Man it’s been quite a ride for Chance The Rapper. Four years ago Chance was really just one of us, by that I mean a teenage kid from Chicago who had an undeniable love and appreciation for the music our city produces & really just the city itself. He started his journey on April, 3rd 2012 when he dropped his first mixtape titled “10 Day” after getting a ten day suspension from his former high school Jones College Prep. At the time this what seemed to be a curse ultimately turned out to be one of the biggest blessings he has ever received. Chance took full advantage of the suspension and used that built up anger to give us the perfect introduction to himself with “10 Day.” The idea he provided within that first project was extremely likable, the story of a rebel with all the odds against him fighting (not literally) against his school and the police, seriously who wasn’t rooting for the young Chance at this point? Not only was the idea of the project genius, but Chance gave us fans numerous relatable singles throughout the tape, from speaking on the death of a close friend in “Nostalgia” & “Missing You,” to giving his mother possibly the most beautiful thank you of all time with “Hey Ma.” Damn near every song in the project made you feel a great amount of emotion, and that may have just been the greatest part about it, all the records made you feel something inside. Whether it was the feel good songs like “Windows” and “Juke Juke,” or some of the more nostalgic cuts like “Long Time” or “Prom Night,” you were instantly provoked to feel something good or bad. He made listeners feel almost as if they were right there with him, and this is what first caught our city’s attention, but lets fast forward a bit to when he reached a nation wide scale.
Only a year and a few weeks later, on April 30th, 2013 Chance dropped one of the greatest hip-hop projects of all time with his critically acclaimed mixtape titled “Acid Rap.” Where do I even start with this one? This project was so well received for several reasons: How cohesive it was, the brillant idea behind it, the fantastic production, the even better rhymes & melodies, not to mention the impressive visuals we obtained off of songs from the tape. There was just something in the air when this project was released, there was a feeling of excitement, a feeling of youth, a feeling of “Oh shit Chance is about to blow up.” At this point I realized that I no longer needed to try to convince my friends that Chance was going to be something huge one day, all I had to do was press play and watch their positive reactions while the rest of the world fell in love with him. This mixtape took Chance from performing locally all the time at venues such as Reggies or Lincoln Hall to opening on tours all across the world for Eminem, one of his biggest childhood idols. Hell, this sophomore project helped Chance work with plenty of legendary artists such as Lil Wayne, Madonna, Erykah Badu, Kanye West, Common, and Twista just to name a few. “Acid Rap” left a huge impression on the youth of Chicago, Chance proved to them that it’s possible to be a kid from 79th getting your start at Reggies yet become a household name in just a few short years. I believe I speak for a great majority of music enthusiasts my age when i say that the “10 Day” and “Acid Rap” years influenced us a large amount & inspired us to chase our dreams & to do amazing things in life.
First things first, how about the rollout Chance provided with this release? Incase you haven’t noticed, the cover art for the new mixtape is all over the country. Everywhere from billboards & bus stops all around Chicago, to campuses & universities across the country have been plastered with gigantic posters that have the cover image of this new project. Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, New Orleans, and many more cities have a lot of their streets covered in these posters as well. Basically, Chance has made his massive fan base his own street team if you will. For the past two weeks he has been selling ten Chance 3 posters on his website for only twenty bucks, making it virtually impossible to not see his face every where you go. In the past two weeks alone his team has sent out well over fifty thousand posters, which is unheard of to hear a rapper sell that many. You have to appreciate it!
Now that we have touched up a little bit on the past of the young Chicago legend, lets take a good look at the brand new project you have all been waiting for, nicknamed Chance 3 but titled “Coloring Book.” Earlier today on Zane Lowe’s Apple Music radio station, Chance debuted his single “No Problem” featuring 2 Chainz & Lil Wayne, and since then he has been taking the internet by storm, even being the #1 trend on Twitter for a majority of the day. This project has a total of fourteen tracks in length, and contains a list of very strong features from the likes of Kanye West, Justin Bieber, Jamila Woods, Lil Wayne, 2 Chainz, Bryon Cage, Jay Electronica, Jeremih, Young Thug, Lil Yachty, DRAM, Chicago’s Childrens Choir, Noname Gypsy, T-Pain, Eryn Allen Kane, Saba, and Francis & The Lights. During the build up for this release I noticed that it seemed like everyone was asking the same question, “Do you think it will be better than 10 Day and/or Acid Rap?” Truthfully, I believe that “Coloring Book” is better than both 10 Day and Acid Rap combined, respectfully. Obviously thats not to take anything away from the first two projects, but man this new one is really just next level, it’s Grammy material. Chance even noted in his recent interview with Complex that Chance 3 will be way better than “Surf.” He stated “I’ll say that on record. Donnie is awesome, and the project was awesome, but this is all of us focusing our efforts into some very hip-hop and very dance sh*t, and it feels good. I’m so excited about that.” With the release of the third mixtape I believe that Chance solidified his spot as not only the best independent rapper in the game, but as one of the best rappers in the game period. The career of Chance The Rapper has really been something magical up to this point, something that I predict they will write books about & make movies based on his life in the future. Until we reach that inevitable point, be apart of history as you listen to the third project here.