[Written by EMMANUEL DESANKER]
Chicago-raised Chance the Rapper is undoubtedly a force to be reckoned within the rap game. “Acid Rap” was nothing short of a collectible for the purists – and hey, newcomers to the rap scene would enjoy his vibe just as much.
When listeners hear the term “mix-tape”, what usually comes to mind is a compilation of x amount of songs with no real structure, lacking in versatility and just generally overcompensating for being a bad rapper. And yet, in this mix-tape, there is fluidity- each track plays through almost effortlessly as the man Chance switches his flow from track to track, keeping it exciting and interesting from beginning to end.
It would be a real shame to skip out on Chance the Rapper, especially in this mix tape. Versatility goes through the roof here, with plenty of tracks catering to different tastes. For instance, in the track “Lost”, (one of my personal favourites) we get to see a softer side of Chance – the smoothly written lyrics and rhyme schemes seriously left an impression on me because let’s face it, a lot of what’s playing today has started to sound very monotonous and over-simplified, and this is such a refreshing change. Now a lot of people might disagree with this fact, but I truly believe that this is one of the main attributes that separates Chance from the rest– his versatility in both music choices and rhyming styles.
What a lot of newcomers to the Hip-Hop genre fail to understand about rapping is that it really is not just about “speaking to the beat”, as some might put it- it’s really much more than that. Hip-hop and rap are a combination of beautiful poetry and hours of sound-engineered-genius that produce the end result of a rap record or “that song where he talks about that girl”. With that said, I would highly recommend listening to this mix-tape with a level of open-mindedness if you are a newcomer to hip-hop. If you are a purist or veteran, then you will probably love this mix-tape and agree with me.
Aside from being the Mozart of the rap-scene, Chance introduces us to aspects of his life; things that he has or is experiencing throughout his lifetime. Throughout the mixtape, you can feel every word that comes out of his mouth- there is conviction in those words and he does not disappoint up to the very last track. That’s another aspect of hip hop that most rappers of this generation have failed to really grasp- the relatability factor that the audience is supposed to feel through your voice alone. It’s easy to pick up a microphone and rap about topics that you think are of relevance- and that’s not the hard part. What requires effort is convincing people that what you are saying is real and experienced – showing the difference between you and the next wannabe rapper.
To sum it all up, this mix-tape in general is thoroughly entertaining, with Chance’s unforgettable “Ah” adlibbed in nearly every track – it’s fun and light hearted. That should not be misconstrued as a stab at the rapper’s ability but a compliment, because at this stage in the hip-hop industry I feel as though his style and ability to play with words as he does truly is one of a kind. Aside from the rapper himself, I must applaud the producers that were involved in the making of the mix-tape, the assimilation of all the beats, drum patterns and effects that all fall into the right place – you really get the feeling that you’re listening to a holistic project that was put together strategically. As far as rating the album goes, I would give this a 5/5 – because when he raps, I believe in what he’s saying. He is not completely full of it like many rappers with their own respective releases. In other words, you get the sense that Chance the Rapper is no t just selling music- it feels like he has infused a bit of himself in each of his songs. So now sit back, relax and enjoy the irrefutable talent that is Chance the Rapper in “Acid Rap”.