“This was your best album,” bluntly stated by Charlemagne during an interview with 2 Chainz at the 105.1 FM Breakfast Club show. The Atlanta rapper and songwriter, 2 Chainz, formerly known as Tity Boi released his fifth studio album, Rap or Go To The League on March 1st. The title alone speaks for itself as an oxymoron, but also sends a vital message to the Black youth that probably went over your head. Despite the cliché stories of pursuing a career as a rapper or athlete, the title encourages them to go beyond their dreams without limitations.
“This street stuff mixed with this psychology degree… I’m able to tap into a few things,” said 2 Chainz during the interview.
Following up with Pretty Girls Like Trap Music, the album shows a transformational version of himself all while sticking to his signature flow that I love. This time he gave us more creativity, solid production, and a range of different styles in his verses. With features like Marsha Ambrosius, Kodak Black, Chance The Rapper, Young Thug, Kendrick Lamar, E-40, and Lil Wayne, I knew I wasn’t going to be disappointed! Using Lebron James as the album’s A&R, was also a brilliant idea and good use of marketing. 2 Chainz explains in the Breakfast Club Interview, that Lebron favored the tracks: “NCAA”, “2 Dollar Bill”, “Mama I Hit A Lick”, and “Threat to Society.”
James showed his appreciation to the album’s release in a recent Instagram post. “Had to pleasure of working on my first music project from start to finish with my guy 2 Chainz… Can’t wait for y’all to hear the continued evolution of his profound skills from his mind to the booth to the records itself. Proud of you homie and the people will be as well when this hits.”
The creativity in each track was definitely visible. Through samples and fire beats, the album had a great team of producers like Pharrell, DJ Mustard, 9th Wonder, 30 Roc, B Clark, WondaGurl, Mike Dean, and more.
Like Meek Mill, 2 Chainz also used his music and current popularity to send messages to the youth that encourages higher achievement. During Black History Month, he created an Instagram campaign called #BlackNowStory. He used the campaign to spread knowledge about current leaders making entrepreneurial and ground-breaking moves. The metaphorical concept of the yellow crate shown on the album cover symbolizes a basketball hoop commonly used in urban neighborhoods which represents the idea of “using what you have.” The title, Rap or Go To The League relates to the stereotypical image of success that a lot of young Black men envision. Ironically enough, it connects to his personal story of playing basketball in high school and college before he pursued his career in music.
The album shows a new direction of 2 Chainz, as he starts off with “Forgiven” (featuring Marsha Ambrosius) which zooms into the issue of ending gun violence. Rap or Go To The League creates a needed revolution of new possibilities in music as it opens the minds of Black youth.
Favorite tracks: “Statute of Limitations” and “I Said Me”