[8 July 2008]
If the release of a 2 Pistols album sounds gratuitous to you, even by industry standards, that’s probably because it is. In case you’ve “forgotten” whom 2 Pistols is, he’s one of those guys with one of those songs with T-Pain on the chorus. His is called “She Got It”, and with literally no help from the rapper himself, it’s pretty great. In fact, it’s probably the best song of 2008 with T-Pain on the hook, though I don’t even know if that means anything anymore. At the very least, it means that 2 Pistols is another rapper crossed off of T-Pain’s list of dudes to drag into the Top 40, but since “She Got It” topped out just inside the top 30, I doubt anyone even remembers who he is, let alone that he’s got an album available for purchase with actual dollars.
“She Got It”, and 2 Pistols, in general works a very specific formula, one that basically sees him rapping directly at, or about, women in an artlessly brash way. Simply, he’s like a worse version of Plies, another rapper who managed to squeeze into T-Pain’s Batmobile as he sped to megastar status. Both are either crude for the sake of it, or because they don’t know any better, but where 2 Pistols maxes out halfway through a verse with something like “Might light your neck or wrist / But you gotta ride nice dick, uh,” Plies blurts out brilliantly repulsive lines like, “I just gave her a nickname / It’s Wet-Wet/ Cause when we finished / She mess up all the bed sets.” It’s the reason why Plies is quietly becoming one of the bigger stars in rap, and why 2 Pistols will be flogging “She Got It” at Bar Mitzvahs in Miami in eight months.
As for the album, the worst part about Death Before Dishonor isn’t even really 2 Pistols himself—he’s bad, but really not worth getting mad at—it’s the fact that the album is basically him going in alone. Whereas an album from Plies, or any member of DJ Khaled’s Happy Funtimes Gang, can be relied upon for one Akon hook, and one Young Jeezy verse, 2 Pistols isn’t even connected enough to get someone like Ace Hood on a track, and we end up settling for store-brand equivalents: Trey Songz hooks and USDA verses.
So to be honest, I can’t in good conscience recommend any song on this album besides “She Got It” (even though that sounds better as a ringtone), especially when we have better things to spend our time on, like, say, looking at .jpgs of T-Pain wearing top hats. The only other track even mildly interesting is 2 Pistols’, um, reinterpretation of Mad Cobra’s dancehall classic “Flex”. The problem with 2 Pistols’ version is that it swaps the original’s fluttering bongos for harder, and rote, drums and replaces Flex with an awful rapper (that would be 2 Pistols), which is really a winning formula if I’ve ever seen one.
If you were going to cull anything even remotely interesting out of Death Before Dishonor as a whole, it would be the typically towering synth beats from perennial Miami producers J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League, but those dudes aren’t very subtle, so there isn’t even very much sifting involved. Plus, they’ve got four great tracks on the actually good Rick Ross album anyway. So if you really feel the need to listen to an album this summer from a dubiously interesting Floridian, pick that one. At least it’s got Lil Wayne on it.