If anyone’s having an underrated year, it’s 2 Chainz. The Atlanta rapper has already released two projects in 2016; January mixtape Felt Like Cappin and Collegrove, his almost-collaborative album with Lil Wayne, which featured the irresistable (and hilarious) single “Watch Out.” While it’s well known that the Atlanta native has had his success take off late into his career, by just listening to the music, it’s hard to tell he’s 38 years old. His energy, raunchiness and overall youthful debauchery puts him in the same league as rappers half his age, and he’s just as hungry; refusing to sit on his loins as he churns out material. So here we stand with Daniel Son; Necklace Don, a 10-track mixtape that has Tity Boi keeping his winning streak very much intact.
The first thing that comes to mind when listening to this project is even in his “advanced” age, 2 Chainz can still spit with the best of them. On the last 10 bars of “Get Out The Bed,” he raps with a swift, hellish intent, stylistically similar to Big Sean’s flow on “All Me,” which 2 Chainz was also featured on. “Gladiator, tell your neighbor/Gun on table, Buick LeSabre/Do you now, do you later” he raps. And unlike some other rappers who fall into the trap genre, 2 Chainz can pull off the fast, glitchy flows because he enunciates each word plainly, which makes it easier on the listener. This is a good thing, because it means we can hear his comedic-yet-equally convincing lyrics all the more clearly. For example, on “Chirp,” the hook contains serious threats about what will happen if you steal his swag, but each line ends in a sporadic “brr brr,” which no doubt represents a gun bang but one can’t help but laugh. That’s one of 2 Chainz best qualities; he makes everything, even murder, sound entertaining.
The beats on this project are mostly trap, and fall under either ominous, hi-hat-heavy types or summery beats adorned with bells or flutes. While the former are certainly respectable, it’s the latter type that deserve the most attention. On standout track “Big Amount,” Buddah Bless blesses us with a flute-laden beat that 2 Chainz and guest Drake skate easily on, particularly the latter, where the the 6 God turns in one of his best verses this year. “Got the money and I never show it/Let a n*gga try to play heroic/Michael Jackson talkin’ to me in my dreams/And he say, ‘You bad and you know it,'” he brags. K Swisha brings the twinkling bells on the aforementioned “Chirp,” while DJ Spinz adds wharbly electronic effects on “Kilo.”
At an age where most rappers slow down and/or switch to a more thought-provoking/conscious style, 2 Chainz refuses to step on the brakes. And if three projects already this year wasn’t enough, he recently announced another project on his Instagram story, expected to be released around his birthday (September 12). It seems the hip hop veteran is trying to one-up his previous hot streak of 2012, where you couldn’t go anywhere without hearing him on the radio or at the club. Who knows, he might f*ck around and do it.