Chance The Rapper // Acid Rap // April 30, 2013 // Self-Released
Hip hop once took a stand against the drugs. It acted as a gateway for people in the hood to make a sound and get bigger than the surroundings that they’ve been dragged into straight from the birth. These days it seems that there’s very few rappers left who don’t do drugs. Like, when Tyler, The Creator states that he doesn’t do weed, it sounds more like another one of his teases rather than an honest stance by a rich kid with a name. And while once you had to make that name for yourself before being able to enjoy a joint by your pool, these days any kid with an addiction and a cracked copy of Reason thinks that they are somehow interesting enough to launch a rap career. That’s what Chance The Rapper is, another oh so zany drug fueled, semi conscious rapper with a memorable rapping persona but ultimately, nothing new to say.
Rather than fully immerse himself in the smoke and act as if what he does is normal and shouldn’t be frowned upon, Chance The Rapper spends most of his second mixtape Acid Rap trying to establish himself as some sort of voice of reason. You can’t blame Chance for trying to be different, you only need to have a little bit of brain in your head to not want to surrender to the surroundings that Chance is coming from. He is from the infamous Chicago suburbs which have been increasingly violent as of late and what’s even more important, were responsible for the lowest common denominator in hip hop music, Chief Keef. This voice of reason feels like it has been on an acid binge as the colours are bright and vivid, from the vocals to the instrumentation. The beats on here consist of dreamy, lite jazz and percussion that ranges from the current Chicago sound to a more engaging live drums on the warm and heartfelt closer Everything’s Good. For a self-released mixtape, Acid Rap displays a wide range of inspirations and while not exactly attention grabbing, is pleasantly outlandish.
Much of the same outlandish values are carried by Chance’s voice but depending on how you personally feel about rappers that emphasise their zany nature, Chance’s voice and his personality can be a deal breaker. He doesn’t really go over the top like Danny Brown and his personas would. Chance’s voices don’t have much depth and sometimes (NaNa), they ruin the entire track. Things that he’s talking about while using these shallow personas? Life that surrounds his mixed with the life that Chance surrounds himself with whenever he does acid. As a rapper, Chance steals his flow from two people. The conversational nature of his lyrics is taken straight from an Eminem record (That’s Love) while the drugged up adventurousness of his more out there verses is early Lil’ Wayne (Good Ass Intro). The very worst on here comes when Chance truly goes over the top. His ad-libs are some of the worst the game has ever seen and whenever he tries so express a playful emotion in his voice (Favorite Song) or, god forbid, sing, the results make his cartoony rap pastiche simply stupid and make him sound like Nickelodeon answer to Childish Gambino.
Acid Rap has its moments but it’s mostly a pain to listen to thanks to Chance The Rapper coming across as a six year old ADD child who drooled on his fluorescent yellow t-shirt. It’s incredibly underwhelming that lyrically Chance is pretty boring, dropping some of the most half arsed allusions to No Doubt and Dukes Of Hazzard among others that you can think of. There’s very few lines on here that are actually funny, and even less than are hilarious (dig at Lakers on Juice). This is only his second tape so Chance has plenty of time to improve but at the moment he feels like an extroverted nostalgia rapper who rips off two of the worst mainstream rappers of today circa when they used to be good. That, and he sings.