HAVE YOU HEARD THIS ALBUM? SERIOUSLY HAVE YOU?!?
IF YOU HAVENT LISTENED TO COLORING BOOK YET, DO IT. RIGHT NOW. SERIOUSLY.
OK WELCOME BACK.
Do you feel like a changed person? You should. I’ve been waiting patiently since Acid Rap for whatever project Chance would drop to follow-up what I’ll argue is the greatest mixtape of all time, maybe even album. I spent most of my senior year of high school forcing Acid Rap on anybody that had a set of working ears. I played that tape on repeat more times than I can count. Hell, I still play it through a few times a week. No lie, that album changed my life, so you can imagine I was a little excited for this album to finally come out. I also hyped this album so much, and it exceeded every expectation I set out for it.
This album made Views look like childs-play. For real, I didn’t get to put a review out for Drake’s latest project because finals and work got in the way, but Coloring Book took Views behind the woodshed. It’s a good album, I’m not saying it isn’t. But it was just an album that had Drake following the same formula that he’s followed for the past couple of years. He didn’t change the game, and for how hyped up Views ended up being, he probably should have. It’s nothing new, and maybe we all hyped it up, but I haven’t heard too many people say it lived up to it.
And look, its only been 5 days since Coloring Book, so I’m going to try to stay as collected and coherent as I can. But that still might be tough. When this thing dropped I was sitting in a pizza shop with some friends with no 4G left on my phone. So I did the only logical thing and took my friend’s phone out of her hands so I could play it. I swear on everything that is holy I almost cried when I started hearing Chance sing “And we back, and we back, and we back”. From that moment, I knew this album was going to be something special, something that actually would change the music game.
From Acid Rap to now, it’s clear Chance has grown an immense amount in just these past 3 years. Having a daughter seems to have matured him and brought him closer to God. He’s a family man and a man of his faith. He’s a man who loves his life and everything that comes with it. On the projects opener “All We Got” Chance doesn’t just sing but screams
“Man my daughter couldn’t have a better mother//
If she ever find another, he better love her”
and follows that up with,
“Man I swear my life is perfect//
I could merch it.”
It’s hard not to dance and smile when you hear that line go off and the horns kick in. You can hear Chance smiling when he sings and it’s what sets the tone for this album.
Look, Chance went and made the hottest album of the year and took us to church for half of it. This album is the happiest I’ve ever been listening to music. If you’re not yelling the “I need caaaaaaaash money” line from “All Night” you need to figure it out because that’s genuinely the most fun song this world has ever seen. The gospel aspects of this album not only show off Chance’s new sound but also put his growth on display. He took a page out of Kanye’s playbook with a more soulful sound, but using an actual choir and orchestra took many of these songs to a much more spiritual level. I honestly wouldn’t be shocked if they started playing “How Great” in every church from here to the West Coast.
Meanwhile, the features on this album read like an all-star game line-up. This not so little independent rapper got some of the biggest names in music on this thing. Kanye West, 2 Chainz, Lil Wayne, D.R.A.M., Young Thug, Justin Bieber, Future, T-Pain, and even jazz legend Kirk Franklin to make an appearance. And This isn’t an easy task. Chance sticking to his guns about not going to a label isn’t making those labels happy.
“I’ve been getting blocked just trying to make songs with friends //
Labels told me to my face that they own my friends” (Off “Finish Line”)
Chance raps on “Finish Line”. Apparently there was a Big Sean feature that was cut from the album last-minute because a label wouldn’t allow it.
It’s kind of petty on the labels part but Chance is keeping it real and is having major success doing his independent thing. It may not be as lucrative, but it’s refreshing to see a young talented artist not sell out for some quick cash in order to keep it about the music.
What is more impressive than just the feature lineup is the way Chance changes his flows throughout this album. He’s quick and light on “Summer Friends” and “All Night”. He matches flows with Thugger and Yachty on “Mixtape”, and slows it up with Future on “Smoke Break”. He’s hyped up and excited on “Angels” and “All Night”. And damn if he’s not straight-up inspiring on both “Blessings” and “How Great”. His ability to change up his styles really make this album feel complete, with every song sounding different and unique. It’s showing his growth and completeness as an artist, and it’s proven that Chance is one of the biggest stars in the music business and is here to stay. Hopefully more independent artists follow his lead and realize they don’t need a label to be successful.
This tape is already a classic in my book, and while I can’t decide if it’s better than Acid Rap yet, there might be an argument to make. This is already the album of the year and it would take the Kendrick and J. Cole collab album to take that title. So if you still haven’t heard this album, I genuinely don’t know what you’ve been doing.
So how hot is this album?
Top 5 songs: (Every song on this project is good, it doesn’t matter)
5: Summer Friends (Ft. Jeremih and Francis & The Lights)… This is a look into what it was like growing up in Chicago, and the violence that has always taken place. It’s a call out to the city to fix the problems. Recruiting fellow Chicagoan Jeremih was a nice touch too.
4: All We Got (Kanye West and The Chicago Children’s Chorus)… What a way to open an album. Getting the G.O.A.T. and Chance’s hero to help with production and give a chorus, and getting the Children’s Choir from the City to sing on top of that. Mix that with the booming horns and it’s such an arrival and start for the tape.
3: Mixtape (Ft. Young Thug and Lil Yachty)… This song might have made me a Lil Yachty fan, that’s how good Chance and this tape are. Chance puts his Thugger take on his verse and it might be my favorite on the whole project.
2: Juke Jam (Ft. Bieber and Towkio)… This song is so damn good, I almost made it number 1 but I couldn’t make the call. The whole premise of this song, while Chance’s own song, seems so relatable to listeners. It’s just a kid with a crush on a girl, and growing up and figuring it out.
1: All Night (Ft. Knox Fortune)… This song is so damn infectious, I put it back on every few songs just to hear it again. KAYTRANADA is one of the best new producers and this is one of the best beats he’s made in recent memory, even compared to his album 99.9% (Which is fire, check that out too). Knox Fortune kills the chorus and his going to be a star too. This song is just Chance having fun.
P.S. No Problems is going to be jam of the summer, mark my words.