Over the past few years, Chicago artist, Chance the Rapper, has transformed from a goofy high school kid finding his way into an inspiring, quirky, spiritual and all around dope artist. Three years ago, Chance’s much adored Acid Rap mixtape dropped and pushed Chance from an underground discovery into a definite artist to watch. It was the kind of mixtape you could listen to all the way through and feel every emotion effortlessly. Chance’s feature in Kanye’s “Ultralight Beam,” set him over the top, propelling him out of “Chicago kid” status, into an artist that could undoubtedly shine next to anyone.
Coloring Book (working title Chance 3) came right on time as an Apple Music exclusive. With features from Kirk Franklin, Future, Young Thug, Lil Wayne, 2 Chainz, Jay Electronica and more, Chance delivers a definite soundtrack to Summer 2016, as well as a piece of work to uplift, cool down, and even hype up everyone who listens to it.
Chance opens up with the energetic intro “All We Got,” featuring Kanye West as well as the Chicago Children’s Choir. This track comes on full of energy and sets the tone for the whole tape by proclaiming that “music is all we got, so we might as well give it all we got,” and he does as he transitions smoothly into “No Problem” featuring Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz. Chance comes through with probably the most graceful, fun, yet impactful message to record labels who are infamous for trying to control the creative expression of many artists in the industry. “Summer Friends,” featuring Jeremih & Francis & The Lights, quickly became a favorite on social media soon after this project was released. A smooth joint about the sad reality that Summer friends usually don’t stick around, for a number of reasons…we can all relate.
“It seems like blessings keep falling in my lap,” Chance comes soon after with the spiritual “Blessings” featuring activist, singer, and poet, Jamila Woods. Chance gives his praises to God and tells of all the blessings he’s been given since he’s done so including the miracle of fatherhood and success in music. “Same Drugs” comes to remind us not to forget the happy thoughts because “all you need is happy thoughts.” This song comes seemingly as a follow up to Acid Rap as a whole, and a testament to Chance’s new and clean lifestyle; a true tale of growth and change.
“Mixtape” is easily one of the tape’s biggest hits. Chance’s quirky flow, paired with the ever popular, Young Thug and Lil Yachty. This track will definitely be heard in clubs, kickbacks and blasting from cars all summer long. “Angels,” featuring Saba is another song giving praise to Chance’s growth and memories throughout the years. He gives thanks not only to his city for shaping him but also everyone in his life who’ve helped him along the way; the angels in his life!
“Juke Jam,” featuring Justin Bieber and Towkio comes in with sensual tones and slows things down a bit. There’s gonna be some kids made to this one this summer, no doubt. And we ain’t mad at it.
“All Night” gives a taste of Chicago House music mixed with the classic beats of Kaytranada. “All Night” has that happy-feet type of vibe to it. You’ll be catching people dancing to this at summer BBQs and parties for sure. Soon after comes “How Great,” featuring the amazing, Jay Electronica, as well as Chance’s cousin, Nicole. A classic gospel song giving thanks to God, but with a classic hip-hop touch towards the end. Definitely one of the illest combinations on the tape.
Chance comes back with the help of Future to slow things down once more for “Smoke Break,” another relatable, chill banger. Future’s flow is smooth on this track and is less turnt up than usual. The difference in sound was unexpected but much appreciated.
Chance tells about more of his past addiction, trials, tribulations and his growth in “Finish Line/Drown.” With the help of T-Pain, Kirk Franklin, Eryn Allen Kane and Noname, this song comes through to show us that life isn’t a race, it’s a marathon, and we will all get to see the finish line soon enough.
The mixtape closes out with a reprise to “Blessings.” The song features Ty Dolla Sign, Anderson .PAAK, BJ the Chicago Kid to let everyone know that their blessing is coming and should be appreciated and praised. He uses his optimism and heavy hitting flow to show why he is indeed, “Kanye’s best protege.”
Coloring Book is honestly the perfect mixtape. Definitely the hottest out right now; even next to Drake’s VIEWS. Chance the Rapper has grown immensely since Acid Rap, and exponentially since Ten Day. This tape shows just how much he has overcome, just how much he has to look forward to, and just how much of a dope artist he is as a whole. Chance proves that he could not only flow effortlessly through different genres and sounds, he could also rap next to any artist and still be ill. This mixtape is a summer staple, indeed, but it also will make everyone ready for their blessings, their miracles, and their growth, despite what they’ve been through earning Coloring Book a spot as one of the greatest tapes to come in a while.
Listen to Coloring Book below:
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