NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 25: 2 Chainz attends the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards… (Jamie McCarthy / Getty Images…)
3.5 out of 4
2 Chainz now has two albums, with the release of his sophomore “B.O.A.T.S. II: Me Time,” the sequel and acronym for “Based on a True Story,” last year’s debut. The “Me Time” addendum is crucial, though, because based on how much fun “B.O.A.T.S. II” is, no one is doing “me time” better than 2 Chainz right now.
2 Chainz’s appeal lies solely in him being 2 Chainz, a punchline Jedi with the relentless energy to pull it off. Being that it’s “me time,” everything is gaudy—that is, everything is appropriately 2-Chainz-y—starting with the production.
Littered with rickety hi-hat work, spacious bass and huge hooks, the album’s sole responsibility is to embellish every bit of his realness and money, with effects like producer Mike Will Made It combining a church organ with his strip-club coils on “Fork,” one of his two contributions, or dudes like Pharrell and Diplo cutting up the strip club aesthetic with their respective boat- and bounce-drums on “Feds Watchin’ “ and “Netflix.”
2 Chainz’s raps, too, have never been more ridiculous or mind-bending (“RIP to all my [bleeps] died while they was servin’/ RIP to all the soldiers who died in the service/ I died in her cervix”), but when 2 Chainz never wavers, it’s impossible not to laugh and join in. Even when guests like Drake and Lil Wayne pop up, 2 Chainz still shines, and usually they end up shouting out their goofy ringleader by name, like “It’s just me and 2 Chainz/ but the chain never tucked, dawg!”
Even when it slows down and becomes introspective on its back end, “Me Time’s” composition remains engaging. It shows how much novelty he’s shed since last year’s crude debut. 2 Chainz swerves easily between the personal and the parties, but, fortunately, opts more for the latter and sounds better than ever.