2 Pistols, another Floridian on the rise, has recently gotten some attention with a hot single featuring no other than Teddy Penderazzdown. He hopes to carry that buzz to his debut album Death Before Dishonor (Universal Republic). With some decent features, and great production from the J.U.S.T.I.C.E League, it looks like Florida may just have another star on its hands. However, once you get past the memorizing hooks and certifiable beats, there lies a rapper that lets his youth show; at times in the worst way.
If anything is for certain with this album, it is the surefire production from the J.U.S.T.I.C.E League. They frequently hit their mark, laying down a stylistic sunny vibe that definitely catches your ear. This is definitely heard on the albums first single, She Got It, where the mesh of the sultry beat with T Pain on the hook creates a bona fide hit. You also hear their patented up-tempo, bass heavy club smash sound in Eyes Closed, which has 2 Pistols maneuvering through the beat like he has been there before.
There is also such a thing as overbearing production, as J.U.S.T.I.C.E League tracks are that much better from the others in terms of beat development and deliverance. When you hear tracks delivered by the J.U.S.T.I.C.E League such as Lets Ride and then hear a track not from them such as “Robbery, the difference leaves much to be desired., as it leaves 2 Pistols without his safety net.
Once youre given just 2 Pistols, his flaws become obvious. It is a shame however, that behind this great production, the lyrics and subject matter is quite limited. Many of the songs follow the blueprint of the braggadocio style (“Lookin Down on ’em”,”Been Throwin’ Money”) and love song (“You Know Me”, ”That’s My Word”) with no real difference lyrically with either, as if they are verses of the same song. 2 Pistols has some work to do with his flow and lyrics, especially on songs such as “Candy Coated Diamonds.
When you give this album a first listen, you are swept up by the beats and the swagger presented. After sitting with this one, one can’t help wonder what a more accomplished rapper could have done with the beats given. If he hopes to stay around on his own terms, and transcend to superstar status, 2 Pistols needs to mature and develop his signature sound.