And we back, and we back, and we back, and we back.”
I think when he’s 35 he’ll have enough political prowess and maybe even presence, to run for president?
They screaming Chano for mayor I’m thinking maybe I should!“
-Chance The Rapper on “Somewhere in Paradise“
He’s already laying the groundwork for peace in Chicago with anti-gun movements like #SaveChicago. He’s actively involved in a national mentoring program, My Brothers Keeper, implemented by President Obama. He’s a father now, a worldwide superstar without even dropping an album really… (mix tape king?) He sangs, he raps, he performs with the most energy that any single one man can muster on a night to night international schedule. He collaborates with some of the most recognizable names on the planet: Kanye West, Justin Bieber, Future, T-Pain, Lil’ Wayne, Action Bronson, the list goes on and on.
You may have heard his mixtape collection, all of which are available for free, in some capacity,(Apple Music is exclusively streaming the newest project, but I mean just make a couple e-mails or something.) This time around he sums up his distaste for the music industry in his most recent mixtape, Coloring Book.
“If another label try and stop me, it’s gonna be some dread head n*ggas in the lobby.”
-Chance The Rapper on “No Problem”
Not relying on a major label to record, advertise or distribute his music at all, the self-propelled, self-released career of Chance the Rapper is genuine in every aspect. His first mix tape, 10 day, was recorded in 2012 over a ten-day suspension in high school. His second mix tape, Acid Rap, changed my life in the summer of 2013 and if you listened, I’m sure it at least improved yours, as well. Surf was released in 2015 after a much anticipated wait and was co-created with Donnie Trumpet and The Social Experiment, Chance’s live band. The album was met with critical acclaim and can still be downloaded for free on iTunes. Coloring Book was released exclusively through Apple Music on May 12 and features several collaborations Chance The Rapper fans will highly approve of.
“I don’t make songs for free, I make songs for freedom.”
-excerpt from “Blessings” off of Coloring Book
He has the goose bump provoking songwriting ability, doesn’t he? If you’ve ever listened to his music, you’ll notice his earnest and unique tone really does earn every bit of emotional attention from the listener. Much of his addicting songwriting is centered around nostalgia, which is never more apparent then on “Summer Friends“ featuring Jeremih and Francis & The Lights. Seriously, Chance, the collaborations are fucking out of this imaginable world.
While nostalgia is a constant theme, Chance writes about overcoming of difficult situations that are faced throughout much of adolescence and early adulthood, especially in neighborhoods with seemingly low expectations and high rates of crime. Now, more than ever, Chance keeps the music personal and relatable. Coloring Book is a gospel, hip-hop fusion that is chicken noodle soup for the troubled, young soul. Brilliant harmonies, upbeat major melodies, themes of hope and justice litter the album. Chance is taking all of us to church in one of the most acceptable and honest fashions religion has ever offered. Gospel-rap? Chance gives praise to the Highest while still taking a “Smoke Break” with Future on a track of the same title. I mean, I know it’s the devil’s lettuce, but god created it or something along those lines. The theme for “Smoke Break“isn’t about getting high however, but reiterating that we all deserve a break sometimes. Future’s verse is really awesome and again, you wouldn’t expect to hear the dude ripping on an upbeat organ beat, but there he, is doing it with flare and meaning.
Coloring Book isn’t purely hip-hop. In fact, it’s less rap-based than Acid Rap, 10 Day, and more traditionally composed than Surf, yet, still relatively unlike anything you’ve recently heard. Just as important as the music, is the work Chance is doing on a societal level. Through his music and philanthropy he is improving the lives of young people everywhere that are lending their ears to his economically and morally accessible music.
So, here’s to you, Chance The Rapper. Thank you, for putting first things first; the community, the music and the fan. Thank you, for the amazing live performances you’ve given your heart out during. (I’ve seen him twice and have never seen a harder working, instrument-less person on stage). Thank you, for the uplifting and positive messages that you choose to deliver to the youth, while reminding us it’s okay to still get high sometimes. Thank you, for combining some of the most interesting and awesome features in recent memory without concern of the expected traditional song structure. Thank you, for saying FUCK MUSIC LABELS as they have ruined artistic integrity more times than not. Thank you, for making it clear that a talented independent artist can pave his own way, pay the bills, and still make music free to everybody. Thank you, for sick verses and sicker vocals.
“She like when I rap, raps but better when I sing songs.”
-Chance on “Smoke Again”
We love it all, Chancellor The Rapper. Thanks a billion times for Coloring Book and all the free music that I actually would have paid for…because it’s worth every penny. <3
Thank You Chance The Rapper ‘Coloring Book’ Album Review by Sean Gray.
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