#1 Mixtape Of The Year: Chance The Rapper: Acid Rap

Posted: January 2, 2014 by ericbernsen in Album Reviews, Music
Tags: , , ,

Chance The Rapper has officially blown up on the national scene since the release of this critically acclaimed mixtape Acid Rap. While his previous project #10Day showcased a promising artist with raw talent and sharp musical instinct, Acid Rap officially invites the listener into the complicated mind of the young Chicago emcee as he brings us on a journey navigating through his cigarette-fumed highs and lows. Inspired by the well-constructed classical soul, gospel, blues-rock, acid jazz, and scat musical influences on the project, Chance The Rapper excels at being genuinely alternative through his delivery and creates his own appealing sound on the project.

Early in the mixtape we are exposed to Chance’s versatility on “Pusha Man”, a song separated by two parts that are poetically upbeat and then darker/politically conscious respectively. Chance The Rapper has a delivery that is highlighted by a quirky, high-pitched voice that effortlessly drifts back and forth from rapping and singing. This artistic quality seems calculated and expansively free of structure all at the same time. While Chance The Rapper embraces his youthfulness and gifted ability of vocal expression on tracks like “Favorite Song” and “NaNa”, he can also shine at his most self-reflective moments and somber songs like the Jake One produced “Acid Rain”. Chance’s artistic duality is impressive and most importantly, nothing sounds immature, preachy, or forced.

Chance picks his guest features wisely on the project as he recruits a group of artists just as unique as him with the likes of Childish Gambino, Ab Soul, and Action Bronson. Each one assists in the singular vision of Acid Rap as a place free of judgment and open to thoughts ranging from love to despair and life vs. death. The production on Acid Rap enhances Chance The Rapper’s subject matter and highlights his eccentric voice through soulful acid-jazz inspired instrumentation. While it may take some time to adjust to Chance’s vocals, his technical wordplay is advanced as he bends syllables to his liking throughout the project. And as a complete body of work, Acid Rap is more than a fun listen from an engaging, up-and-coming artist; it is thoughtful, thorough, and compelling.

Many are already hyping Chance The Rapper to be the “Kendrick Lamar” of 2014 and that he is destined (or an industry plant) to make major moves on the mainstream level of hip-hop. Coming off a project that displays Chance’s confidence in his nonchalant and lovable style, that comparison may indeed be his fate. But before we embrace what is to come for the young Chicago emcee, we can give Chance his proper dues for creating such an honest record in Acid Rap, a mixtape worthy of being sold as an official album and one of the best in 2013.

Listen to Acid Rap below and let us know what you think of the review/rating!








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