2 Chainz - Rap Or Go To The League
Rap Or Go To The League is 2 Chainz, formerly known as Tity Boi, 5th album. This is my first time listening to an album from the College Park rapper, so 2 Chainz fans, bear with me on this review I'm about to write. The album contains featuring guests such as Lil' Wayne, Travis Scott, Kendrick Lamar, Young Thug, Ariana Grande, Marsha Ambrosius Chance The Rapper, E-40, Ty Dolla Sign and Kodak Black. Los Angeles Lakers newest superstar, LeBron James serves as executive producer for the album, which was released through the labels Gamebread and Def Jam Recordings.
Before I get into the review, many people might wonder what was LeBron James involvement on this album. In an interview with Vanity Fair, James said that his love for music, his love for hip-hop helps him during his training and the title of 2 Chainz new album relates a lot to him and other young African American, because back in the days they did not have a lot of choices growing up and the album title refers to one line from the late, The Notorious B.I.G. in the song Things Done Changed, "Either you're slinging crack rock or you got a wicked jump shot." LeBron James specified that he is no producer, no beat maker, and no engineer, he just helped 2 Chainz decide which songs can make the album, which position will the songs, be like at the beginning or in the middle, etc. For the full interview, click on the following link. https://www.vanityfair.com/style/2019/03/lebron-james-2-chainz-rap-or-go-to-the-league-interview
The album starts off with the song "Forgiven" featuring Marsha Ambrosius. The introduction of the song is a sample of a video clip of Tauheed Epps alias 2 Chainz, playing high school basketball. The song is about young black boys growing up in the streets and making the right decisions or else, their parents might end up burying them, which doesn't make sense to 2 Chainz. The song samples Jay-Z's "Lucifer." The following song is "Threat 2 Society", where 2 Chainz reflects being raised in the streets, playing basketball, selling drugs and how good he feels that he can enjoy his life and success while knowing some of his friends did not make it. By the look of the 2 first songs, I enjoy listening to this maturing 2 Chainz, a side of him we never saw in the mainstream music. Up next is the song, "Money In The Way". This beat has a good vibe to it and 2 Chainz delivers a good flow that matches with the beat, however, the honking sound behind the beat can get annoying with time, or maybe that's just me. The 4th song is "Statute of Limitations", where 2 Chainz explains how and to who he used to sell drugs to, (from friends to your favorite rapper). People might think 2 Chainz is snitching on himself but it all happened 5 years ago and in the United States of America, there's an amount of time when someone can be brought legal action against and that time is 5 years which is The Statute of Limitations. "High Top Versace" featuring Young Thug is a trap music type of banger. Young Thug did a good job on the hook but I wasn't feeling his verse too much. "Whip" featuring Travis Scott is another trap music sound but with a slower vibe. The next song, "NCAA" seems to be a song when you feel to celebrate with your friends after a big event or announcement like you just win the March Madness tournament or the NBA Championship.
At the half of the album, we have the song "Momma I Hit A Lick" featuring Kendrick Lamar, produced by Pharrell Williams. The song was ok for me, and as a Kendrick Lamar fan, I wasn't too impressed with his verse. "Rule The World" is a love rap ballad about 2 Chainz rapping about his wife. I've never really listened to an Ariana Grande song before, and I got to say, the girl has a beautiful singing voice and she makes the song sound better. It samples Amerie's song "Why Don't We Fall In Love." The next song is called "Girl's Best Friend" featuring Ty Dolla Sign. "2 Dollar Bill" is featuring Lil' Wayne and E-40, and it's produced by DJ Mustard and Terrace Martin. The song has a good beat to it, but at one point in the song, I asked myself; what is wrong with Lil' Wayne's voice. Then we have the song "I Said Me." The next song is "I'm Not Crazy, Life is" featuring Chance The Rapper and Kodak Black. The song has a slow pace for an instrumental but all three rappers had interesting things to rap about regarding their lives before making it big. The final song is "Sam", where 2 Chainz addresses Uncle Sam alias, the tax problems in the United States of America. Another slow paced song, and the first time I listen to this song, it reminded me of a UGK vibe. Only to find out later, that the song samples UGK's "Hi-Life."
I can describe my first experience listening to a 2 Chainz album as a decent one. I'm still not a fan of his, due to the fact I personally think throughout the album, he had some lazy bars. However, I do respect his maturity and the way he climbed up as an artist since the days of Ludacris Disturbing the Peace era when he was Tity Boi. I enjoyed several subjects he brought in the album such as his success, and black excellence.
Album grade : 3/5