Friday, May 13, 2016

Sky Box Sounds vol. 29 | Coloring Book - Chance, the Rapper


Artist: Chance the Rapper
Album: Coloring Book (2016)

The timing of this particular review is a little ambitious. Typically, I'll give myself a few days to really listen and really get a feel for a new album; in this case, I only gave myself a few hours. After exploding via the internet, building anticipation with street marketing, and taking what was, essentially, a 3-year hiatus since Acid Rap, we the people finally have a chance to hear new music from the one and only, Chancelor Bennett, musically known as Chance the Rapper. Fortunately, a few hours was enough time to push out a think piece on Chance the Rapper's midnight release of his latest album, Coloring Book

From the moment the horns roared on 'All We Got' ft. Kanye West and the Chicago Boys Choir until the concluding "prayer" on the second 'Blessings' track, I was in complete awe. To boldly incorporate God, not only in one song, but throughout an entire hip-hop compilation, without offending anyone else's faith seems impossible...until it's actually done. He took us to church! Expressing spirituality in mainstream rap can be risky, as it can be rejected and unpopular, but there's no doubt in my mind that it's simply a reflection of the journey he's been on. It's obvious that he's in such a positive place in his life right now and at the end of the day, that's all we can ever really ask for in this human experience. That kind of vulnerability and authenticity truly outshines everything else there is to love about this record. 

Everything about this album made a 3-year wait so worth it, excluding Donnie Trumpet's and The Social Experiment's debut album, Surf). The messages in every lyric, the strum of every chord, the collaborations (oh my, the collaborations!!!), the production behind each verse just an intense place of happiness that I can't quite explain. I couldn't even sleep this a.m. I just wanted to press play and stay up all night to listen on repeat; first few times in order from start to finish, next on shuffle, then randomly choosing. I haven't chosen favorites yet, but add this to the already lengthy play list of music I love in 2016 (to be featured on the annual Musical Year in Review; wait for it).

Watching the growth from the 2011 #10Day mix tape and his come-up as an underground artist, has been inspiring and nothing short of amazing. Never venturing far from his unique sound and never too exposed, artists like him confirm the idea that it isn't necessary to compromise your vision or the dreams in your heart in order to be successful. He's so young and so very talented, but still has so much potential; one can only hope that it's somewhere in God's plan for him to tap into it in this lifetime, because he certainly hasn't reached his peak. However, if he remains consistent as a musician and loyal to the art he believes in, he still has a very positive and prosperous path ahead of him.
Follow me on Twitter: @TheSkyBoxSuite | @ChymereA

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