, the album by 2 Chainz and Lil Wayne, is a pretty decent album. Considering the state Lil Wayne has been in for the last few years has been particularly frustrating to see one of the greats fall off so hard. Of course Wayne has had kept himself relevant by his often fire guest verses (check A$AP Rocky’s M$ and Tyler’s “Smuckers”), but a whole project where Wayne will try to flex his turn-up rap abilities alongside one of the leading figures in the genre is sure to put doubt in anyone who cares enough to pay attention to Wayne’s career at this point.
But don’t worry. Collegrove
has something to offer. Opening with the solo track “Dedication,” 2 Chainz re-affirms Lil Wayne’s legacy while detailing the New Orleans emcee’s impact on his own career over a smooth, relaxing beat. Then the pair switch things up with the braggadocious “Smell Like Money” and the extremely infectious “Bounce,” which showcases an impressive twisting cadence from both rappers and a thumping beat. Tracks like “Bentley Truck” and “Blue C-Note” also highlight the rappers’ incredible chemistry together.
Never does Lil Wayne overstay his welcome though or try to out-shine the real star on the album: 2 Chainz. The Atlanta rapper spits the majority of the verses and holds down impressive solo outings on “MFN Right” and “Not Invited.” These tracks remind you of why 2 Chainz has become a leading artist in the weird, off-kilter pop-rap genre radio-era Lil Wayne had once dominated.
Although not all songs connect, like “Gotta Lotta” and “Rolls Royce Every Day,” the album does not get too bogged down. Even with the mainstream appeal of most of these songs, Collegrove is really more of a fan-oriented album. For those who are tired of Lil Wayne, even if he shows real improvement from the last five years or so, will not automatically be disciples again by listening to this. Nor will those who perceive 2 Chainz as just an entertaining rap personality and nothing more.
But for those who are still intrigued by these two, most of Collegrove
is worth the listen.