The last time Key Glock and Young Dolph linked up, on the original Dum and Dummer tape, they tapped into a well of extraordinary chemistry. The Memphis representatives’ second effort easily maintains that fraternal core, while refining the purpose of the duo, allowing it to change from a Dolph-dominated mentorship to an equal partnership.
It is nearly a truism within the rap world that these two cannot miss on a track. The statement holds true for the first installment, to an extent. There was no mistake, and they did not materially miss, but it largely felt as though they weren’t hitting either. They were so in-sync that it became hard to differentiate between them. That hour of boasts and death threats melodically rapped in deep baritone felt almost like elevator music in the apartment building for the devils who staff hell.
But, since then, Glock has aged into himself, releasing two solo projects last year. On Dum and Dummer 2, he still takes after Dolph, displaying the same adeptness at weaving his voice into the crook of the beat’s neck and snapping it. But he has stopped intentionally emulating Dolph, rather letting himself be merely inspired.
In terms of lyricism, there is no great variety. Both artists almost exclusively deal with themes tread and retread throughout their careers: namely personal idolatry, lavish lifestyles, and exploits both commercial, personal, and sexual. It seems this is a hallmark of Dolph especially: he changes rap, and he can’t let rap change him. But, with all the other changes in this whirlwind of a genre, a veteran set in his ways is comforting.
Of those changes, the most profound is Bandplay’s beats. The Columbia, Tennessee resident handled most of the production, supercharging traditional southern crooners with breakneck basslines that lend themselves perfectly to Dolph and Glock’s blooded and petty stories. A highlight of the album is that one of Dolph’s few solo tracks on the album, “Coordinate,” prominently features the Rick and Morty introduction.
Good money says absolutely no one told him.
The two years between the projects seemed to have tired Young Dolph beyond the expected. He is at his greatest when he stands uncompromisingly against an enemy, and puffs his chest out to the admiration of his fans. But, it seems he has lost all real foes. A feeling of listlessness pervades. This is all too easy to overlook since the energy from Key Glock and Bandplay is more than enough to float this behemoth, which induces demon time for the entirety of its 61-minute runtime.
Fortune chose well and aligned them with two bullish, country-wise Memphis rappers, both hilariously lucid cynics. A sated Young Dolph makes little attempt to match the energy of Key Glock, and the result is something as uncompromising as one would expect from the Memphis power-duo.
It’s just a shame that with beats this potent, even less talented rappers could have made a praiseworthy album.