The best song on the 2 Chainz’s Rap or Go to the League isn’t the album’s flashiest. “Money In The Way” doesn’t have any features or super producers, which the album has in spades. LeBron James, the project’s A&R, doesn’t extend his media beef with the Lakers’ young core on wax or claim Klutch Sports is taking over for the ’99 and 2000.
Instead, “Money In The Way” soars because it brings 2 Chainz’s best qualities — propulsive flow, deceptively complex punchlines and hilarious lyrics — to the forefront. The Buddah Bless and Jabz beat is built on a simple loop of The Three Degrees‘ “Can’t You See What You’re Doing to Me” and, even with the cinematic horn sample, the production remains open enough to thrust Chainz’s bars to the forefront. There are lyrical non-sequiturs (“Put her on the saddle with a paddle and an Adderall) and nonsensical flexing (“Rockin’ reptile, talkin’ alligate’”). During the first verse, 2 Chainz goes on a tear rhyming the words: tummy tuck, double up, double cup, the letter “W,” phobia and coroner. It’s a masterclass from a veteran in his pocket.
“Money In The Way” succeeds precisely because it it isn’t chasing grandiosity. The Ariana Grande, Travis Scott and Kendrick Lamar features are nice, but Rap or Go to the League is at its absolute best when everyone gets out of the way and lets Chainz be Chainz.