Nobody can accuse 2 Chainz of slacking. New album ‘So Help Me God’ follows hot on the heels of 2019’s ‘Rap Or Go To The League’, and marks with sixth album in eight years – oh, and he’s got a hit VICELAND series under his belt, too. The question, though, is one of consistency, and producing quality, alongside quantity. Replete with big hitters and in-jokes, ‘So Help Me God’ showcases both sides of this, with surging rap bangers placed alongside curiously mis-judged studio trickery.
It’s best to start with the highlights. The much-loved Atlanta personality grabs both Kanye West and Brent Faiyaz on ‘Feel A Way’, an astonishing double team up that shows 2 Chainz playing some power moves. The track lives up to its billing, too – a surging rap bumper, it’s tailor made for clubs, if and when clubs re-open. - Lil Wayne sprays on ‘Money Maker’, while Lil Uzi Vert and Chicago’s own Chief Keef combine on rap flare up ‘Free Lighter’. Indeed, when used effectively, this cavalcade of guests amplifies 2 Chainz’ own voice, and reminds you what a natural MC he is.
The album’s surfeit of jokes leads to a light-weight middle section, though. Highly unsubtle previous single ‘Quarantine Thick’ boasts a counterpoint vocal from Mulatto, and it feels like a point of whimsy too far. Equally, there’s the awful Hall & Oates pastiche ‘Can’t Go For That’ - forgettable fare, it’s best filed away under Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time.
A record of diverse highs and lows, ‘So Help Me God’ finds the Atlanta MC revelling in his major league status, flipping through ideas at a stunning rate across its 15 strong tracklisting. There’s a lingering feeling, though, that 2 Chainz hasn’t quite distilled exactly what to do with the opportunities being presented to him.
Words: Robin Murray
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