First Listen #45: 2 Chainz’s ‘So Help Me God’

I was scrolling through Tik Tok last week (I think lol), and saw 2 Chainz with a wig on a la Migos and Drake’s “Walk It Talk It,” and found out that he was dropping a project soon. The little bit of “Can’t Go For That” that I heard from the video was good, and I was super excited to hear the project. 2 Chainz is someone who has always existed on the musical periphery for me – I’ve never listen to an entire 2 Chainz project, but I could name a few songs that I’ve heard that he’s featured in. And I like them a lot! So, I was hoping that So Help Me God! (2020) would be a good enough introduction of his solo projects that it would push me to listen to some of his older albums.

Photo Credit: https://www.gq-magazine.co.uk/article/six-minutes-with-2-chainz

2020: So Help Me God!

(via Genius)

I….didn’t like this project at all lol. And I’m so disappointed about that. I was thrown off from the beginning by how LOW his vocals seemed to be on the first track – “Lambo Wrist” – compared to the production. It seemed like whoever was in charge of mastering the song didn’t do a good job – maybe it was just my ears (I’ll give the song the benefit of the doubt because I wasn’t wearing headphones), but it was severely off-putting. From there, the album got worse. One of the things that I found myself constantly commenting on was how this project felt like 2 Chainz hadn’t dropped other projects before. This is his 17th full-length project, but the way that he was rapping on this felt like this was his debut. The bars on here were corny and full of things I’d expect from someone who was 20 years younger and just starting out, his flow was so slow at times that the beat left him behind, and the features on here were just as rough.

I’m from where you sell a brick, that’s a milestone

If you got some good dope, the line’s a mile long

Gotta be in ya, not on ya like a chromosome

My best friend when I was trappin’ was the mobile phone

2 Chainz, “55 Times”

I expected a lot more from Lil Wayne’s feature – not necessarily in the way of bars, but because this seemed like one of those songs that the two of them could really have fun on – and it ended up sounding old and tired. Kanye’s feature on “Feel A Way” was just as disappointing; his back and forth with 2 Chainz in the middle of the track was…..yuck. Brent Faiyaz on the chorus was the only redeeming part of the song. I didn’t actually end up listening to “Can’t Go for That” because I found out that Lil Duval was on it (after looking at the tracklist) and I don’t support transphobes; I really wish all these old rappers would stop giving him the time of day. NBA Youngboy’s verse on “Save Me” was bad, Skooly on “YRB” was also bad, Lil Uzi Vert and Chief Keef on “Free Lighter” weren’t horrible but 2 Chainz didn’t hold them down enough for the song to be good, Mulatto’s verse on “Quarantine Thick” wasn’t horrible either. The only feature that I actually liked was Rick Ross on “YRB.” Ross is always someone I look forward to hearing on a feature; he’s never given anything less than fire. Really, his verse was the best verse on the entire project.

To go back to how unrefined this project was: wow. While listening to Grey Area,” I started thinking a lot about Nas’s King’s Disease (2020). I listened to it some weeks back and found myself continuously frustrated that Nas was rapping about the things he was rapping about. He was talking about jewelry, cars, and women like he wasn’t 47 years old. Same thing here with 2 Chainz. This man has a whole wife and is still talking about “Young enough to fuck your sister, young enough to fuck your auntie / I ain’t messing with your Grannie, I just juuged her out them Xannies.” HUHHHH??? Sir, you’re 43 and married with kids. That’s not to say that he can’t have fun on tracks, but like….he’s not 12 years old. A lot of the moments on this song felt like they were written by someone who can’t write anything past the drug/money talk he’s used to from a past life or a 16 year old who’s writing immature raps about girls and getting money. He’s had life experiences both inside and outside of the music industry that should have been on this album in a more substantial and reflective way. The picture of him from whatever age he was on there seemed to be the promise of a personal and intimate project, but what we got was a weird group of strip club/trap tracks, with a few personal-ish songs sprinkled at the end. Very much unimpressed.

I think 2 Chainz will remain someone that I listen to in small doses. I didn’t expect to not like this album as much as I do. There’s not one song on here that I feel more than okay about. The only compliment I can eek out is that the songs on here are fine. Because 2 Chainz has been doing this for a while, the things he makes will at least be alright. But past that very base level, he could have kept this project. Because…..Y I K E S. Not a fan.

I did to go listen to “Birthday Song” to lighten the mood ’cause…

Overall Project Rating (and this is only because I could find my 1.5 rating image lol)

Featured Image via GQ


(listen to So Help Me God! on Spotify by clicking the image below)

here’s something else you might like…

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