Let us preface the review by saying this: Kevin Hart is an adroit comedian with endless quips for days. The brother is a walking immortal in the realm of comedy. His nearly unblemished resume speaks for itself. An overdramatic, Stephen A. Smith-esque rant could shower him with a slew of compliments but we all already know his stats. Now, when Michael Jordan decided to fearlessly enter the game of baseball with that same air of confidence he used to walk into Chicago’s United Center in the 90s, where he had everyone saying, “Yo, MJ is about to run this sport, too.” Well, we all know how that played out.
For the past several years, Kevin Hart teased us with his alter-ego, Chocolate Droppa — a rapper whose bravado is the shiniest weapon in his arsenal. With rudimentary lines and a broken-down flow that would make struggle rappers gush, we must remind ourselves that this is just his MJ/pseudo-baseball run. So, when he boldly calls out Drake, Jay Z, Kanye, T.I., 2 Chainz, and damn near the entire game on the “Chocolate Droppa Intro Skit” for his Kevin Hart: What Now? (The Mixtape Presents Chocolate Droppa) soundtrack, you can’t help but smile, because we know what kind of ride this is going to be with Droppa behind the wheel. Instead of riding with Miss Daisy, Chocolate calls shotgun with his band of Hip Hop misfits on this exhilarating trip down comedy central.
After horribly executing the intro, Hart dishes the rock to the professionals and orchestrates from the sidelines. He allows the turn-up team in Migos to flex about their bank accounts with T.I. on “Baller Alert,” while recruiting Mr. Finally Famous and 2 Chainz for “Light It Up.” For Sean, this serves as his first notable record since his collaborative effort with Jhené Aiko on Twenty 88. Instead of penning an insipid verse, he crawls out of his cave and provides a valiant effort with poignant quotables like “Finger fucking the money, I do whatever to keep it coming” and “Hoes busting dance moves harder than Omarion” while delivering a thunderous hook.
As for Hart, he later returns to spew more heatrock for his rapping contemporaries on “Chocolate Droppa Skit (Act 1).” Instead of firing lyrical missiles à la Kendrick Lamar, Hart’s version of an extendo clip is a nerf ball gun packed with Gerber Baby bars: “Lot of you rappers are getting butt shots/Y’all getting butt shots/Hips all big, butt shots/Think I don’t know? Butt shots/Yeah nigga, walking around with 22’s on your ass/I’m talking about you two Chainz.” Insert all the eye roll emojis in the world.
Doubling Up: The film What Now? exceeded its expectations in theaters earlier this month.
When Hart isn’t brash and throwing darts at some of Hip Hop’s elite, he’s sprinkling drops of sexy for the ladies. The Trey Songz-assisted “Push It On Me” proves to be Chocolate’s most tasteful contribution. “Yup, it’s the dark little big guy/Pushing no salt, no pepper, no french fries/I’ve been thinking bout your body but the inside / I ain’t never hit it but you know that ass been mine,” he clowns.
Besides Hart’s flavorful humor, which is found in several pockets of The Mixtape Presents Chocolate Droppa is beaming with strong R&B cuts. On one end, Chris Brown flips New Edition’s “Can You Stand the Rain” into a slow-churning bedroom cut with Joelle James on “Scream,” while on the other side, Tink seamlessly weaves in and out with her rapping and singing on “All Falls Down.”
Thankfully, the precocious comedian/actor puts a ceiling on his goofiness and uses his platform to give newcomers like Kevin Ross – who croons the night away on “What Happened To” and Kent Jones – who parties hard on “Stretch Marks” a chance to take advantage of their opportunity. We’ll never understand the pen behind Chocolate, but we’ll appreciate his taste for incorporating the right stars to make this soundtrack a fluid listen.