Chance the Rapper has done it yet again. Two weeks ago, Chance released his long awaited third mixtape, “Coloring Book.” I can personally say I never thought the day would come as the last full project from Chance was 2013’s critically acclaimed “Acid Rap.” Since then, Chance the Rapper has performed numerous shows, went on tour, was featured on countless songs and even helped his friend’s produce some albums of their own (i.e. “Surf”). It was just last summer that I posted asking where was the new music and now it’s here.
However, it was definitely worth the wait. Chance the Rapper is incredibly talented. What makes him a great artist is that he, unlike a lot of rappers in the industry, owns who he is. He is one those artists who is in touch with his religion and as his career has progressed to new heights, he has been increasingly vocal about his spirituality and continues to count his blessings. He has never minimized an aspect of himself to make him more marketable, hence why this is his first album that wasn’t completely free. “10 Day” and “Acid Rap” were both free for anyone to download. But, as his popularity and talent has grown over the past three years, he had to release the album for some sort of profit in order to be eligible to be nominated for the upcoming Grammys in 2017. Chance agreed with Apple Music to exclusively stream “Coloring Book” on the site for two weeks. However, Billboard announced today that the album will be available everywhere this Friday. Personally, I think that if he doesn’t win several awards for the album, it will be a grave injustice.
“Coloring Book,” like his other mixtapes, is a journey. Chance the Rapper’s flow is poetic and lyrically he surpasses most of the rappers who are currently at the top of the industry. In this mixtape, you can really hear Chance’s spiritual beliefs come through; especially in songs like “Blessings,” “All We Got” and “How Great.” Chance is known for having flawless production and incredible lyrics. Furthermore, the beats of his songs always make you want to dance. He uses real instruments which is rare nowadays, considering everyone is making beats with Garage Band. Chance’s level of musicianship is ultimately what separates him from the pack, it makes his live performances and concerts feel like a spiritual awakening. Chance definitely called up all the homies for this album. Everyone is featured on it including Kirk Franklin, T-Pain, Noname, Justin Bieber, Future and many more. The album is only 58 minutes, so before you know it, it’s over. But, if you’re like me I just listen to the album on repeat. Another great aspect of “Coloring Book” is that it is so honest and is arguably Chance’s most vulnerable body of work to date. Chance really lets his fans into his life and isn’t afraid to discuss several topics such as his drug use, the birth of his first child, and his interactions with the music industry.
Chance the Rapper sets the bar high for real talent. Nowadays anyone seems to be able to become a “musician” or “artist”. It’s frustrating for true artists and real music lovers because if you aren’t selling a gimmick, it’s really hard to make it in the industry. Despite not being signed to a major record label, (even though many label CEO’s want Chance’s name on the dotted line) Chance has made a name for himself. He is well-respected by many of the greats and even if he doesn’t win any awards for this mixtape, he has left his impact. I’m sure this is not the last we will hear from Chance the Rapper and I can truly say I’m excited to watch him rise to the top because he is more than deserving.