Artist Notes: Late into the night of February 1, 2019, 2 Chainz and LeBron James have been speaking music. James was serving as A&R to 2 Chainz’s fifth studio album, Rap or Go to the League, and pictures from that night’s studio session options the Lakers star taking part in the function to a T—taking notes because the music performs, providing options about the place to incorporate options, and scrunching up his face in response to a few of the harder-hitting manufacturing. It’s exhausting to differentiate the place precisely his fingerprints lie throughout the completed product, however as collaborator on a hip-hop album referencing two of essentially the most seen (if unlikely) paths for younger Black males in America to beat generational poverty, LeBron is, in actual fact, the right teammate. But the story is 2 Chainz’s to inform.
Rap or Go to the League is autobiographical in a manner that has little to do with profession aspirations. “I carried out some issues I ain’t pleased with/Like offered my mother medicine,” he confesses on “Threat 2 Society.” On “Forgiven” he recounts the ache of listening to that pal and collaborator Lil Fate’s son had been murdered, after which he delivers an in depth listing of crimes he could or could not have as soon as dedicated on “Statute of Limitations.” “NCAA” carries the album’s overt parallel of road life and sport with its refrain: “N-C-double-A/We the younger and harmful/We be balling exhausting/I simply need some paper.”
Just like on the court docket, nonetheless, there’s loads of enjoyable available. 2 Chainz, who has his personal signature mannequin Versace shoe, raps about it alongside a very animated Young Thug on “High Top Versace.” “Rule the World” and “Girl’s Best Friend,” that includes Ariana Grande and Ty Dolla $ign respectively, are love songs, throwbacks to the rapper’s 2017 Pretty Girls Like Trap Music model of game-spitting. Full-fledged rap-offs seem within the type of “Momma I Hit a Lick” with Kendrick Lamar and “2 Dollar Bill” with E-40 and Lil Wayne. Rounded out with options from Chance the Rapper and Kodak Black on “I’m Not Crazy, Life Is,” Rap or Go to the League makes it clear that at this level in his profession, 2 Chainz is just excited by working with the very best within the sport. His pairing up with LeBron—although not with out distinctive profit to the celebrity athlete within the technique of rising his media empire—is additional testomony to this. And like Rap or Go to the League’s A&R, 2 Chainz is a veteran forcing his friends to grasp that he’s nonetheless very a lot on the prime of his sport.