College Park’s 2 Chainz and Hollygrove’s Lil Wayne have joined forces to create Collegrove. Fans have been anticipating a collaboration album since the first rumors in 2013, but, unfortunately, it’s not everything fans hoped it would be.
The album starts out strong, with the first song, “Dedication.” Although it is a solo act by 2 Chainz, with Lil Wayne only talking in the introduction and not rapping, it is a dedication from the latter to the former. Contrary to what many rap fans criticize 2 Chainz for, he has proven he can tell a story through music. “Dedication” tells the story of how without Lil Wayne, 2 Chainz never would have become the star that he has become in the last few years.
Tunechi and Tity Boi have a history of releasing hits together, from “Duffle Bag Boy” to “Rich as Fuck.” The highlight of the album comes with the song, “Bounce,” as Lil Wayne shows he still knows how to switch his flow and rapping faster here than on any other track. 2 Chainz matches Lil Wayne’s unique flow, and the two artists compliment each other’s sounds masterfully like a collaboration is intended to.
Both artists are known for their creative, often comedic, and sometimes foolish metaphors, which “Bounce” is rich in. With Lil Wayne claiming his competition is “tiny like a spider on a Spud Webb,” and 2 Chainz informing us that he’s “got more bars than a penitentiary,” “Bounce” will satisfy your hunger for Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz use. With a beat alone that makes you want to bounce matched with the flow and metaphorical lyricism fans have come to expect from songs featuring both Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz, “Bounce” might be the best song on Collegrove.
“Bounce” is immediately followed by “Gotta Lotta.” Lil Wayne uses auto-tune to perfection, creating a hook that will surely stay stuck in your head after a listen. With great production by Mannie Fresh, there isn’t a verse on “Gotta Lotta” that isn’t worth memorizing.
Unfortunately, much of the rest of the album isn’t on par with what Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz have released in the past. There’s a certain imbalance on some songs in which one artist sounds good, while the other doesn’t integrate well with the song. Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz have very different styles on “Blue C-Note” that don’t necessarily merge well together. Lil Wayne’s verse matches the beat quite nicely, but 2 Chainz might make you want to skip the track.
One of the biggest disappointments on Collegrove is the fact that it is more of a 2 Chainz album than a Lil Wayne album. There are four songs in which 2 Chainz is the sole artist, while Lil Wayne is missing. “Dedication” is acceptable as it is a tribute to Tunechi, but “M’FN Right,” “Not Invited” and “100 Joints” are all solely 2 Chainz songs, and Collegrove has no solo songs by Lil Wayne.
“M’FN Right” was previously released on 2 Chainz’s mixtape Feel Like Cappin’ and doubly deserves to be removed from the track list. Regardless of whether you love or hate 2 Chainz, four solo songs shouldn’t be on a collaboration album that has 12 tracks.
Any great album starts off, and finishes, strongly. The closing song should do just that – close the album. “Dedication” is a terrific start, but “Section” is a bad choice as a final song. It should leave the listener satisfied, but it only makes you wish there was more to come. The second half of the album doesn’t match the superb production and flow of the first half.
Collegrove had a lot of hype behind it since the original rumors three years ago. A strong live performance of “Rolls Royce Weather Everyday” on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon got fans excited for the project that was finally a reality. Although it starts off strong, half way through it stops being a collaboration and turns into a 2 Chainz album.
Rap fans have grown high expectations for collab’ projects over recent years with albums like Watch The Throne and What A Time To Be Alive being released. Although Collegrove features some good songs, it isn’t as good as what fans have come to expect, which may leave them somewhat disappointed.