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2 Chainz - Dope Don’t Sell Itself Music Album Reviews

2 Chainz - Dope Don’t Sell Itself Music Album Reviews
The Atlanta rapper still has an ear and endless charisma on his latest album, but the songs are more like templates than novel creations. For the first time, he sounds predictable.

Ten years ago, a 34-year-old rapper formerly known as Tity Boi released his long-awaited debut album. All of it felt improbable. After resuscitating a flagging career through an omnipresent campaign of high-profile, show-stealing features, 2 Chainz completed his reinvention with Based on a T.R.U. Story, which established him as a certified, bankable star. Yet beyond the ridiculous one-liners and big-name collaborations, he revealed himself to be a rapper with a savvy artistic vision that extended far beyond 15 seconds of fame. Over the next five years, 2 Chainz morphed into an album artist, releasing concept projects anchored by unconventional production and careful art direction, a process that peaked with 2017’s Pretty Girls Love Trap Music. For the past decade, he’s kept us on our toes.

Fast forward to 2022, and 2 Chainz is now playing catch up. Dope Don’t Sell Itself, his seventh studio album, is the first one that feels predictable. A brisk 12 songs, it plays more like a mixtape of throwaways, a collection of forgettable, though occasionally great, bangers with of-the-moment features and total disregard for cohesion or risk. Now in his 40s, posting more on Instagram about his family than the club, 2 Chainz is at a creative and commercial crossroads. His last hit came in 2017 (“It’s a Vibe”), and 2020’s So Help Me God!, despite features with everyone from Kanye West to Lil Uzi Vert, produced the lowest sales of his career. Dope Don’t Sell Itself feels like a half-hearted attempt to return to basics—but, as 2 Chainz should know, shifting the culture is a Herculean task, and it sounds like he doesn’t have the strength or hunger to do it anymore.

The songs here are serviceable, thanks to 2 Chainz’s ear and charisma. But they’re more like templates than novel creations, far from his days of sampling Hall & Oates or trading verses with Kendrick Lamar over a Pharrell beat seemingly constructed from cutlery and trash cans. “Pop Music,” featuring Moneybagg Yo, is boilerplate strip club fodder, while the buoyant but just passable Roddy Ricch feature “Outstanding” could appear on anyone’s album. There’s a rote stop-the-violence track (complete with a chorus from Lil Durk, who probably shouldn’t be the one singing about the senselessness of rappers dying), and a run-of-the-mill sex song featuring Jacquees that’s inexplicably the album’s closer. Missing in all of this is anything memorable from 2 Chainz himself, just recycled lines on dope dealing and big cars, with little of the astounding zaniness or trenchant political awareness and introspection that make his verses feel essential.

There are a few bright spots: lead single “Million Dollars Worth of Game,” a perfect team-up with 42 Dugg, and featuring a beat that sounds like a tea kettle about to explode, is pure 2 Chainz gold: “I sold green, sold white, sold lyrics/Courtside, watching the Hawks play the Pistons!” His horn-filled collaboration with the embattled YoungBoy Never Broke Again, “10 Bracelets,” is triumphant and anthemic. And “Neighbors Know My Name” contains a flip of D4L’s “Laffy Taffy” that’s so brilliant, it’s inconceivable that no one had done it before. Longstanding Atlanta stalwart FKi 1st turns the first two, saccharine bounces into a thundering brew of 808s and distorted synths; 2 Chainz’s chorus is a nursery rhyme-like earworm, and yet it’s baffling that the song stops at a minute and a half. Like much of Dope Don’t Sell Itself, it feels like an unfinished sketch.

The most relevant guests on the album—Moneybagg Yo, Lil Baby, YoungBoy, Lil Durk—became stars on the prolific features-and-mixtapes formula that 2 Chainz perfected over a decade ago. Their urgency is palpable when they perform alongside him here; they each possess, in their own way, the snarling, underdog motivation that initially took 2 Chainz to the top. But on Dope Don’t Sell Itself, he seems like his heart isn’t as in it anymore, or, at the least, his priorities have shifted. “Except for the ones I love, I ain’t never pick the phone up,” he huffs on “10 Bracelets.” For a 44-year-old father of three, that’s exactly how he should feel.

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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
2 Chainz - Dope Don’t Sell Itself Music Album Reviews 2 Chainz - Dope Don’t Sell Itself Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Friday, February 11, 2022 Rating: 5

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