Don't get it twisted G.O.A.T.-style because those initials on the cover stand for "Based on a T.R.U. Story," a reference to the rapper's debut album, but "best of all time" isn't a bad guess after all because 2 Chainz's sophomore release is one serious step up. That's "serious" as in "significant" since the "METIME" on the cover references to 2 Chainz desire that this album feel like a vacation, and with the greatest hook here being a duet with Fergie that goes "Let's make a sex tape and put it on Netflix," the concept of vacation-on-wax (or mp3) is at the very center of the rapper's comfort zone. Even so, the album is full of surprises, starting with Fergie's undeniably awesome stoner reference (even the snobbiest weed head should respect "You smoke that Bobby Brown, we on that Shabba Ranks"), and spanning all the way to the rebirth of rapper Mase, who drops a poignant look back at his troubled career during the somewhat sane stunner "Beautiful Pain" ("Call me a hypocrite, backstabber, you name it I done heard it/The way they speak of me you think I'm already murdered"). Like Jay-Z's "99 Problems," "Feds Watching" is a great number inspired by a police traffic stop ("I pray to the lord and ask for forgiveness/If he popped my trunk I can get a life sentence") but this time with Pharrell on the funky production and soulful hook, then there's the Mannie Fresh production "Black Unicorn," which features grand, elegant strings, and the last thing you'd expect on a 2 Chainz album: beat poetry. Still, these ambitious moments are just icing on the cake since the base of the album is the solid, silly, and trend-setting club tracks that fans expect, all of them delivered effortlessly and overflowing with simple street wit. Highlight "36" rumbles the trunk and makes a hook out herb measurements ("36, that's how many ounces in a briiiiiiiiiiick") while "Where U Been?" is heartbreak 2 Chainz and Mike Will Made-It style with betrayal lyrics going ghetto ("Bought a new crib just to f*ck you in") over hypnotic, pounding production. 2 Chainz is still a punch-line rapper at heart, but B.O.A.T.S. II adds some Bootsy Collins charisma and ambitious ringleader style to his discography. Pick the sequel over the original and get ready for some stinky, dank, and fun me time.
AllMusic Review by David Jeffries
feat: Rich Homie Quan
feat: Wiz Khalifa