Once upon a time in the rap world, Lil Wayne was the best rapper alive. I truly believed this because I was a fan, not a Stan, but a fan. His body of work proved that if he wasn’t the best, he was damn close. From “The Block is Hot” all the way to “The Carter 3”, Weezy was untouchable. His run of music was one for the ages and people just seem to dismiss that. Rap fans are fickle; it’s the nature of the business. The issue is that ever since the Carter 3, Weezy fell off. In fact, he fell off a damn cliff. He hasn’t released any quality music since 2011 in my opinion and it’s now 2016. Five years is a LONG time for anybody in any occupation and in music it is an eternity. Now we have all heard the stories of the contract disputes and the musical love affair between Birdman and Young Thug that played a role in this. I don’t care about that at all; I care about the actual music. So five years later, Weezy, with the help of TityBoi AKA 2Chainz, has finally made some quality music with the release of “Collegrove”.
I’m still confused as to what this album is. Is it a mixtape or is it an album? Whatever it is, it’s a good listen. The best way to describe it is that it is a Tityboi album featuring Lil Wayne. It’s sort of like how the Purple Tape featured Ghostface on half of the tracks, that’s the best way to describe it. Eight of the thirteen tracks feature both Wayne and Tityboi and two of the tracks appeared on Tityboi’s “Felt Like Cappin” mixtape along with 2 new solo tracks and the club favorite “Watch Out”. The album features production from Southside, Mike Dean, Mike Will Made It, Zaytoven, London On Da Track, MetroBoomin, Honorable C.N.O.T.E., TM88 and an appearance by the one and only Mannie Fresh and others. So it is safe that this tape is going to bang in the car and inside your headphones.
The album starts off with a Tityboi solo track called “Dedication”. By the way, I apologize if I confuse any of y’all by calling him Tityboi and not 2Chainz. I’m sorry, I hate that name and I refuse to call him that. Any who, the first track is basically his ode to Lil Wayne. It’s produced by Southside and Mike Dean and its one of my favorite tracks and it will be yours as well. It’s a hypnotizing beat with a catchy hook that will stick in your brain for hours. And from that point, the album keep turning up more and more as you listen. When Wayne shows up, he’ll remind you of the Wayne of old. The apex of this is the Mannie Fresh produced track “Gotta Lotta” which is my favorite song off the entire album. It will bring you back to the time when Cash Money ran the rap game and Mannie Fresh beats were the crème de la crème of rap production. I’m not going to go track by track and give you the breakdown of each song, but what I will say is that it is worth a listen. What I will say is that besides the two tracks I mentioned, I’d recommend paying attention to “MFN Right”, “Not Invited”, “Bounce”, “Smell Like Money” and “Section”.
So, there you have it. “Collegrove” is a solid effort by both Weezy and Tityboi that deserves some play in your ride. Now Is Lil Wayne back? It’s hard to say, but what I can say is that if he can gain some momentum off this album he could remind people of the Lil Wayne that we all cared about and miss.