‘ColleGrove’ by Lil Wayne & 2 Chainz Album Review: An Intriguing Collaboration
Ttiled after their respective homes, College Park and Hollygrove, ColleGrove is a collaboration of two well-known rappers and friends 2 Chainz and Lil Wayne, who team up with A-list trap producers for a record that matches the expectations that precede the two of the biggest names in hip-hop in the past years. With ColleGrove, 2 Chainz and Lil Wayne place themselves in line with similar notable rap duos like Kanye West and Jay Z‘s Watch the Throne and Drake and Future’s mixtape What a Time to Be Alive. Their collaborative project is intruguing to say the least, yet it has one fundamental fault that is to be expected – it ends up falling into familiar clichéd hip-hop talk about sex, money, drugs and fame.
‘ColleGrove’ by Lil Wayne & 2 Chainz Album Review
After the 2007 hit collaboration “Duffle Bag Boy” and Wayne’s appearances on all previous 2 Chainz albums, some would say it has been a long time coming for a project like ColleGrove. With both rappers’ appeal hiding in the cheeky and absurd punchlines and phrases the combination is uncanny. With songs like the opening track “Dedication,” 2 Chainz’s intention for this album is clear, namely for it to serve as a testament to 2 Chainz’s gratitude and appreciation of Wayne’s professional guidance and friendship. Oddly enough, though, it seems like Wayne’s verses are at times holding back his collaborator’s potential without adding much ingenuity to the tracks.
The recently released video for the track “Bounce” has Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz engage in a classical battle of rap wits. In fact, that’s what the whole album feels like, as Wayne and 2 Chainz feed off of each other’s energies and infuse their lyrics with that. The beat is reminiscent of Wayne’s hit “A Milli,” but 2 Chainz definitely brings a new, stronger quality to the overall sound.
“Gotta Lotta,” which follows, is one of the musically more impressive songs, which has Lil Wayne scat singing and 2 Chainz flawlessly lining up lyric after lyric in perfect sync with the beat. The track has a certain melancholy feel though its lyrics, which glorify drugs, may not feel like the most suitable subject-matter — something also mirrored by earlier song “Smell Like Money,” where 2 Chainz’s verses again dominate the simple but effective Wayne hook.
The few songs that don’t feature Lil Wayne verses are both some of the weaker and some of the best songs because they run in a different musical vein. This makes songs like “Not Invited” and “100 Joints” extremely refreshing in a bunch of songs that by the middle of the album begin to feel formulaic and unexciting. Ultimately, even though Lil Wayne is feautured on most of the songs on ColleGrove and the album was clearly intended as a collaboration, this is in most respects a 2 Chainz album not because of Wayne’s legal disputes with his record label Cash Money Records but also because 2 Chainz is the more dominant voice on the record.
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