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  • Writer's pictureMalcolm Williams

Don’t Sleep #9

2 Chainz - Rap or Go To the League

It’s been about two years since 2 Chainz released ‘Pretty Girls like Trap Music’. Me as a fan, I try to come in with zero expectations and almost no anticipation anxieties to skew my judgement of an album. Having Joe Budden come out speaking about how great your album doesn‘t help me at all but I kept my self neutral. Then announcing that LeBron James was the A&R created curiosity for the process of making this album and what music LeBron would for an album. If Chainz is being transparent Bron picked some dope shit. The rollout was spectacular and the music matched that energy.

Marsha Ambrosius. Let that breathe real quick. Okay. For 2 Chainz to start his album with that much of his story, to be that introspective, that grown on the intro ‘Forgiven’ it‘s beautiful. I use the word “beautiful” because artists as cool as 2 Chainz never really give us that, they rarely sit down with us and tell us what’s going on, it set the tone for the album. I knew we were getting a lot of perspective from this album. He told us about his friends losing their children to gun violence. He told us about his trapping days where he had got caught and almost lost his basketball dreams and academic credibility. I’ve learned more about Chainz on this one song than I had from his entire catalogue.

‘Statute of Limitations’ is Chainz accounting all the stars he used serve before becoming the artist we all know today. “Ex drug dealer, Ex athlete” is such a dope way to say I’ve been that dude. Lil Jon, Raekwon, Rick Ross, 50 Cent, Jeezy all went to see 2 Chainz for their vices before he needed to verses. Being around them early on had to make it easier for him to transition to a rapper and infiltrating the industry.

One of my favorite songs on the album is ‘Ncaa’ and the opening verse kinda confused me first listen. But then that hook comes in and I get excited because we need people with influence to fight for these kids right to get paid. The NCAA has brainwashed people to thinking to tradition means right. When these kids are making billions for you, they should at least be able to make something off their own names. The way 2 Chainz broke down what the kids have going on was perfect. Johnny Manziel was the perfect example to show what’s going on, he went from highest grossing/most watched college player in his class to not being in the league.

Hitmaka makes it extremely difficult to hate on the flips he and A1 do. I didn’t expect an Amerie sample and Ariana Grande on the vocals is ridiculous. ‘Rule the World’ be having me in the car looking extra goofy, singing my soul out. It’s such a 2 Chainz way of doing a girl record, it’s just mad cool and it made me instantly sang the original song. Then I thought he would have fucked the game up if he used her sample and had her sing the new hook. Ariana did her thing though.

I’ve never sold drugs in my life but I understood immediately what Chainz was saying on ‘Sam’. Taxes are one of the biggest scams America has imposed on the Country. When he says “Uncle Sam taking grams out the bag” that‘s a perfect translation for they cheating us. We pay so much in taxes and are education system is still garbage. He had a line about our taxes paying the cops and they killing us off, I felt that.

I could go on for hours talking about ‘Rap or Go To the League’ but I don’t have that kind of time. I didn‘t even talk about two of my top three songs on the album ‘Momma I hit a lick’ and ‘Girl’s best friend’ so y’all go experience them yourselves. 2 Chainz released his best most complete body of work yet with this album. When I hear him say he’s underrated it’s hard for me to disagree after ‘RoGTtL’.

I wanna say thank you to 2 Chainz for releasing this album and being vulnerable with us. I hope that this is the beginning of a lot of artists (especially from Atlanta) to be more open in their music. I see the growth in your music and am inspired by it.

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