For better or for worse, Chief Keef always keeps his promises. Chicago's poster child for the rapidly-commercializing drill scene has been saying for awhile that he'd drop a new tape on his birthday, but Bang Pt. 2 might have been one present Keef would have been better off keeping to himself.
Of course, I'm always happy to hear the wonderful DJ Holiday, contemporary hip-hop's second most recognizable voice after the "damn son, where'd you find this" guy, grunt, boast and hype over some new bangers, but this time the DJ is probably the best part of the tape. When you're a world famous rapper and your mixtape DJ has the best line on the tape (Holiday's track opener, "I'm a god – feed my grapes and shit"), you know that you've got a pretty huge problem.
The average song on Bang Pt. 2 clocks in at about 2:30, leaving the tape feeling like an unfinished collection of hooks, which in all honesty is probably what it actually is. The Chief lazily autotune-croons through track after track, without much discernible change between songs. Keef is at his best when he rides the line between utmost hypeness and utmost sleepiness, the defining attitude of the drill scene. Here, he just sounds like he's trying to emulate Future.
"Chiefin Keef" is probably the closest we've got to a single, here. Tadoe has one of the funniest flows in GBE, but at least he's inventive and putting in some effort. This isn't a great, even a good track by any means, but at this point in the listen, anything to break the autotune-induced monotomy is deserving of praise. The real standout track, "Gotta Glo Up One Day," is phenomenal in spite of itself. The track lacks production credits, but it's an awesome, pure-pop Jim Jonsin-style instrumental that wouldn't seem out of place on your local hip-hop station circa 2008. This is the only song where Keef sounds honest.
Maybe he's right, maybe it really is time for the controversial drillster to grow up. I've followed Keef from the start because I believe that he is a genuinely creative individual which a unique voice – even if that voice is often crowded out by anger and autotune. He's unequivocally right, maybe it really is time for the controversial rapper to grow up. This just isn't the way to do it.
Bang Pt.2 [Mixtape]
- August 15,2013