Chance the Rapper- “Acid Rap”
”Even better than it was the last time”, announces a chorus at the start of “Good Ass Intro”. It’s with these opening lines, along with the following warm gospel-tinged piano line that set the mood for Chance’s playful but sometimes scary 13-track acid trip into the windy city.
“Acid Rap” has Chance giving his audience a personal tour of his midwest hometown, one that has come under media scrutiny due to high gun violence. But Chance isn’t like Fredo Santana or Chief Keef, out on the front lines ending teenage rivalries with gunshots, nor has he completely given up on Chicago. Instead, Chance focuses on creating a tape reminiscent of old soul records and cigarette burnt-sweaters, of late summer nights and cocoa butter kisses.
Many of that beats that Chance raps over are colorful RnB pieces, similar to fellow Chi-town rapper Kanye West. which goes great with Chance’s lyrical content and delivery. Often, Chance will rap about being an adolescent and having fun with your friends, like on tracks such as “Juice”, where both the beat and Chance’s delivery are very playful. But on tracks like the second half of “Pusha Man”, he takes a more serious tone, commenting on how the media has brought little attention to Chicago’s living conditions.
Chance creates this constantly juxtaposing picture of playful wonderland and harsh reality, which are complimented by strong soulful beats and notable guest artists, such as Action Bronson(doing a very typical Bronson verse), Childish Gambino(who unfortunately does a typical Gambino verse), and Twista(who has one of best guest spots on the tape). However, the tape is not without flaw. Many of Chance’s more socially conscious verses sound near identical to something Kendrick Lamar would do, from the quiet, brooding beat down to the cynical musing about riding around with a blunt in your hand. and there are other times on this mixtape where things seem to clump together and the acid trip starts wearing off, especially near the second half. Chance ends the tape with “Good Ass Outro”, which, after a series of druggy hype tracks, takes the listener back to the beginning, repeating the opening chorus.
It isn’t breaking any molds, but “Acid Rap” is a solid release with exceptional production and memorable lines. Take a chance, take an acid trip through Chicago. It’ll be even better than the last time.