LeBron James Has Coached 2 Chainz On 1 Of His Most Soulful & Lyrical Songs (Audio)

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Today (March 1), 2 Chainz releases his first album in two years. As alluded to during Tity Boi’s recent interview with Joe Budden, Rap Or Go To The League breaks new ground for a proven wit with wordplay who tows the line between lyricism and Trap. The Gamebread/Def Jam Records release involves Kendrick Lamar, E-40, Chance The Rapper, Ty Dolla $ign, Young Thug, Kodak Black and others. However, it is the 9th Wonder-produced solo “Threat 2 Society” that exemplifies 2 Chainz’ growth. The second song on the collection also emblematic of the input that Chainz received from an unlikely source: NBA superstar Lebron James.

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‘Bron, who has been a fan of 2 Chainz for years, served as an A&R on Rap Or Go To The League. While some have speculated just how involved the Los Angeles Lakers superstar could possibly be, given his active playing career and various media interests. However, on The Breakfast Club (embedded below), Chainz described Lebron’s input on the album as anything but exaggerated. Just as Lebron James has proven himself and peers to be “more than athletes” through The Shop, Shut Up And Dribble, and other media ventures, 41-year-old Tauheed Epps aims to break through the barriers of simply being “just a rapper.”

“[Lebron James] already supports Hip-Hop, he already supports the culture, like genuinely. It’s organic; you’re gonna see Lebron in the back of the Sprinter or the Maybach playing whatever drops, whatever’s new. So why not add this A&R [credit] to his resumé?” Chainz says he paid the superstar around the 6:00-mark. “I had more than enough songs; I over-record on purpose. So then it was about getting an outside ear to hear the concept of the album and just try to narrow down songs to fit up under this umbrella. Like, I probably chose between 21 and 25 songs, and narrowed it down to 14, with his assistance.” Charlamagne Tha God asks what songs James specifically picked. “He obviously liked ‘NCAA.’ He liked ‘2 Dollar Bill.’ He liked ‘Whip, ‘Momma I Hit A Lick’ [and] ‘Threat,'” 2 Chainz says, referring to “Threat 2 Society.”

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The song features powerful lines about how the MC has evolved from the streets. The first verse finds 2 Chainz calling out a softness in the game. “Natural disasters, all these emotional rappers / Master of my own fate and I own my own masters / Don’t let this smooth taste fool you / When I bust, I school you // They throw rocks, and hide behind the computer / It’s yellow tape and white chalk when I’m on the beat / Yeah, you rich, but your talk is cheap / Never see me tryna walk a sheep / I’m so famous, can’t even cough in peace / Your alterego is Maltese / I was waitin’ for ‘Auntie Punken’ release / You ni**as cryin’ over spilled milk / Probably never seen your friend killed / Probably never seen your dad die / Or played dodge-ball with fed time / I done some things I ain’t proud of Like sold my mom drugs / The devil put some toxin in me / Demons try’na have an auction in me / They wanna sell my soul / Goin’ once, goin’ twice, never sold / Best story that was never told / Keep in mind that I have several episodes / A lot of things to be thankful for / A wife and three kids, I may make it four.

In the second verse, Tity Boi builds upon his Rap and basketball concept. “They wanna know where the jump-shot come from / Coach Outlaw taught me the beef method / Balance, eye contact, elbow room, follow through / See, that’s what I was taught to do I probably learned more from Coach Gwynn / Than I did from my own kin / Yeah, the streets was my sensei / I sold dope then rapped about it on my mixtape / I had respect, but I gained more / You rather be underrated or unemployed? / Hmm, think on it / Keisha ring big enough to skate on it / My lifestyle big enough to hate on it / This beat hard enough to put Jay on it.

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In addition to new music from 2 Chainz, the official AFH playlist includes songs from Nas, Atmosphere, Boogie, Eminem, Big K.R.I.T., Pharoahe Monch, Denzel Curry, Benny The Butcher, Masta Ace & Marco Polo, Apollo Brown & Joell Ortiz, Drake, Bun B, Wu-Tang Clan, Evidence, and others.

#BonusBeat: 2 Chainz’ The Breakfast Club interview: