Yesterday, 2 Chainz announced that his upcoming album, Rap or Go to the League, will arrive March 1 via Def Jam records, but more importantly, that it was A&R’d by the current greatest basketball player on the planet, Lebron James.
Set to arrive on Apple Music, Chainz released a preview of a behind-the-scenes sit-down between him and the three-time finals MVP which is to drop the same day of the album.
The clip shows James and 2 Chainz discussing the album’s rollout strategy, as well as featured collaborators and really lets you see just how hands-on LeBron was with the album. 2 Chainz tells James at one point,
“I think it’d be shocking to people to know how much input you had on it. You’ve been on it the whole year!”
We’ve seen Lebron play tastemaker before whether it’s him rapping along to a new track, during an intense workout, wishing Jeezy happy birthday, showing his support for Meek Mill or posting a photo from dinner with Drake.
In fact, prominent hip-hop producer and bonified hit-maker Mike WiLL Made-It told TMZ last year that sending your music to LeBron is not only for cool points, but mandatory.
But, as odd as it seems — letting a guy whose expertise is putting the ball in the hoop to make executive decisions on your art — LeBron has proven himself enough off the court to garner this respect from the music world.
He has a production company called SpringHill Entertainment and a social media platform called Uninterrupted, he has acting chops meaning ties to Hollywood, not to mention his 33.8 million Instagram following. Getting LeBron behind your music is actually a good look.
“You gotta send the King your music, bruh,” the producer told TMZ last year in April. “I sent LeBron Ransom 2 before it came out. He loves music. I mean, that’s the King.”
Now he’s bringing that ear exclusively to Chainz’s project.
Rap or Go to the League will be first studio album since 2016’s Pretty Girls Like Trap Music and proceeds his last two 2018 EPs, The Play Don’t Care Who Makes It and Hot Wings Are a Girl’s Best Friend.
Chainz told Rolling Stone in a statement that the new album “challenges the notion that the only way out of the inner city is either to become a rapper or a ball player… [the album] flips that trope on its head, celebrating black excellence and focusing on the power of education and entrepreneurship.”
Knowing how big 2 Chainz likes to go and how much of an executionist LeBron is, their joint effort on this album could be as good as its advertised. Either way, the combo of the two has already made a significant cultural impact.
We just don’t want LeBron rapping on the project; anything but that would probably work just fine. 2 Chainz is also prepping for the third season of his Viceland show, Most Expensivest, which will premiere later this year along with Rap or Go to the League.
Make sure you stay on the lookout for more singles from the album to drop.