Rap or Go to the League

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Rap or Go to the League
Rap or Go to the League cover.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedMarch 1, 2019
Recorded2017–19
Length55:00
Label
Producer
2 Chainz chronology
The Play Don't Care Who Makes It
(2018)
Rap or Go to the League
(2019)
No Face No Case
(2020)
Singles from Rap Or Go To The League
  1. "Girl's Best Friend"
    Released: November 18, 2018
  2. "Rule the World"
    Released: March 19, 2019

Rap or Go to the League is the fifth studio album by American rapper 2 Chainz. It was released on March 1, 2019, through Gamebread and Def Jam Recordings. It features guest appearances from Marsha Ambrosius, Young Thug, Travis Scott, Kendrick Lamar, Ariana Grande, Ty Dolla Sign, Lil Wayne, E-40, Chance the Rapper, and Kodak Black. Meanwhile, production is handled by a variety of producers, including 9th Wonder, Da Honorable C.N.O.T.E., Mike Dean, Mustard, Pharrell Williams, Terrace Martin, and WondaGurl, among others, and it is executively produced by LeBron James.

Background[edit]

In February 2018, 2 Chainz released the EP The Play Don't Care Who Makes It and soon after announced that his next album would be titled Rap or Go to the League.[1]

In February 2019, it was revealed that Los Angeles Lakers small forward LeBron James would executive produce the album. The album cover was later revealed.[2]

A Def Jam press release said the intent of the album is "celebrating black excellence and focusing on the power of education and entrepreneurship." The press release also says the title "challenges the notion that the only way out of the inner city is either to become a rapper or a ball player".[3]

On February 28, 2019, the official tracklist was revealed.[4]

Promotion[edit]

In November 2018, the song "Girl's Best Friend", featuring American artist Ty Dolla Sign, was released as a double single with the song "Hot Wings" as "Hot Wings Are a Girl's Best Friend".[5] The music video for "Rule the World" featuring American singer Ariana Grande was released on March 11, 2019, and it then became the album's second single eight days later, on March 19.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic82/100[6]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4/5 stars[7]
Consequence of SoundB+[8]
Exclaim!8/10[9]
HipHopDX3.9/5[10]
NME4/5 stars[11]
Pitchfork7.6/10[12]
The 4058/10[13]

Rap or Go to the League received critical acclaim from critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a weighted mean rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream publications, the album received a score of 82, based on 8 reviews.[6] Sheldon Pierce of Pitchfork called the album his most cogent and organized album by far, and his most thoughtful one and stated that "the album is proposed as the rapper’s rejection of the very premise in the title, and in asides and outros he does occasionally question this bifurcation of black liberation, but the music mostly tracks his own path to prosperity through a minefield."[12] He also stated that "As he provides more context for his story than ever, he rewrites the rule book on winning, opening up about his life as certified dealer to rap stars, critiquing the broken collegiate athletics apparatus, and warring against Uncle Sam."[12] Thomas Hobbs of NME gave the album four stars.[11] Hobbs praises 2 Chainz' growth as an artist stating "But even though 2 Chainz has been prolific as a guest rapper, he’s yet to release the kind of classic solo album that will truly solidify his status as a top-tier rapper. This is something he’s hoping to change with ‘Rap Or Go To The League’, a record that suggests that his talent is finally starting to catch up with all his hard work."[11]

Commercial performance[edit]

Rap or Go to the League debuted at number four on the US Billboard 200 with 65,000 album-equivalent units (of which 13,000 were pure album sales) in its first week.[14] This is 2 Chainz' fifth consecutive US top-ten album on the chart.[14] The album also debuted at number one on the US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, becoming his third album top the chart.[15]

Track listing[edit]

Credits adapted from Tidal,[16] album's liner notes and Instagram.

No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
1."Forgiven" (featuring Marsha Ambrosius)Dem Jointz5:23
2."Threat 2 Society"9th Wonder3:46
3."Money in the Way"
  • Epps
  • Tyron Douglas
  • Bruce Hawes
  • Joseph Jefferson
  • Buddah Bless
  • Jabz
2:42
4."Statute of Limitations"[17]2:29
5."High Top Versace" (featuring Young Thug)
ATL Jacob2:57
6."Whip" (featuring Travis Scott)3:47
7."NCAA"Da Honorable C.N.O.T.E.4:08
8."Momma I Hit a Lick" (featuring Kendrick Lamar)P. Williams2:54
9."Rule the World" (featuring Ariana Grande)
4:06
10."Girl's Best Friend" (featuring Ty Dolla Sign)
3:13
11."2 Dollar Bill" (featuring Lil Wayne and E-40)4:00
12."I Said Me"
  • 30 Roc
  • Datboisqueeze
5:32
13."I'm Not Crazy, Life Is" (featuring Chance the Rapper and Kodak Black)5:30
14."Sam"B Clark N.O. Joe4:11
Total length:55:00

Notes

  • ^[a] signifies a co-producer
  • ^[b] signifies an additional producer
  • ^[c] signifies a vocal producer
  • ^[d] signifies an uncredited co-producer
  • "Forgiven" features additional vocals from Sunni Patterson and Francis and the Lights
  • "2 Dollar Bill" features background vocals from Anthony Evans, Chelsea "Peaches" West, Denise Carite and Tiffany Palmer
  • "I'm Not Crazy, Life Is" features background vocals from Joi
  • "Sam" features additional vocals from B Clark

Sample credits

Personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from Tidal[16] and album's liner notes.

Charts[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Breihan, Tom (February 19, 2018). "2 Chainz Announces New Album 'Rap or Go to the League'". Billboard. Archived from the original on June 23, 2018. Retrieved February 26, 2019.
  2. ^ Hore-Thorburn, Isabelle (February 26, 2019). "2 Chainz Reveals Official Cover Art for 'Rap or Go to the League'". Highsnobiety. Retrieved February 26, 2019.
  3. ^ Gore, Sydney (February 19, 2019). "2 Chainz Reveals LeBron James as A&R on Next Album". Highsnobiety. Retrieved February 26, 2019.
  4. ^ Strauss, Matthew (February 28, 2019). "2 Chainz Details New Album: Kendrick Lamar, Chance, Ariana Grande, Travis Scott, and More". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on March 1, 2019. Retrieved February 28, 2019.
  5. ^ Holmes, Charles (November 16, 2018). "Don't Eat 'Hot Wings' Around 2 Chainz". Rolling Stone.
  6. ^ a b "Rap Or Go To The League". Metacritic. Retrieved May 10, 2019.
  7. ^ Thomas, Fred. "Rap or Go to the League - 2 Chainz | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Archived from the original on December 13, 2019. Retrieved May 10, 2019.
  8. ^ Lamb, Karas (March 8, 2019). "Album Review: 2 Chainz Shows Up in Championship Shape on Rap or Go to the League". Consequence of Sound. Archived from the original on May 10, 2019. Retrieved May 10, 2019.
  9. ^ Lowers, Erin (March 11, 2019). "2 Chainz Rap or Go to the League". Exclaim!. Archived from the original on May 10, 2019. Retrieved May 10, 2019.
  10. ^ Clark, Trent (March 13, 2019). "Review: 2 Chainz's "Rap Or Go To The League" Narrowly Misses The Finals". HipHopDX. Archived from the original on June 5, 2019. Retrieved May 10, 2019.
  11. ^ a b c Hobbs, Thomas (March 4, 2019). "2 Chainz – 'Rap Or Go To The League' review". NME. Archived from the original on March 5, 2019. Retrieved March 6, 2019.
  12. ^ a b c Pearce, Sheldon (March 6, 2019). "2 Chainz: Rap or Go to the League". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on March 6, 2019. Retrieved March 6, 2019.
  13. ^ Kenny, Brody (March 7, 2019). "Album Review: 2 Chainz - Rap or Go to the League". The 405. Archived from the original on May 10, 2019. Retrieved May 10, 2019.
  14. ^ a b c Caulfield, Keith (March 10, 2019). "Hozier Debuts at No. 1 on Billboard 200 Albums Chart With 'Wasteland, Baby!'". Billboard. Archived from the original on March 27, 2019. Retrieved March 11, 2019.
  15. ^ Keith Caulfield (March 12, 2019). "2 Chainz's 'Rap Or Go to the League' Starts at No. 1 On Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums Chart". Archived from the original on June 9, 2019. Retrieved May 12, 2019.
  16. ^ a b "Rap Or Go To The League / 2 Chainz – TIDAL". Tidal. Archived from the original on March 1, 2019. Retrieved March 1, 2019.
  17. ^ "@iam30roc on Instagram: #4StatueOfLimitations (Prod.By Me and my brother @mikewillmadeit )". Instagram. March 1, 2019. Archived from the original on May 15, 2019. Retrieved March 1, 2019.
  18. ^ "@gylttryp on Instagram: @2chainz - 2 Dollar Bill ft. @liltunechi & @e40 Produced by @mustard x GYLTTRYP & @terracemartin)". March 1, 2019. Archived from the original on May 16, 2019. Retrieved March 1, 2019 – via Instagram.
  19. ^ Rinder, Grant (March 2, 2019). "2 Chainz Samples JAY-Z & Addresses Murder of Lil Fate's Son on "Forgiven"". Genius. Archived from the original on April 13, 2019. Retrieved April 13, 2019.
  20. ^ Bernucca, Carolyn; Wines, Tiffany; Skelton, Eric; Tharpe, Frazier (March 1, 2019). "The Best New Music This Week". Complex. Archived from the original on March 6, 2019. Retrieved March 3, 2019.
  21. ^ Gallagher, Caitlin (March 1, 2019). "Ariana Grande & 2 Chainz's New Song "Rule The World" Samples An Early 2000s Throwback — LISTEN". Bustle. Archived from the original on March 2, 2019. Retrieved March 1, 2019.
  22. ^ Rindner, Grant (March 2, 2019). "2 Chainz's "I Said Me" Samples "My Favorite Things" by Mary J. Blige & "A Garden Of Peace" by Lonnie Liston-Smith". Genius. Archived from the original on March 4, 2019. Retrieved March 3, 2019.
  23. ^ "Australiancharts.com – 2 Chainz – Rap or Go to the League". Hung Medien. Retrieved March 9, 2019.
  24. ^ "Ultratop.be – 2 Chainz – Rap or Go to the League" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved March 9, 2019.
  25. ^ "2 Chainz Chart History (Canadian Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved March 12, 2019.
  26. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – 2 Chainz – Rap or Go to the League" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved March 9, 2019.
  27. ^ "Lescharts.com – 2 Chainz – Rap or Go to the League". Hung Medien. Retrieved March 12, 2019.
  28. ^ "Irish-charts.com – Discography 2 Chainz". Hung Medien. Retrieved March 9, 2019.
  29. ^ "Mūzikas Patēriņa Tops/ 10. nedēļa" (in Latvian). LAIPA. Archived from the original on October 10, 2019. Retrieved November 28, 2019.
  30. ^ "Savaitės klausomiausi (TOP 100)" (in Lithuanian). AGATA. March 8, 2019. Archived from the original on October 9, 2019. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
  31. ^ "Charts.nz – 2 Chainz – Rap or Go to the League". Hung Medien. Retrieved March 8, 2019.
  32. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – 2 Chainz – Rap or Go to the League". Hung Medien. Retrieved March 9, 2019.
  33. ^ "Swisscharts.com – 2 Chainz – Rap or Go to the League". Hung Medien. Retrieved March 13, 2019.
  34. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved March 9, 2019.
  35. ^ "Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums Chart - March 16, 2019". Billboard. March 16, 2019. Archived from the original on June 18, 2019. Retrieved April 22, 2020.
  36. ^ "Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums – Year-End 2019". Billboard. Archived from the original on December 11, 2019. Retrieved December 23, 2019.