Not Your Average Music Review: “Coloring Book” by Chance the Rapper

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For my music review today, I will be reviewing the new album entitled “Coloring Book”, by Chance the Rapper. A little background about the artist Chancelor Bennett, also known as Chance the Rapper, Chano, and Lil Chano from 79th has become known to be one of the best solo artists to date. He became more well-known after the release of his second official mixtape called Acid Rap. Acid Rap was released as a free digital download in 2013, and in just two months his mixtape was 63rd on the top Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Albums. In 2016 Chance the Rapper released Coloring Book as an album or a mixtape. So, if you wanted it for free you could, but you could also purchase it to provide him with money because he won’t sign with a music agency because he believes they will take control of his music. He writes all the lyrics and creates all of the beats for all of his own music. My review of Coloring Book will be broken down into two parts. Part 1 will be of the first seven songs of the album, and Part 2 will be about the last seven songs.

Part 1:

The first seven songs of the album were equally as amazing as the latter seven songs. The first song, “All We Got”, opened up with a harmony of horns being beautifully blown. In this song, Kanye West raps a short verse because they have similar music visions. Their music may not be exactly similar, but their passion of their visions is identical. Song number two, “No Problem”, is a high energy song that features Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz. At one point, Chance the Rapper refers to himself as Chano. In the song, he’s saying he’s a good guy, but you don’t want any problems with him. The third song, “Summer Friends”, opens to a beautiful melody of Francis & The Lights singing. Then after a whole minute of singing, the song drops into Chano humming to the melody. Jeremih features in this song to add a more intimate feeling. The fourth song, “D.R.A.M. Sings Special”, served the purpose of an interlude show casing D.R.A.M.s wonderful voice. His most popular song is called “BROCCOLI”. It’s a hip-hop song that makes him seem like a thug, but this interlude showcased his true voice, and it was utterly astonishing. The fifth song, “Blessings”, is Chance the Rapper showing everyone how truly religious he is. His passion for God clearly stands out in his songs. A line that really stuck with me was “When the praises go up, the blessings come down.” This is something that Chano is saying because he believes that God has been one of the biggest impacts on his life and career. The sixth song, “Same Drugs”, is him talking about how he and his ex-girlfriend don’t hang out anymore, and are no longer in each other’s lives. This song has a woman with an amazing voice singing in the background of everything Chano is saying. The seventh, and last song for Part 1 is “Mixtape”. This song explains Chance the Rapper’s feeling about making money for his music. He asks “Am I the only one who still cares about mixtapes?” over and over again because artists no longer put out mixtapes like they used to. They make everyone pay for their music, but he does not because he believes in making the music for the pure love of music.

Part 2:

The reason I broke the album into two parts is because I listened to the first seven songs at one point in time, and then listened to the second seven songs at a different time. Song eight, “Angels” continues to show Chance the Rapper’s absorption of God. He screams three times in a high pitched voice, and then says “for my real fans!” He did this because Acid Rap was a more fun and crazy mixtape where he had fun and attracted people to his wildness. This shows that he can do both. The ninth song, “Juke Jam”, is personally my favorite song on the album. This song shows his softer side because he’s rapping about how he misses his ex in his life. They have a child together, and he wants nothing more than to be with her, and his child. The tenth song, “All Night”, is a shorter song, but it’s purpose is definitely to get people on their feet dancing. He raps about how he parties all night. The eleventh song, “How Great” is another Christian music inspired rap. Chance the Rapper uses his humor in this song by having an elderly man saying “God is better than the world’s best steak.” The twelfth song, “Smoke Break” features the popular artist Future. This song has a slow beat to it, that shows Chano’s soft side again. He says he wants to slow it down for a second, smoke with her, and relax like they used to. He seems to miss that more than anything. The thirteenth song, “Finish Line / Drown”, is a song that’s broken down into two shorter songs. The first half of the song starts off with a positive beat, but the second half dies down. This song represents that you either make it to the finish line, or you drown. The final and fourteenth song, “Blessings (ft. Ty Dolla Sign)”, is song that explains how he made it through the hard times, and he gave it everything he had every day of his life. He is so strongly passionate about God and his religion so much that it influences his music. It’s amazing.

The real reason I chose to review this article was not because of the music, but because of the rapper himself. What I wanted to review was Chance the Rapper as a human. The reason I always said Chance the Rapper, and not just Chance was because he doesn’t like being called just Chance. He says in one of his songs, “My name is Chance the Rapper, please say the Rapper.” I find this cool because he doesn’t want to change who he is, so he keeps everything consistent. He seems to be one of the coolest artists today because he is so real. Nothing about him his fake, and that’s what I love about him. He gives you his all, and in return all he wants is the love of his fans. If Chance continues to make music like this from his heart, he will do nothing but gain more and more of a following. His popularity rose because of the stances he takes in life. He’s “pre-currency, post-language, and anti-label.” This perfectly describes how different Chance the Rapper is from everyone else. He truly does not care about making money. The only thing he wants to do is make music and have people hear it. Being anti-label means not signing a record deal. Therefore, no record company can tell him what music he can make. It’s truly amazing that no one can tell him what to do. Meanwhile, any other artist out there can’t cut their hair unless their record company allows them to. So, based on the artist and quality of the music, I would give Coloring Book by Chance the Rapper a 4.9/5. It is truly one of the best albums to ever grace my ears.

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