Album Review: Chance The Rapper. Chance3 (Coloring book)
Chancelor Bennett aka Chance The Rapper has released his third Mix Tape; Coloring Book. On May 13, 2016 Coloring Book dropped. Thank you for rockin’ with HipHopUndead on this album review.
Chance The Rapper – Coloring Book
I recall sometime last year hearing Chance The Rapper announcing that he would be recording his third mix tape after his tour and released the stand alone track Family Matters with the announcement.
What followed that was Angels (the audio version first) and he then recorded a video for it. Watch Below
With the two songs above were precursors to Coloring Book. Family Matters and Angels both have an unheard sound not explored on a Chance The Rapper album. These tracks incorporated brass melodies and a gospel sound.
So it shouldn’t be a surprise that when the mix tape comes around it would ave these similar tones. I just don’t think we knew it would take place throughout the whole album nor did i think it would work, but it does!
Lets break down this album track for track;
1. All We Got (feat. Kanye West & Chicago Children’s Choir) – Chance The Rapper always has the dopes’t intro songs. Good ass intro was a hard act to follow but Chance delivered…..until Kanye comes in.
Kanye’s vocals on the chorus are way to loud and he becomes a huge distraction. It’s unfortunate because this song has huge potential but with the listener having to always adjust the volume every chorus makes for a frustrating experience. Despite it all, it still has plenty of energy full of positive affirmations.
2. No Problem (feat. Lil Wayne & 2 Chainz) – Speaking of Kanye, the production on this track i felt could have been on College Dropout. Whats odd about this album is Chance tweaks his rap style to be compatible with his features. On this track Chance takes a sluggish slur and pairs it with his sense of humor and manages to pull off a decent verse.
2 Chainz drops random rhymes that don’t lead anywhere but his energy and delivery works well with the production.
Lil Wayne comes in third and does what he is most known for, a stream of conscious type flow that sounds half delivered. Overall, a fun Chance track, the “Favorite Song” of Coloring Book.
3. Summer Friends (ft. Jeremih & Francis & The Lights) – I love this track. The way the chorus plays in the background simultaneously to Chance’s verse is a hit or miss for some. I enjoyed hearing the melodic vocals that set the tone for the track while Chance weaves a story in the front. Mixed perfectly.
4. D.R.A.M. Sings Special – Serves as a great interlude to the next track. A Hometown feature.
5. Blessings – One of the best lines from Chance come from this track. The horns and brass decorate this track beautifully. Chance The Rapper once again finds a way to use his charm to make listeners to convert to his music. One of my favorite tracks.
6. Same Drugs – This track is a great companion piece to Summer Friends. Chance channels his best harmonizing on this track. I’m not typically a fan of “singing rappers” but that’s Chance The Rapper for you.
7. Mixtape (ft. Young Thug & Lil Yachty) – This track starts off great, with dark, crawling, undertones. The chorus begins simultaneously with the bass line and the production is easily to get into. Young Thug’s verse is another thing. His chorus is great but his verse leads nowhere and delivers cringe worthy bars like “my bitch is saucy like pico de gallo, they got to ask if they may. Cinco de mayo”
Chance once again dumb’s down his sound to accommodate his guest feature’s.This adopted rap style does nothing for him on his verse or the song.
Lil Yachty rhymed well, managed to tell a story, and ended up outshining the previous verses. It makes perfect sense to have this song with these features being that all three artist have created a career on mixtapes.
8. Angels (ft. Saba) – Arguably the best track on the album. The instruments on this record are unmatched. To the bouncy steel drums in the chorus to the lush trumpets. Chance had his best moments on this track.
9. Juke Jam (ft. Justin Bieber & Towkio) – This song is a lot of fun. It has a R.Kelly Feelin On Your Booty vibe to it. The bieb’s is palatable on this track although i would have liked some more soul singing from him on this track.
10. All Night (ft. Knox Fortune) – Hip-House. Lazy songwriting but its a dance song, no one is listening to the lyrics. “Shut up! Start dancin’ ho.”
11. How Great (ft. Jay Electronica & My cousin Nicole) – [*The Beast Bar Award Winner*] This song doesn’t count as you going to church but its damn near close! Chance had my favorite line in this song “Color white collar crime/Good God, the gift of freedom/
Hosanna Santa invoked and woke up slaves from Southampton to Chatham Manor
My dream girl’s behind me, feel like I’m James Early
The type of worship make Jesus come back a day early/
With the faith of a pumpkin-seed-sized mustard seed
Here, for I will speak noble things as entrusted me.”
Jay Electronica steps out of left field and delivers a dope verse! He has every Hip-Hop head screaming “wheres the album fam??”
12. Smoke Break (ft. Future) This song does nothing for the album for me. Chance again, adjust his sound to Future on this track and succeeds in sounding good in the chorus but his verse suffers. Future does what he does. Eh.
13. Finish Line/Drown (ft. T-Pain, Kirk Franklin, Eryn Allen Kane & Noname) – A great bookend to the album. A bouncy, gospel track capping the tone to the album. My favorite feature goes to NoNameGypsy, she is always so graceful despite the language she uses, poetic with her spoken word flow and owns her presence.
14. Blessings – A well written track and some very inspiring last words for the album. The Kanye line does have me curious tho. Was this album an addition for Kanye? So he could sign him? Chance The Rapper has stayed independent this long and has created an empire, I hope he continues to stay on the independent grind when he does make his album debut
When Chance The Rapper is in his element with songs like Same Drugs and Angels, he shines. When he begins catering to his features he falls short. But the highlights to this album make up for its faults and we get a more versatile Chance. Over the years, chance has began to extend his sound since his last release Acid Rap; collaborating on The Social Experiment album, becoming involved in his community in Chicago and becoming a father.
This album is a milestone in his career and it becomes obvious that all these new engagements in his life has exposed him to a different world view and it shows in this album.
You get a little less child voice in his raps and more singing.
Instead of infectious “grocery list” rapping like on the beginning of the tracks “Favorite Song” and “Lost” where he rhymes random words, he approaches tracks differently here and slows it down on this album and chooses his words more carefully. Via “Blessings” for an example.
This progression is great to hear from album to album with Chance. And although Chance isn’t the greatest as far as being a lyricist, he has an undeniable charm and charisma about him that you cant help but enjoy. Coloring Book i feel is one of best project’s to come out this year.