If you haven’t heard of Chicago’s Chance The Rapper, né Chancelor Bennett, maybe now you should. Like, you really, really should. Chance released his second mixtape Acid Rap earlier in May of this year, and it’s the best summer album I’ve listened to so far.
Chance jumps off with “Good Ass Intro”, which really is a good ass intro. Its upbeat and fast-paced tempo builds up the excitement for the rest of the mixtape, along with the multiple “IGH!”s and “nanana”s that can be heard on pretty much every track. You can picture Chance prancing back and forth on stage performing this, same with his other quick songs like “Favorite Song” and even “Juice”, which has good, old school feel and a hook chanting “JUICE!” It makes me want to dance in the street and chase after ice cream trucks.
At the same time, Chance’s more mellow, slowed-down tracks really emphasize the influence of jazz and gospel music that Chance is pulling from. Piano trills accompanied with trumpets and saxophones give the full track list a smooth vibe. Chance’s verses even start to sound like he’s scatting instead of rapping, making the songs sound timeless.
The standout track, by far, would have to be “Pusha Man”, a seven minute song split into three parts; braggadocious to paranoia to fear, all while describing the issues and violence occurring in Chicago during recent years (“They marking kids/they murder kids here/Why you think they don’t talk about?/They deserted us here.”) But even after rapping about crimes and shootings, Chance is able to move right back into songs about having a good time, smoking too many cigarettes, etc. You know, kid stuff.
Acid Rap features the verses from Ab-Soul, Childish Gambino, Action Bronson, and a handful of other names that help round out the mixtape and give it the appearance of a solid hip-hop album to kick off the summer. Give it a listen, or else be the lamest one in your group of friends.