NLE Choppa – Cottonwood 2 (Album Review)
“Cottonwood 2” features guest appearances from Lil Wayne, Rick Ross, Queen Naija, Fivio Foreign, and more.
NLE Choppa goes back to his roots in “Cottonwood 2.”
Honorable Mention. DROP TOP
NLE Choppa has turned his laptop into a drop top (How, Sway?). This song’s beat and hook are flawless. The former is a dramatic trap beat, while the latter is motivational and catchy as hell. As for NLE’s lyrics, they do a good job of hopscotching between braggadocios, motivational, hood romantic, and competitive.
NLE Choppa wears his crown proudly in “Champions.”
“Champions” will motivate you to be the best version of yourself, but also motivate you to whip ass when necessary. For starters, the track features this hard-hitting/heroic beat that will f**k speakers up. Over it, NLE Choppa subtly raps about being at the top of his game and changing how the world views artists like himself. When it’s all said and done, I can see this song being played during the NBA finals.
I f**k with how inspirational, multi-layered, and experimental this song sounds. This song indicates growth as an artist for NLE.
4. HABITS (Ft. Kevin Gates)
Between listening to “SLUT ME OUT” and “HABITS,” I think I’m going to skip looking at PornHub this month.
In “HABITS,” NLE Choppa admits to being a sex addict. He talks about smashing chicks that aren’t his, smashing his psychiatrist, and smashing conjoined twins. As for Kevin Gates, in his verse, he gives us a play-by-play analysis of the kind of things he likes to do to his woman. While I don’t care about these dudes’ sex life, what I can say is this track flows well, has aggressive rap deliveries that I f**k with, and feels way too authentic.
3. ROUND & ROUND
Nostalgic vibes mixed with modern house vibes is bound to succeed.
I know, “ROUND & ROUND” kind of sounds like “DO IT AGAIN.” With that being said, isn’t “DO IT AGAIN” one of NLE Choppa’s best records to date? (If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?). The main reason I think the song is fire is that it features a sped-up, house version of one of my favorite beats (Plies and Akon’s “Hypnotized” beat), fast-paced rap flows that just feel hella entertaining, and generation Z romantic lyrics. I just think the song is a lot of fun to listen to. It’s also catchy as hell.
2. AIN’T GONNA ANSWER (Ft. Lil Wayne)
Lil Wayne’s verse on this song >
“Ain’t Gonna Answer” is what happens when you mix ass-shaking vibes with lethal bars. In the song, which is powered by a ferocious New Orleans bounce beat, NLE Choppa and Lil Wayne rap about giving women all they can handle, whipping their foes, and making money. What I think fans of both artists will enjoy are the relentless flows they rely on. They’ll also enjoy how demonic and flat-out cruel they come across. Don’t judge me, but I like what I heard in this song.
1. DO IT AGAIN (Ft. 2Rare)
NLE Choppa sounds excellent over a house beat.
I’m not going to lie, I completely ignored the cold-hearted and braggadocios lyrics attached to this song; I just indulged in the frantic beat, explosive rap deliveries, and extra catchy hook. The music video to the song, which features NLE Choppa and his cronies dancing their asses off outside of someone’s house, further elevates its legend.
SONG BY SONG BREAKDOWN
1. TALK DIFFERENT (3.5/5)
2. BEFORE I (3.5/5)
3. DO IT AGAIN (Ft. 2Rare) (5/5)
4. DROP TOP (4/5)
5. Ain’t Gonna Answer (4.5/5)
6. MO UP FRONT (4/5)
7. AUTOMOBODY (3.5/5)
8. IN THE UK (3/5)
9. CHAMPIONS (4/5)
10. ALL I KNOW (4/5)
11. DOPE (4/5)
12. PRETTY BROWN (4/5)
13. HOME (3.5/5)
14. HABITS (4/5)
15. ROUND & ROUND (4.5/5)
16. STOMP EM OUT (Ft. Duke Deuce) (4/5)
17. THUG IT OUT (3.5/5)
18. GLIDE WITH ME (3.5/5)
19. DISABILITY CHECKS (Ft. G-Herbo & Polo G) (4/5)
20. SLUT ME OUT (4/5)
21. ON GOD (Ft. Queen Naija) (4/5)
22. COLD GAME (Ft. Rick Ross) (4/5)
*23. LOCK IN (3.5/5)
*24. CLYDE & DODO (3/5)
*25. ENVY (Ft. Arrdee) (3.5/5)
*26. DOG FOOD (3/5)
*27. WHO THEY GON CALL (3.5/5)
*28. WILL NOT LOSE (Ft. Fridayy) (4/5)
*29. SLUT ME OUT (Ft. Sexyy Red) (3/5)
*30. SHAKE IT (Ft. Russ Millions) (3/5)
*31. BREAK THE BANK (3.5/5)
*indicates the deluxe version.
One thing that I don’t think artists know how to do these days is make projects that feel complete. Like, if you’re going to have 22 tracks on your album, make sure that we are thoroughly entertained with what’s on it. With that being said, Cottonwood 2 might be the first 22-track project that feels satisfying.
Cottonwood 2 has everything: trap bangers, love songs, porn songs, house songs, and more. While I wouldn’t say NLE Choppa sounds like a natural on every single track on the album, what I can say is that he makes sure we are entertained throughout with explosive deliveries, brash lyrics (I can do a little less with the porn tracks), and relentless flows. I thought he also did an outstanding job of connecting with artists that help alleviate his sound. On the real, every element of this album is on equal footing.
To me, Cottonwood 2 symbolizes incremental growth for NLE Choppa.
Quincy is the creator of Ratings Game Music. He loves writing about music, taking long walks on beaches, and spaghetti that fights him back.