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CD Review | HIP-HOP

‘Based on a T.R.U. Story’ by 2 Chainz

A highly buzzed about hip-hop artist should make a debut that moves the genre’s dial ahead a notch. Unfortunately, this long-awaited CD from the Georgia MC relies on too many cliches to be a revelation. There are enough sharp one-liners (“I'm so dope/ you can catch a [expletive] contact”) and tricky rhymes to savor, but the inconsistency is maddening. The MC is at his best when he’s peeling away layers of his persona and rising above formula, as on “Crack” and the creatively produced “Dope Peddler.” Too often he relies on familiar subjects (“I Luv Dem Strippers,” sigh) and easy collaborations. The ubiquitous Drake appears as does Lil Wayne, who just sounds bored, while even the insufferable Mike Posner adds an obvious, explicit hook. “Birthday Song” makes you wonder how rap evolved from the Native Tongues’ wit to “All I want for my birthday is a big booty ho.” With today’s diminished hip-hop standards this may be welcomed, but it actually sounds like a missed opportunity. (Out Tuesday)

ESSENTIAL “Crack”

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