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2 Chainz Sticks To Repetitive Themes On ‘Freebase’ EP

Ironically, after running into some trouble with the law this past week and being convicted in a drug possession case, it only made sense that 2 Chainz’ Freebase EP was already slated for a release. Since liberating T.R.U. REALigion in 2011, 2 Chainz has created, adhered to and expanded the blueprint that makes his music not only catchy, but fueled by memorable hooks, quirky ad-libs and Southern hospitality. As a 7-track EP, Freebase serves as a vehicle to transport us from 2 Chainz 2012 release B.O.A.T.S. II to the expected release of his untitled fall album.

At first glance, it becomes apparent while the EP is on the smaller scale of 2 Chainz’ discography quantity-wise; it’s loaded with quality producers and big-name features. Appropriately so, the EP opens up with a dialogue about freebase cocaine from the short-lived Nashville show Cuts, recorded by comedian Shane Caldwell in the early ’90s. Setting the tone for the remainder of the EP, 2 Chainz dives into the title single “Freebase,” produced by Honorable C.N.O.T.E. The aggressive delivery tells his rag-to-riches story, which streamlines into the gold diggers-chase-money narrative on “Flexin’ On My Baby Mama.” Over the DJ Paul and Twhy For Scale Ent-produced beat, 2 Chainz speaks on the fruits of his labor and the ability to stunt on everybody around him, but not without expressing a deeper dialogue concerning the relationship with his father spitting, “I’m famous with my fam around/Damn, I wish my dad around/Gave my ni**a a Lamborghini, so that’s a motherf*ckin’ Lam me down.”

While the unexpected line layers Freebase’s surface level content with an personal narrative, it certainly doesn’t stick around long before 2 Chainz grabs a hold of Lil Boosie and Mike Will Made It to speak on wayside individuals on “Wuda, Cuda, Shuda,” as well as A$AP Rocky and Rick Ross to remind the average listeners that your rent money can be found in the form of tangible items in their closets on “Crib In My Closet.” Contrary to the bass-heavy instrumentals that came at the hands of Metro Boomin’, 808 Mafia, Street Symphony and 808xElite throughout the EP, 2 Chainz closes out Freebase with the Young Chop-produced “They Know,” a more somber and synth-heavy cut that features Cap 1 and Ty Dolla $ign on the hook, and take a conceptual page out of Shawty Lo’s “Dey Know.”

Laced with great booming production, Freebase EP serves as the perfect ride-along soundtrack for the summer. However, if you’re looking to find content that pushes past 2 Chainz telling you he’s richer, knows prettier women, has more drugs, drives cars that you’ll never own and his crew will always be better than yours, this may not be the project for you. Without a doubt, 2 Chainz has the formula to make great music – but now we just need a little more substance, and we’re not talking about freebase cocaine.—Erin Lowers