This is the year of the larger-than-life collaborations; a time that has afforded us the opportunity to see forces come together and create a bigger moment for culture’s sake. Last year, Drake and Future dropped What A Time To Be Alive, and now Fat Joe and Remy Ma are teaming up, Fabolous and Jadakiss have a tape coming (deep sigh), and shit, even Batman and Superman are coming together later this month. But the pairing of 2 Chainz and Lil Wayne already makes sense on paper. In fact, some would say it’s been years in the making. Collegrove blends their unorthodox styles for an experience that manages to be current in time, but not miss a step with their existing fan base. If anything, it may extend it.
The album appropriately kicks off with “Dedication,” which serves as an ode to Weezy’s lengthy career and his influence. “If it wasn’t for Wayne it wouldn’t be, a lot of dudes in the game including me,” 2 Chainz proclaims, sans ego. The song aligns with his admiration for Wayne and even serves as a reminder to some who may have forgotten exactly what Wayne has contributed over the years. They both offer plenty praise to each other throughout the album, and even face off in friendly battle mode on “Bounce.” The track marks the return of the “mixtape Weezy” fans have been longing for. His lyrical darts are as sharp as ever here, but 2 Chainz is no slouch either. He approaches every song as if he’s out to prove his worth. Tity Boi effortlessly floats on “MFN Right” and sounds more confident than ever, and on “Blue C-Note” Wayne provides the ad-libs that back his braggadocious flow before swooping in with highlights of his own (“I got a hundred wifeys, you gotta Uncle Phil me.”)
Overall, the album is a commendable offering from them both. As of late, they’ve been lagging with their own solo projects (I’d like to think Me Time 2 and No Ceilings 2 never existed). But together they seem to have found a happy medium where they upheld each other. Although this is considered a 2 Chainz album that solely features Lil Wayne, their influences on one another’s music can be felt throughout. What this will mean for their future projects remains to be seen, but I’m completely welcoming this new duo with open arms.