2 Chainz has always had bangers, but this is different. This feels like an album should.

Here, 2 Chainz is really settling into his role as a father of rap, he's getting real and talking about his life experiences, his past crimes and regrets and new responsibilities as a family man.

It's not just about trap bangers and flexing now, this is 2 Chainz' 4:44, or at the very least a massive step in that direction.

The title refers to the two career choices afforded to young black men if they want to escape the trap; rap or sport - both of which 2 Chainz pursued, as well as drug dealing to the extent that he even admits selling to his own mother.


On the opening track Forgiven - a heavy, sombre affair weighted down by Marsha Ambrosius' stunning vocals - Chainz talks openly about life in the streets, the death of his friend's son and ultimately life as a black man, closing out poignantly with some spoken word followed by a single gunshot to drive it all home.

He then swings in with soul influence, getting more and more upbeat before dropping a heavy as hell trap beat on Statute of Limitations, alternating between the beat and rapping over a simple piano melody to force you to pay attention as he delves into his past.

It's not all dark and heavy and there are certainly bangers on the album; Money In The Way sounds like Jay Z collaborating with the Jackson 5, then there's the hard-hitting NCAA, the Kendrick Lamar featuring Momma I Hit a Lick and the made-for-radio Ariana Grande collaboration Rule The World - among many others.

Rap or Go To the League has everything you could want out of a modern-day rap album; killer beats, star power, insane flows and raw storytelling with something to say.

2 Chainz, Rap Or Go To the League

Artist: 2 Chainz
Album: Rap Or Go To the League
Label: Universal
Verdict: Everything you could want from a rap album in 2019