Two brash Southern word-hogs meet for a hit-or-miss summit
In an age where the most acclaimed Southern rap is the emo Codeine mumblecore of Future and Young Thug, an album that combines two of the brashest wiseasses south of the Mason-Dixon is either an unfashionable oddity or fresh breath of salty Borsht Belt air. There’s not a pun too labyrinthine for 2 Chainz and Lil Wayne, no wordplay too tortured. Listening to them together is a mix of laughs, cringes, knee-slaps and stunned silence. 2 Chainz will “steal her like Jerome Bettis” and brags “in my sex drive, I ride over potholes.” Wayne boasts that his competition is “tiny like a spider on a Spud Webb” and says “I keep on switchin’ wifeys, you gotta Uncle Phil me.” When they work together, like the Run the Jewels-style tag teaming of “Bounce” or the flow-matching “Blue C-Note” (where multiplatinum rapper Lil Wayne plays hypeman), it’s like a Method Man and Redman for people who like a little more bass in their system.
However, not much of the project is as symbiotic as that comparison suggests. Two of its tracks are just serviceable Wayne-less leftovers from 2 Chainz’ perfectly fine mixtape Felt Like Cappin. “Dedication,” 2 Chainz syrupy appreciation of his prolific friend, probably should’ve been the last track instead of the first. Songs like “Bently Truck” and “100 Joints” sound like they were recorded mid-dab, two sui generis rappers doing their best to fit in to the current landscape when they’re actually at their best doing wordy throwbacks: See Wayne spitting “My ceiling’s absent, my wheels are massive, my friends assassins/All of us bastards, our mothers queens and our women dancers.” This album has some of the best rap around – but you’ll have to be willing to look for it.