Yea we back! On April 30th, 2013 an unknown rapper named Chance from Chicago released a little mixtape called Acid Rap. The project just turned 6 years old, and man, what a transformative six years it has been. His career started as a thankless grind; releasing his work on Soundcloud and touring as an opening act. What could have been his breaking point, became his turning point. After the release of Acid Rap, came full blown superstardom. The Rapper is now headlining festivals and selling out stadiums, appearing in endorsements, and walking the red carpet of major award shows. But whose to say if any of this would exist, if it weren’t for that very special project, made six years ago.
Chance’s first release titled ’10 Day’, was a mixtape he created while on a 10 day suspension from school. It was the first time we’d heard from the young rapper and the sparks were there. As the drill scene was coming out of Chicago at this time, Chance was an extremely different sound. A style closer to a young Kanye than Chief Keef.
Artist rarely know when it’s all going to work. It’s a constant battle of trying to reach more fans and create a following, while also remaining authentic. Sometimes though the stars and the moon align and everything works out, that is Acid Rap. ‘Good Ass Intro’ is the start of this journey and you can hear the difference with the live instrumentation. This isn’t bass and car stereo rap music. This is sing in church with your grandmother music, music that hits your soul a little differently, music that really means something.
‘Cocoa Butter Kisses’ is one of the most honest looks at a child turning man, growing out of the life your family had created and finding your own way. The representation of family on the song, with his brother and friend Vic Mensa being featured, is no mistake. They grew up together and now years later have grown apart. The coming of age theme continues as Chance covers topics like love, and other drugs. Love is different to everyone, sometimes it’s flowers and dinners, sometimes it’s drugs and fucking, ‘Lost’ is Chance’s idea of love, “her pussy like me, her heart like fuck it” as wrong as it is, is as true as it is.
At 18 I didn’t know much, most of us didn’t. I dint have a grasp on life, the importance of love, of how powerful people can be. Chance at 18 understood it better than I might now, ‘Everybody’s Somebody’s Everything’ and ‘Interlude (That’s Love)’ show such a solid understanding on the importance of people being there; “What’s better than yelling is hollering love. What’s better than rhymes, nickels, dimes and dollars and dubs, is dialing up your darling just for callin’ her up. It ain’t nothing better than fallin’ in love”
At this point the mixtape takes a turn to the more fun side of being 18. ‘Favorite Song’ with Childish Gambino is two friends hanging at the crib with the day off from school dancing and smoking weed while mom is away. ‘NaNa’ is nothing but wildness as Chance and Action Bronson trade verses about mushrooms, acid, and Aronold Schwarzenegger in a black hummer. Then the much needed ‘Smoke Again’ comes in, because what better to do after smoking, then smoking again.
The album shows so many sides of Chance the rapper, ‘Acid Rain’ is looking at yourself in the mirror trying to decide who you want to be. It’s self-doubt, confusion, fear, and faith. He talks about medicine in his stomach, lean and pills, with fear of being sick. He talks about making money, cause people still get killed for shoes. He speaks on the death of Hadiya Pendleton, a young girl killed shortly after she performed at President Obamas inauguration. It’s self-reflection of no other.
The albums ends in a very personal manner on ‘Everything’s Good’ with a phone call from his father, explaining how proud he is of his son, bringing the album full circle. Chance comes into the project with nothing but what he knows, I think that’s why the project means so much to so many people. He didn’t have it all figured out, but a the end of the day, everything’s good, just like it will be for you.