Chicago- based Chance the Rapper released his second mix-tape titled Acid Rap late last year. It is his second mix-tape after 2012’s 10Day, this time featuring artists such as Childish Gambino and Action Bronson. Barely out of High School, Chance has found immense acclaim from many young hip-hop listeners, as well as from critics.
I was convinced to give the album a try by several friends. I had never heard of him before, but decided to give it a try. I was hooked upon first listen.
The tape begins with the jazzy intro, recapping his life since his last mix-tape. Its got confidence, with the repeating lyrics, “Even better than I was the last time”, echoing in your ears. This is a quality many young rappers attempt to portray, and fail for lack of maturity. Then he begins with his lyrics, and it is offbeat, rambling nonsense, and infused with saxophonic vocal bursts. Chance has a rhythm that is completely unique, but it works. He doesn’t just put words to a beat. He swims under it, jumps over it, then runs straight into it.
The next several songs keep the tune going. “Cocoa Butter Kisses” and “Juice” are some of the front runners. They have, perhaps, the most catchy beats of the tape, and make for the most fun to re-listen to. Chance uses this template to show off whimsical lyrics and his promise for making songs with mass- appeal. He refers back to this style throughout the tape with the crowdpleaser “Favorite Song” and, “NaNa”.
The last half of the CD is filled filled with slower pacing more serious subject matter. At first, the exciting vibe that showed in his first several songs left something to be desired. Chance’s lyrics don’t jump rope around, and it feels less adolescent. But the intention isn’t to be fun, it is to show his purpose for making music. Chance shows a quest for true love, as well responsibility for those you love, in songs, “Lost” and “That’s Love”. He questions drug use and morality in, “Chain Smoker”. He ends the album with a tribute to friends and family for their help in the outro.
Overall, Acid Rap is a new and inventive album that is worth your time for a listen. Chance the Rapper is bringing a new style to hip-hop, on that hasn’t ever been seen before. I am excited to see what Chance will do in the future, as he gains more popularity and reputation.