Albums with Addy: Rap Or Go To The League


2 Chainz is an interesting figure in the hip hop world when compared to some of his peers. It seems he constantly maintains several different facades while being consistently likeable to a wide audience. Self proclaimed “Tity Boi” does songs about strippers that are certified club hits, then goes and creates pop hits with Ariana Grande. Needless to say, 2 Chainz has become a versatile, well known, and well liked figure in entertainment. 

Coming into the mainstream with his hit songs “Birthday Song” with Kanye West and “I’m Different”, 2 Chainz quickly established himself as a top tier feature artist. He appeared on classic tracks like “F***** Problems” with A$AP Rocky, “3500” with Travis Scott, and even “Headbandz.” 

Unfortunately, he never seemed to be at the same level with his solo tracks and albums, miring in mediocrity until his album Collegrove with legendary rapper Lil Wayne in 2016. From then on, it has been hit after hit with his last studio album, Pretty Girls Like Trap Music, receiving critical praise and producing massive radio hits. 

Rap Or Go To The League incorporates many of 2 Chainz’s best qualities, but misses on a few key tracks that could have made the album great, not just good. The theme of rapping or playing sports as the only way to get out of the streets is an interesting way to bring something new to his discography. It works well on songs like “NCAA” or “Forgiven”, but 2 Chainz just doesn’t focus on it enough to make it impactful. At least he is trying to add some lyrical depth in a new area to his music, something I can appreciate. 

The production on most of the songs is perfect for 2 Chainz and his features, complementing his trap style. Even on the more impactful, slower tracks, the bass and hi hats are always bumping. “NCAA” has an amazing guitar part leading up to the chorus and is the best beat on the album, followed closely by the jazzier “Threat to Society”. Whether you want jazz, bangers, emotional tracks, or experimental beats, 2 Chainz provides for better or worse. 

Lyrics and flow for 2 Chainz have always been hit or miss, and he doesn’t do anything to push his boundaries on Rap Or Go To The League. “Forgiven” is extremely well done and was actually impactful, especially with Marsha Ambrosius on the chorus. Other trap oriented songs like “2 dollar bill” and “NCAA” have a good mix of flexing and funny lyrics; it just doesn’t take much to do songs like that. “Sam” is perhaps the best example of his limits lyrically, as 2 Chainz attempts to comment on taxes in America, but sounds incoherent while doing so.

Featured artists on the album did very well on most songs, but the absolute worst one came from Kendrick Lamar of all people. “Momma I Hit a Lick” was hyped up to be a banger before it was released, yet it was another example of Kendrick destroying a song single handedly. Why does he feel the need to rap and sing like a smoker named Tammy? High pitched Kendrick also needs to be put away permanently, as does ASMR Kenny. 21 Savage barely pulled off whispering in his songs, so Kendrick most definitely cannot. 

Aside from a few misses and a lack of a standout song, Rap Or Go To The League is another solid contribution to 2 Chainz’s discography. For someone who I don’t expect to create excellent solo albums, he managed to keep an interesting theme, bring in big names that (mostly) perform, and create several fun songs that will remain in rotation. While he is a pretty good basketball player, 2 Chainz won’t have to go to the league anytime soon if he continues to rap at this level.