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New Music: Chance the Rapper

By Josh Perlette, June 2 2016 —

After taking time to work on other musical projects after 2013’s Acid Rap, Chance the Rapper brings a hard-hitting mixtape to the table this month with Coloring Book. The well-constructed album is a hip-hop conglomeration of jazzy gospel beats and boasts collaborations with artists like Future, Kanye West and Justin Bieber.


The change in pace from Chance’s first two mixtapes is refreshing. Throughout the hour-long album of spitting brass instrumentals and choral vocals, the rapper’s unique voice confidently reaches the surface.

The album kicks off with a  powerful Kanye West collaboration. Opener “All We Got” mirrors “Good Ass Intro,” the first song on Acid Rap. While the latter reminisces on an overworked,
drug-filled lifestyle, “All We Got” pulls Chance together as he moves his life forward. His declarations of “tryna turn my baby mama to my fiancée,” and “man I swear my life is perfect,” float over crackling claps and a blaring concert band sample.

Chance slows the pace down with “Same Drugs.” The soulful track takes a look at a
drifting childhood relationship. Lyrics like, “Wendy, you’ve aged,” and “when did you start to forget how to fly?” drive the narrative through references to Peter Pan. Starting with smooth piano, the track provides an emotionally involved resolve from the energy of the rest of the album culminating with a Steve Vai-esque guitar hook.

Coloring Book spotlights Chance as a young man now grown up. The mixtape tackles adult struggles while still recalling past losses and lessons learned as the rapper lets his remaining angst loose.

The album communicates the fear many young adults experience as they take on grown-up responsibilities and transition away from old friends, past memories and home.

The future looks bright for the 23-year-old hip-hop star. Future releases should see Chance the Rapper explore his own adult world and the new path he’s moving through.

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