Music Reviews

Published on March 14th, 2019 | by Guest Editor


5 Takeaways From 2 Chainz’s Rap Or Go To The League

This was the album that we didn’t know we needed. Some new 2Chainz will always be appreciated, but like most, I believe that the hype got even smaller when he announced that Lebron James would be the official A&R of the project. That meant one of two things: it was either going to be fire, like NBA Finals playlist music, or it was going to be trash, compiling way too many unsynchronized elements. Well, no disrespect to The King, but despite the Lakers missing the playoffs, his season wasn’t wasted in all ways because this album was a component of it. 2Chainz’s fifth official studio album, Rap or Go to The League was composed of musical potions that enhanced the feelings of grieve, peace, motivation, and struggle: some of the same sentiments that were present in Lebron’s life growing up. If you hear the project and know Lebron’s story, the sound of it actually makes sense. (Combined with Chainz at his finest of course.)

Projecting the tribulation of making it out of the gutter either through the music or through the sport, Rap or Go to the League might be one of 2Chainz best projects to date. Although the album is centered around one main idea, the album is bound to hit your soul somewhere whether you can identify with what’s being said, or simply empathize with it. Now, the album still is rather new, so it’s going to take some time to see how timeless this project really may be. But from the first few digestions, there are certainly some things that stand out and complete this project. Here are 5 takeaways from 2Chainz’s Rap or Go to The League:

Regular Sample Season in The Studio

With the weather getting warmer, and the spring season approaching, we get excited about songs that make us feel blissful. You know, tracks that we can blast out of the car as we’re riding with the windows down. The best way to crack that code to feeling and living well is to take a song that was once an undeniable hit and flip to present day. That’s what we love as listeners and that’s also why this album hits so hard. There are countless samples on this project, most notably in songs like “Forgiven”, sampling Jay-Z’s “Lucifer”, and “Rule the World”, sampling Amerie’s “Why Don’t We Fall in Love”. The sample game on this project is that of Tory’s Lanez’s Chixtape’s: no misses. Shoutout to producers DJ Mustard, wondaGURL, Mike Dean, and The Honorable C.N.O.T.E. among the many others: they put their foot into this one.

He’s The Most Improved Player

I don’t know how clear it is that 2Chainz is far from one of these new cats. With nearly 15 years in the game, he’s been humbler than his music could allow him to be. Most listeners got wind of Tity Boi in 2008, when he dropped Duffle Bag Boy with Wayne. Little did most know, that was just one of the many tracks he had that were chart worthy. As time has progressed through the eras of interactive dance hip-hop and halted in this era of trap, Chainz has stayed relevant and has seemingly gotten better. For someone to be in the game that long, they either fall out of reach and desire, or they rap like they don’t need to try anymore. 2Chainz, on the other hand, has been one of the best. He raps, “I don’t get the credit I deserve” in “Threat”, so I guess he’s starting to be vocal about that as well.

NBA Comparison: No One

Speaking of the best, it’s hard to paint him into a category of what he’s the best at. One thing Rap or Go to The League shows is that 2Chainz isn’t good at any one thing. He has several different styles and flows that rarely seem to be duplicated. On this album, he made the official transition from rapper to artist. We were already aware that he knew how to rap, but the idea that he knows how to make music is undeniable. Listen to “Rule The World” for example. Tell me how many times he switches his flow. That’s present throughout the entire album. He’s not good at what he does because he can do everything. I mean come on, who else can feature both Kodak Black and Marsha Ambrosia on an album and not sound all over the place?

His Draft Class Has Been Defined

The history of music in Atlanta goes back decades, including so many different twists and turns of styles and genres. The times that are most relevant to young people now are those of Gucci Mane, T.I., and Young Jeezy as the “old school”. When the question is posed about the new school Atlanta Mount Olympus, we’ll hear Future, Young Thug, and Migos. 2Chainz is significant because he comes from that same Gucci era, but is fighting for the top spots along those in this new era. Not fully getting the respect he deserved back then, Rap or Go to The League makes an argument that he belongs even more so on this new Mount Olympus. It’s not a matter of how good the music is, although this album makes that argument too, it was just a matter of placing him in the right time period. If he’s dropping projects like this, to this day, then he belongs in this class.

This One Was for The Fans

Rap or Go to The League is pure. There isn’t much radio value along the album, but in this case, that’s more of a good thing than bad. The one thing we appreciate the most as listeners is when an artist drops music that’s genuine to them, and their sound rather than an album full of songs that satisfy the label side of things or those that were created strictly for the radio. Remember how good “Good Drank” and “It’s A Vibe” were on his last album? Rap or Go to The League is filled with those.

Stream Rap or Go to The League now.


By K. High

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