TLDR: The mostly sensible pairing in hip hop has come together to make exactly the song you’d expect them to make over exactly the kinda beat you’d imagine they’d rap over.
The three members of the YBN “GTA Online streamers turned rappers” clan have had decisively different roads to success. YBN Nahmir rode the success of singles like Rubbin Off the Paint that offered stick talk from a baby boy, as Nahmir stepped right into Tay K’s lane as soon as Tay K rode on out of it. YBN Almighty Jay went with a similarly old school route: dating Blacc Chyna, getting his chain stolen, and letting TMZ do the rest. Cordae is the Double-D designated driver of the group. He got big lightly scolding J Cole last year about how not ALL kids rapping these days are dummies. He’s branding himself as The Good Guy™️ of the gang who can put a sixteen together but makes sure to use every bar to push a quote on quote positive message. So hearing that Cordae got on a track over a slow gospel-y beat with the walking PBS show himself Chance the Rapper to talk vaguely about how while sometimes life is bad it is still mostly good, was the least surprising thing of all time. It was even less surprising than when I heard Logic and Joyner Lucas came together for a fake woke song about how they secretly wanna bang troop wives, though both the combinations make sense for the same reason. Logic and Chance are both the elder-statesmen who see someone out there trying to make a living doing an offshoot of their style, and are happy to crown someone on the rise as their little brother.
Cordae and Chance trade verses seeing who can sound like they’re saying the most profound thing while ultimately still saying nothing at all. It’s all clearly meant to be felt as soulful. The chorus rips Gil Scott Heron’s “Home Is Where the Hatred Is” which Kanye sampled on My Way Home. The beat reminds me so much of that track and of Game’s Bang Along but if they used the quieter end of an organ to make the beat into amicable elevator music. Its like the long lost beat from Be that Kanye and Common decided not to use because it didn’t have enough going on. Cordae and Chance seem to have as much going on in their verse as Bongo did on the beat. Cordae in his first verse goes on about the struggles of life rapping, “A nigga prayin’ to get lucky like Daft Punk //You can’t even stomach the pain, now that’s a bad lunch”. Imagine if those bars came out of Big Sean’s mouth how long we’d spend slandering that man? And Cordae is supposed to be a spherical lyrical miracle. It seems like the kind of song that the undercover racist kids at your high school who “don’t really like rap because it’s too violent” would post to Facebook calling it “REAL SHIT”.
Chance then comes in on the track and similarly says nothing of substance whatsoever. When I heard him open his verse with a “I done been around the world four times, lookin’ for parkin'” my eyes rolled into the back of my head and I Iet out a sigh so deep it completely emptied my lungs. Is Chance just going to steal every joke my Aunt Noreen has ever told? He is then lightly self congratulatory while making sure not to curse on his verse just in case his daughter is listening. Never in my life did I feel more desperate for a punchline about an expensive car or name brand clothing than when I heard him go “Some of these decisions is like Sharpie on a dry-erase”. Most importantly, someone really needs to have a long hard chat with Chance’s stylist. The mickey mouse jeans look like literal clown pants, his shirt was two sizes two small, and that hat looks like something that your uncle would pick up at a Thornton’s Gas Station and give to you as a Christmas gift three years in a row. I know that it’s a risky proposition to come after Chance the Rapper with the energy he’s bringing in 2019 but someone needs to say something to this man. Cordae then closes out the song stacking empty platitudes like Jenga pieces. The bars are so generic they wouldn’t even make a Hallmark card. The final verse opens with “So don’t you shed a tear, cause there’ll be better years I live life by faith, nigga, instead of fear” and thats the most substance either man offers on the song. It feels like a gospel song that had to be rewritten 20 times to exclude any explicit references to religion to try and help it on the radio, and it is exaaaaaaaaaaactly the song I would imagine these two would make.
Bad Idea is a redefinition of the word innoffensive. It’s literally just a 2019 reimagining of Put On A Happy Face with even less teeth. It’s not a bad track by any stretch of the imagination, but it feels like it would be the theme song to a Nick Jr. show about the two kindest rappers alive.
As a palette cleanser I suggest you stream Taliban from Yung Manny below: