2016 is turning out to be a pretty good year for 2 Chainz. Felt Like Cappin’, the mixtape he dropped in January, put him in good standing for a promising year and ColleGrove, his collaboration album with Lil Wayne, also faired decently well with fans. On top of that, he has had a string of banner featured verses that have earned him even further acclamation. Most notable was his verse on Chance the Rapper’s “No Problems,” on which he clearly snatched the best verse despite Chance and Wayne delivering top-notch rhymes. Now, the man they call Tity Boy is back with Daniel Son; Necklace Don, another free offering for his core fans and hopefully new listeners he’s gained over the past few months. Luckily for the fans that have been craving some more from Deuce, this tape deals out more of the same trap rap goodness.
The tape is named after and loosely based on the 1984 cult classic, The Karate Kid. 2 Chainz, who plays the role of young karate apprentice Daniel LaRusso, doesn’t necessarily flex his karate skills but instead claims to be the “necklace don,” which is a much more appropriate field of concentration for the Atlanta rapper. After the 40-second intro explaining said plot line, a gong rings off and 2 Chainz proceeds to rip through a handful of near perfect beats.
If 2 Chainz gets anything right on this mixtape it’s the beats. As of late, he has been extremely liberal in beat selection. As heard on past projects, he mainly sticks to mid-tempo trap beats with similar snares, synths and drum patterns. However, on his more recent projects, Chainz continues to push his own boundaries. “Get Out the Bed” is produced by TM88, who is credited for making a fairly standard modern beat, but rather than serving 2 Chainz a hot plate of trap averageness, he lines his drums with sci-fi-sounding keys that are far from ordinary.
The hot instrumentation doesn’t stop there though, as each beat gets sequentially more and more infectious. “Big Amount” with Drake is the tape’s sonic stroke of genius as Buddah Blessing fuses what appears to be an oriental ocarina with a steady hip-hop knock. Most rappers today wouldn’t touch this beat with a 10-foot pole but Chainz steps up to the plate and knocks it out of the park.
2 Chainz also gets major props for dropping some of his most eccentric punchlines to date. “You a handful, you a A-cup” might not be a God-tier line by traditional rap standards but that line is one of the more out-of-the-box metaphors dropped all year. “Got a car in his and hers/Walk in the zoo and say, ‘Pick a fur’” is another impressively witty bar that can be counted as a stone cold quotable. Other lines feature Tity Boi “dunking over Ferraris,” “seeing through niggas like Ziplocs” and being “the illest nigga in Alaska,” all of which will bring an enthralled smirk to even the most outmoded old head.
However, the tape does come with some flaws. Sure, his one-liners are on point and the beats are hot but many of the songs are easily forgettable and the sing-along qualities are regrettably absent. “Chirp” comes close to being a song fans can fall in love with but when the hook hits, a bunch of mumbled adlibs are heard. Perhaps 2 Chainz is saving the biggest and brightest hits for his upcoming studio album.
Thanks to 2 Chainz’s potent punchlines and matchless instrumentation, Daniel Son; Necklace Don doesn’t disappoint; he comes out on the other side of this release shooting even par. While this project may not top his studio albums, it proves 2 Chainz remains consistent, to which he drives that point home on “Kilo”: “And I ain’t into failure, and I don’t even know what to tell you.”
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Author: Scott Glaysher
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