put in my archives…….Juicys jsss was wrth my $ and the weeknds as well


    the fuck??

  • ka kid 1

    koo album 4 the fall realley like that song u da realest……..ima cop it bump that shiiit in the ride

  • TMT

    beee n bangin it this whole weekend sounds tuff in the ride fav. track u da realest fuck it ill cop it fri wrth my $

  • joseboriqua

    2syllabals this lame needs to hang himself with 2 slipknots wow this is what the world has come to this is nick at nite rap I wish this fag put them two chains up in a battle first up my grandma

  • John Smith

    No Black Unicorn mention = instantly invalid review.

  • Judge Dredd

    Shitty review….. you don’t even fully elaborate on the points you bring up…. You talk production but do not mention anything about the fact that this record is a lot more electronic dance music than a rap record….. you suck