Rating: A

Release Date: May 13th, 2016

THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 0465 -- Pictured: Musical guest Chance the Rapper performs with Byron Cage and Camilla Woods on May 5, 2016 -- (Photo by: Andrew Lipovsky/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

“AHH! AHH! AHH! AHH!” By now we should all know that adlib. Chicago’s own Chance The Rapper blesses the universe with his third solo mixtape. Coloring Book has 14 tracks filled with catchy hooks, superstar features, and choir vocals that’ll take you back to Easter Sunday. It begins on the very first track “All We Got” by Kanye West repaying on Chance for his immaculate “Ultralight Beam” contribution. Along with West, the Chicago Children’s Choir delivers the hook, “Music is all we got.” For hundreds of kids in Chicago, and really across the United States, which grew up in situations and neighborhoods similar to Chance’s, music is the only thing they have that makes them happy and feel safe. The attitude quickly changes on the second track “No Problem” featuring 2 Chainz and Lil Wayne. “If one more label try to stop me it’s gone be some dread head n****s in your lobby.” Chance has been one of the few hip-hop artists to continue to remain an independent artist. Major record labels have been calling him since he dropped Acid Rap in 2013 trying to strike a deal but he continues to ride his own wave.

Chance takes a trip to Atlanta and brings back two superstars and a newcomer Future, Young Thug, and Lil Yachty. Thug and Yachty pop up on “Mixtape” and deliver some inspirational lines including “I changed the culture,” “Time and time again they told me no/they told me I wouldn’t go,” and “Dropped out and hit the scene/now I’m stuntin’ like bling.” All three (Chance, Thug and Yachty) are perfect for this song being that none of them have released any studio albums, only mixtapes thus far. Chance asks, “Am I the only n***a [that] still care about mixtapes?” Recently, Chance signed an online petition to make free music eligible for Grammy nominations. So, obviously he’s not the only one but there’s a very select few hip-hop artists that still release free mixtapes. On track twelve, Future comes in and joins Chance for a much needed “Smoke Break.” This soothing track is perfect for a smoke session, if you’re into that kind of thing.

The production on Coloring Book is just as astounding as the other aspects of the mixtape. Chance connects with The Social Experiment on the tracks “Blessings” and “Angels” and they display every instrument in their arsenal. The other producers that he leans on throughout the mixtape include Brasstracks, Stix, Lido, and Kaytranada. Although very peculiar selections, they perfectly capture his vision of heavy doses of gospel chords, horns, and synths.  From start to finish, Coloring Book is a must listen. The lively sounds jump out of the speakers similar to bright colors in a coloring book.

 

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About The Author

I'm 20 years old coming from Atlanta and attending the University of Alabama. For the magazine I'm a music writer but in general I'm a writer, producer, and designer. With my writing I want to spread to others the wonders of hip-hop culture. Follow me on Twitter @28Wavy for new music and updates.

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