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Album reviews
Artist:
2 Chainz
Album:
So Help Me God!
Release year:
2020
Label:
Def Jam
03 December 2020 / by Donald Higney (author)

Movement: Southern Hip-Hop, Trap 

Lane: There’s no one like 2 Chainz

 

2 Chainz has had a prolific 2020. From competing in Versuz with Rick Ross to facing Big Boi in Celebrity Family Feud, he’s been busy. That’s not to mention his features on tracks with Brent Faiyaz, Run the Jewels, and Kanye West, and a collaboration album with his personal label T.R.U,  No Face No Case.

Rap or Go to the League was one of 2 Chainz’s best projects to date. It’s organization and the application of his skills as a guest feature to his own project makes it a standout listen. Unfortunately So Help Me God! is a step back to his albums of the past; it starts off extremely strong but by the end it loses momentum, leaving an unsatisfactory conclusion, overriding the outstanding tracks that kick it off.

The first nine tracks of the album fit well and have seamless transitions. It starts off with 'Lambo Wrist', and from the jump 2 Chainz spits some of his most standard, run-of-the mill lyrics such as “I got baguettes, on my forearm” and “stand on this pound, I be 6'8.” From the start it’s clear that 2 Chainz hasn’t changed much. 

That also bleeds into the guest features on this project, none of them stand out. Lil Wayne, Rick Ross, Kanye West, Lil Uzi Vert and Chief Keef drop verses with lyrics and flows similar to their stuff in the past but offer no deviation. Pairing 2 Chainz with singers like Brent Faiyaz on ‘Feel a Way’ and Ty Dolla $ign on ‘Can’t Go For That’ led to better results sonically. The best guest verse goes to Kevin Gates on ‘Ziploc’, with his flow and the harsh his voice contrasting extremely well with the tracks chimes and guitar riffs. Even NBA YoungBoy on the hook of ‘Save Me’ was a nice change of pace.  

So Help Me God! is missing a transition from the light-hearted tracks like 'Money Maker', 'Can’t Go For That', and 'Quarantine Thick' to tracks buried in introspection like 'Southside Hov' and 'Vampire'. 2 Chainz’s reflection is an overlooked theme in his music, but the second half of the album spends more time on his trials and tribulations. From rapping about watching his father pass away on 'Southside Hov' to having trouble sleeping over the loss of friends on 'Vampire' and 'Wait For You To Die' he offers unanticipated vulnerability.

Even 'Can’t Go For That' left a feeling of wanting more. Using a killer Hall and Oates sample that’s slowed down, it gives a groovy feeling that’s missing from the original track. 2 Chainz doesn’t match that feeling though with lyrics that jump all over the place. As mentioned earlier, Ty Dolla $ign adds something new to the song by hopping on the chorus after the second verse.   

So Help Me God has its moments, especially with 2 Chainz’s punchlines, but will it stand out like Rap or Go to the League, Based on a T.R.U. Story, or even Pretty Girls Like Trap Music? Only time will tell on that.

 

Rating: 6.5/10 

HEAT: Lambo Wrist, Save Me, Money Maker, Feel A Way, Ziploc 

 

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The author

Donald Higney

Living my life in the margin, and that metaphor was proof. @DonaldHigney

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