#10 Chance the Rapper Acid Rap
Released: April 30th
By: Dequan Huggins
Hip-hop rookie of the year Chancellor Bennett, aka Chance the Rapper, saw more success than any rap newcomer with his latest efforts Acid Rap. With the wave of drill and violent music that has come from the city of Chicago recently, Chance revitalized the Chi similar to its already legendary revolutionary poets—Kanye West, Lupe Fiasco, and Common. Efficiently merging his talents, Chano is able to take the social commentary of a Kanye West and fuse it with the emotional awareness of a Drake, but the obvious influences aren’t gimmicky or detrimental to his originality. From emotional transparency on songs like “Acid Rain” to his to fun loving trademarked adlib “IGH!”— Acid Rap is sonic cohesion and shows evident growth from the Midwest rising star.
Chicago is so rich in culture but lets face it, growing up in a city nicknamed “Chiraq” can leave the best of young men conflicted. Embracing the good and evil of his home town, Acid Rap is a tale of a man who loves what his city has done for him but hates not only the violence, but the exploitation that the media performs without lending a hand. Chance embodies the “good” by providing a platform for Chicago based producers to add their juke and ghetto tech influences throughout his project. Records like “Good Ass Into” exemplify these influences with its fast paced tempo and dance groves that Chicagoans are accustomed to. With the “good” that his city provides Chance must address the “bad” his home has unfortunately become known for. He chooses to do so lyrically with a song like “Paranoia”, which tackles the gun and gang violence that has put Chicago in the murder forefront. Chance sonically paints a picture of the senseless violence; ”I’ve been riding around with my blunt on my lips. With the sun in my eyes, and my gun on my hip.” Although Chance isn’t the first rapper to live amongst violence and yearn for change, not too many rappers are able to articulate their surroundings so poetically and vividly through their writings.
One of the crowning achievements of Acid Rap would be the concept records that are scattered through the mixtape. “Cocoa Butter Kisses” is a track that deals with smoking but not in the positive manner that most hip-hop artist has given it over the years. Although him and his peers need to the stress relief of smoking, the stench of cigarette or weed smoke can be repelling even to his own mother to the point that she wont hug or kiss Chance anymore.
Considering his age, Chance is brilliant at describing and conveying his emotions when dealing with love. There aren’t too many rappers that are able to eloquently describe every detail of the most important emotion. “Lost” is a beautiful druggy love ballad that features two empty souls that are addicted to each other just as much as the drugs they consume. “She met her match, I let her match She lit her match, she let me smoke.” Chance’s poetry is evident throughout the entire project. On “Interlude (That’s Love)” Chance displays his spoken word skills detailing multiple accounts of what exactly it means to be in love with so much passion and conviction.
Vivid imagery and emotional bravery is a win every time for hip-hop artists and its no surprise that popular hip-hop blog AL Lindstrom named Chance the 2013 “Rookie of the Year”. Acid has moments of self-doubt, confidence, paranoia, intelligence, and ignorance. While on the surface that can seem like a buffet of chaos it in fact makes Chance human and relatable. Acid Rap is as complete of a project from any artist in 2013 with the only omission being a price tag.
Favorite Songs: Interlude (That’s Love), Lost, Acid Rain
Weakest Song: Favorite Song