Bangers, bangers and more bangers on 2 Chainz's "Freebase" EP.
I donât believe thereâs a single person on Earth who saw Tity Boi becoming a national superstar. From background appearances in old Ludacris music videos to becoming a one hit wonder as a part of Playaz Circle to having the number one hip-hop album in the country, the rapper formerly known as Tauheed Epps is an incredible example of what hard work and dedication can do. Returning to the scene just eight months after the release of his good-but-not-great (and terribly titled) B.O.A.T.S. II: Me Time, Mr. Big Booty Hoe returns with a new EP that sticks to the same formula while shaking up the foundation a bit.
After a short introduction that samples a â90s local Nashville TV show called Cuts (yeah, I had to look it up too), Freebase jumps right into the Street Symphony and 808xEliate produced âTrap Back.â Easily one of the more sonically interesting tracks in the artistâs repertoire, the singleâs crowded but smooth-rolling instrumental provides Tity with the rare opportunity to get out of the club and spit some knowledge. While âThis flow came from Drizzy, he got it from Migos, they got it from Three Sixâ isnât exactly Nas-level thought provoking, itâs certainly a step up from âAll I do is me: masturbation.â Itâs a side of Chainz that deserves some further exploration at the very least. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your point-of-view), experimentation begins and ends here.
The title track, âFREEBASE,â earns its all-caps title treatment and sets the tone for the remainder of the album. Aggressively delivering the usual rags-to-riches story over Honorable C.N.O.T.E.âs synth-heavy production, Chainz turns the energy up to 11 shouting, âI came from nothing!â and backing up his thesis with the lyrical proof (âJust went playing by no rules. Every night I freestyle on Pro Tools.â). Itâs not an original story but at least in this case it may be T.R.U.
The tale transitions into âFlexinâ On My Baby Mama.â Produced by none other than Three 6 Mafiaâs own DJ Paul alongside Twhy For Scale Ent, the song nails the classic 2 Chainz formula: punchline-driven verses, catchy hooks and thumping production. But, interestingly enough, the song has layersâunexpected and subtle but surprisingly deep layers. âDamn I should have worn a condom!â is followed up by an open declaration that Chainz misses his own fatherâa man he claims to have been his best friend. âI take care of my kids but Iâm flexinâ on my baby mama!â becomes less of a joke and more of a mantra.
The EP really drops the ball on âWuda Cuda Shuda.â Thanks to a lackluster hook, itâs easily the projectâs least listenable track. We can all pretend that Boosieâs verse was hot because heâs âreal,â but really, itâs okay at best. Fortunately, the bad taste left from âShudaâ is immediately washed out by âCrib In My Closet,â which is guaranteed to shake the streets all summer long. Stellar work from Metro Boomin & 808 Mafia is just the cherry on top of dope verses from ASAP Rocky and Rick Ross. The song also showcases 2 Chainzâs best hook since ASAP Rockyâs own âFuckinâ Problems.â Play this one loud. EP closer âThey Knowâ keeps the energy rolling but is easily overshadowed by the monster of a collaboration that precedes it.
At the end of the day, Freebase isnât about to convert anyone into a 2 Chainz fan. If you like your hip-hop with a message on the side, this isnât where youâre going to find it (for that, check out Atmosphereâs latest). What the EP provides are trunk rattlers and club hits from one of todayâs premiere entertainers. 2 Chainz has come a long way since Tity Boi. If he keeps up this kind of consistency, Ludacris might be the one appearing in the background of his music videos.