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The Kickback: Chance The Rapper

Andrew Gastelum | Tuesday, April 30, 2013


Now that school is ending, it makes sense to have our final kickback be about an artist who started his career because of school.

In his senior year of high school, Chance The Rapper was suspended 10 days for marijuana possession. But his suspension gave him the push to pursue his dreams in rap, resulting in his first mix tape “10 Day.”

Twenty thousand downloads later, the Chicago rapper opened for Childish Gambino on his “Camp” tour, rocked South By Southwest twice and notched a spot at this summer’s Lollapalooza.

Oh, and he’s only 19 years old. 

Everything about this kid is unique, from his squeaky, high-pitch voice to his soothing amalgamation of jazz instrumentation and his congenial storytelling of everyday life reminiscent of 90s rap.

And it all seems to come together in “Acid Rap,” Chance The Rapper’s highly anticipated sophomore release. 

“Acid Rap” represents the reason we should all love rap: to hear a good story. There’re no typecast club bangers, hard-hitting 808s or rapid-fire high-hats.  In fact, it’s a lot of trumpet blaring, piano melodies and acid jazz grooves, and it sits so well with any mood. 

Chance gets a little help from his friends this time around, including TDE’s Ab-Soul, Action Bronson, Childish Gambino and even Twista

The mix tape’s highlights come from the uplifting, meta “Favorite Song” feat. Childish Gambino and the wall-knocking, All-of-the-Lights-horn-heavy “Smoke Again” feat. Ab-Soul. 

But the real eye-opener to Chance The Rapper’s true potential rests in the melancholy ubi-sunt of “Acid Rain,” an ode to an acid trip that helps him cope with the murder of a close friend.

If you’re looking for any comparisons, it’s as if A Tribe Called Quest met the old “Through the Wire” Kanye West. Yup, I know it’s high praise, but all it needs is a Chance.