Simply put, 2 Chainz invited us to feast with Rap Or Go To The League and now I’m full.
Once in a blue moon, you unearth the evidence that a hip-hop legend has evolved into everything and more you hoped them to be. As they make their rounds on the promotional circuit, their allure increases exponentially, their likeability factor goes through the roof, they reveal a level of emotional intelligence and introspection that a set of interview questions, rudimentary in nature, wouldn’t dare do justice when posed to this legend.
You become cognizant of the fact that this idol has been hiding the best parts of themselves from the public domain. Such is the case with Tauheed Epps known by his moniker 2 Chainz.
From an intuitive vantage point, one could sense this project – Rap Or Go To The League – coming from a mile away. Hints were found in 2017’s Burglar Bars. A well-versed, illustrious lyricist toting behind him a slew of single digit chart ratings, the soul clamoring production that isn’t so much as a far cry from what we’re used to as it is an illustration of the sagacity that comes along for the ride with age, wisdom, and a freedom that an artist has to play with once they’ve attained a certain level of mastery.
The opening track Forgiven featuring the haunting vocals of Marsha Ambrosius and Threat 2 Society became our open invitation to romanticize the album, playing more like a personal memoir for those who don’t sit at the kiddie table.
Sure, the accolades, the chart topping numbers, and the recognition become grandiose noise that a star may chase with a ravenous drive but these things only serve to accentuate what is hidden below the surface – a project that Chainz should internally take great pride in; especially when it is no elementary task to whip the pen into submission in an effort to get it to do what your mind envisions it to do conceptually, are acutely aware you’re capable of, and allow it to resonate on a universal level.
Though friction may exist between his higher self and ego which seems to fall victim to the feeling that he’s not “getting the credit he deserves,” the fruits of his labor in terms of abundance and material success serve as proof of his worthiness in this big world of hopeless dreamers and the power of his platform is demonstrated in the sheer volume he has reached. Yes, we’re hearing every word.
With one foot planted in the memories of yesterday, Rap Or Go To The League felt like the phenomenon that takes place when one must reckon past experiences with the present day self – remnants of what is left to process.
No flagrant misuse of bravado here, just the cold hard facts that human beings are far from one dimensional, can exist as both sinner and saint, and prodigy and novice as they shed their extracurricular activities of yesteryear and step into their power. No grappling, just pure acceptance and ensuring the significant people in his life feel equally as important and receive the accolades.
Rap Or Go To The League hits right in the gut on a full stomach.