has released his first new music of 2018 today, a surprise EP titled The Play Don't Care Who Makes It
, which the Tity Boi gave a preview of on Instagram earlier this week.
The EP marks 2 Chainz's first full-length release since last year's Pretty Girls Like Trap Music
, and comes only a week before he's set to participate in the 2018 All-Star Weekend celebrity game. It's a good thing that his broken leg from last year has healed in time for as well, because in that game he's going to have to go head to head with the likes of Arcade Fire's Win Butler and PGA champ Bubba Watson, and boy do those guys look lethal on the court.
Until then we can all hype ourselves up for the not-so-big game by bumping the new EP, which seems to have been Chainz's side project while the leg was healing up. At 4 songs long it only clocks in at a little over 16 minutes in length, which is honestly a bit of a blessing when you compare it to the absurd "mixtapes" and triple albums that are being released by guys like Drake, Migos, and Rae Sremmurd. Take note everyone, in the modern era, less is more.
And Chainz genuinely does seem to do a lot with a little. "OK BITCH", the EP's first and shortest track, is also its best. A hypnotic piano track loops in the background with airy flute accompaniments, evoking memories of days spent exploring dungeons in fantastical RPGs. It's mesmerizing and misleadingly sublime, but most importantly, it knows when to cut itself off, drawing you in enticingly and then spitting you out before you get sick of it. 2 Chainz is also unafraid to keep things simple in his verses, where he forgoes autotune and excessively mumbled verses in favor or clearly enunciated bars with a lively cadence.
I wish I could say the same thing about the second track, "PROUD", but it seems that the influence of YG and Offset rubs off too much on the track. The production is generally forgettable, as is the lackluster hook, but recognition should be given to 2 Chainz first verse, a brutally honest and vulnerable account of growing up poor,
"Me and mama used to trap out the same house (same house)
Used to eat and go to sleep on the same couch (same couch)
Me and mama got busted at the same time (same time)
Went to court and told judge the damn same lies (same lies)
I can tell mama proud of her only son
2 Chainz, I have always worn more than one"
In the face of all the accusations leveled against modern rap for being low on quality or substance, Chainz's verse right there is a sincere, straight-from-the-heart piece of poetry.
"LAND OF THE FREAKS" could be a trap anthem or throwaway, depending on how much you like mumble (t)rap. Technically sound, but perhaps a little too sterile and reliant on the mumble rap sound which Snoop Dogg perfectly captured in this video.
Thankfully, Chainz returns to form on the closer "LAMBORGHINI TRUCK (ATLANTA SHIT)", an ode to his city and upbringing. It's an Atlanta trap beat at its finest, but it gets an added boost from some angelic falsettos from a currently unnamed woman and Chainz's return to fully-pronounced vocals.
At only four tracks, The Play Don't Care Who Makes It
likely won't be winning any big awards at the end of the year, nor will it probably go down in the annals of history as one of the greatest pieces of rap music ever created. But that's not the point of this endeavor. In an era where everyone is dropping mega albums, packed with guest features and intended to shatter streaming records, The Play Don't Care Who Makes It
is simply a humble EP with one job, to get you to enjoy it. And it's a job well done by 2 Chainz.