Atlanta rapper 2 Chainz released his latest album Rap or Go to the League (Def Jam/Gamebread) on March 1.
Honestly, I don’t understand how this was out for almost 2 weeks and I only heard about it first, from my website designer, and second, when Diddy gave it props on his Twitter page. But, nevertheless, I made sure to take my time and give Rap or Go to the League my full attention during my 90-minute workout session this morning.
— Diddy (@Diddy) March 2, 2019
Just straight out the gate, I really don’t care for the title, but I’m not g’on hammer him too hard on that one. I’m just going to assume that those six words resonate with him and where he is in his life right now.
As soon as I hit the play button on the Tidal app, I knew that 2 Chainz was on his soulful shit, which I can definitely appreciate nowadays, being that we’re in the era where everything is over-saturated with this wave of mumble rap that won’t stop.
Rap or Go to the League opens with “Forgiven” featuring Marsha Ambrosius, where 2 Chainz delivers his slow southern drawl, discussing police brutality, street violence, and death. Then he keeps going with the same energy on “Threat 2 Society”, produced by 9th Wonder, containing a sample from gospel song, “So Good to be Alive” (1981) by the Truthettes.
At this point I’m rocking, vibing to the melodic lyricism, and appreciating the fact that I can truly appreciate a rap album from an Atlanta rapper in 2019. But, so far I’m only two songs and I’m riding with this wave.
Next, 2 Chainz hits me in the chest with the braggadocios “Money in the Way”, produced by Jabz and Buddah Bless, containing a sample from “Can’t You See What You’re Doing to Me” (1973) by The Three Degrees. When I say, I had to put the weights down for about 30 seconds and hit a couple body rolls to this track. Those folks in my gym wasn’t ready for what I was serving. (In the double “R” with a double cup/Yeah, I’m double-parked at the “W”/Yeah, I’m from the southside/G’on throw it up/Being around lame niggas give me phobia) Yes, Chainz! The only gripe I have about this one is that it wasn’t long enough!
Rap or Go to the League continues on with “Statute of Limitations”, produced by 30 rock, where 2 Chainz goes into deep detail about his drug dealing days and how he’s always been the man, before the rap game started popping.
As I continue my stream, Chainz hits me with the young nigga shit back-to-back. First up was “High Top Versace” featuring Young Thug, produced by Atl Jacob. I was like, ‘Oh shit, here he goes with the young niggas talking ’bout Versace, and coming in to fuck up a good vibe.’ But, it wasn’t too bad. I could actually understand what the little nigga was saying. So, I felt like I was winning a little bit. Right after that one, “Whip” featuring Travis Scott, produced by wondaGURL and Mike Dean, cranks up. Travis stays on the hook, while 2 Chainz delivers the lyrics. It was a decent little Texas flavor I could ride to every once in a while. But, neither one would ever be on repeat though. Just sayin’.
Next up is “NCAA”, produced by DA Honorable C.N.O.T.E., which made me think I was a balling out of control (NOT!!). I think I did two extra sets of leg presses when I was listening to this one.
“Momma I Hit a Lick” featuring Kendrick Lamar, produced by Pharell Williams is next on the list. 2 Chainz holds his own in this one; but it was obvious that he wasn’t keeping up with Kendrick Lamar’s lyrical gymnastics. Kendrick ain’t gonna be satisfied until he can get 2 whole verses out without taking one breath.
Following 2 Chainz and Kendrick is 2 Chainz featuring Ariana Grande in “Rule the World”, containing a sample of “Why Don’t We Fall in Love” (2002) by Amerie. The track was smooth, buttery, and all about hood love or whatever. But, my biggest question was why did he need to get Ariana Grande on here? She didn’t bring anything special to this song. She was pretty lackluster. I would’ve preferred him to bring Amerie back and let her do her own shit. Now, that I would’ve been there for 100%.
Finally, 2 Chainz closes out his latest album with “Girl’s Best Friend” featuring Ty Dolla Sign, “2 Dollar Bill” featuring Lil Wayne and E-40, “I Said Me”, another 30 Roc production, “I’m Not Crazy, Life Is” featuring Chance The Rapper and Kodak Black, and “Sam”.Is 2 Chainz' Rap or Go To the League going to win it all in 2019? Click To Tweet
Above all, Rap or Go to the League, is probably one of the best 2 Chainz albums that I’ve heard since his Pretty Girls Like Trap Music (2017). I’m going to say that I felt most of the features that he brought in on this project, but there was one element that was missing. I would’ve loved to have heard a verse from Hov on either “Threat to Society” or “Sam”.
This work was a pretty fucking good mixture of soul, trap, and nice well-rounded production. It’ll definitely be at the top of my playlist, until something better comes along and knocks it off the throne.