Spring 2016 has brought the long-awaited release of many new albums and projects. Drake finally dropped ‘Views’ and Beyonce released ‘Lemonade’ overwhelming social media as fans and listeners alike desperately tried to keep their Apple music accounts paid for to stay in on the hype. Just as the dust began to settle and Twitter regained its calm, Chance the Rapper released his third mixtape, ‘Coloring Book.’ A fourteen track homage to his humble beginnings in Chicago. ‘Coloring Book’ is layered with gospel undertones and an urban reflection on escaped youth.
Chance sets the tone with “All We Got,” a heavily synthesized trumpet heavy track that features his mentee Kanye West. Chance pays tribute to his city straight away by featuring the Chicago Children’s Choir. The song’s message is clear. To Chance, music is all we really have. Chance clears the record, rapping that “This for the kids of the king of all kings,” a reference to God and all his children.
“Same Drugs” centers around the changing relationship between Chance and a girl as they grow older. Similar to “Cocoa Butter Kisses” on his last mixtape ‘Acid Rap’, Chance places heavy focus on loss of childhood. He chants “wide-eyed kids being kids, why did you stop?”
In addition to the power packed by gospel-heavy tracks, Chance used his growing fame to fill his album with impressive features. From Justin Bieber and Towkio on the soulful “Juke Jam,” to Young Thug and Lil Yachty on the boasting song “Mixtape.”
To say that Chance’s fame is growing is an understatement, but the rapper remains solid on his views about the music industry no matter how much he makes. “No Problems” highlights Chance’s distrust of studios, rapping that “if one more label try to stop me,” Chance may have to cause some problems of his own.
Chance’s newest project is not to be overlooked in the midst of all the music dropping this spring. His lyrics contain honesty and heart, things that this generation are criticized for lacking. Chance speaks and sings not only for Chicago, but for youth everywhere. As Chance so aptly raps in the opener, music is all we got.
-Written by Terra Walls