Chance The Rapper by Dan-O
Chicago never seems to make headlines the right way. Now that the murder rate is trending at 38% higher than last year and Chief Keef is gleefully symbolizing it, the spotlight is back. The Chicago drill scene isdeep with catchy hooks about street code, Young Chop beats, and gun shot soundeffects that just aren’t funny anymore. Anytime someone tries to point the finger at the major hip hop sites and reviewers who have crowned Keef as the next big thing their response is thelogical equivalent of a shrug. Hey, that’s what comes out of Chicago so that’s what we cover.
The frustrating thing is that Chance the Rapper’s new mixtape named 10 Day(after his 10 day school suspension he was serving when hecreated it) nullifies any grounds this argument stands on. Right from the opening song(14,400 minutes)he shows the ability to go from goofing about smoking too much weed, his teachers calling him stupid to “They took my n##ga one night and I was standing right there, an inch away from heaven a million songs from right here.” His voice is a high pitched bouncethat sometimes falls off a steep cliff, a feat he routinely laughs off. Songslike “Prom Night” feel like tightened up Mac Miller from the period when he was using music to have fun. Chance is a teenager without a doubt, talking about the thrill of summertime and girls (JukeJuke) and using a moderate talent at singing tastefully as to not “Drake that shit(he actually says this on the song Family).”
The production bubbles and subsides in the same manner Chances train of thought see-saws from homework back to the dead. You can feel his responsibility to have fun being as solidly a part of 10 Day as being there for family. On one of my favorite songs of this year(Nostalgia) he walks through the line “Ya’ll remember bout the time I cracked my head at Auntie Linda’s house?” Obviously we don’t but the assumption we do brings us closer to the journey. His voice is a soft steady guide through the track. He genuinely remarks how often he loses people close to him and how often the year ends wishing for another year like the one passing. The hook is a sincerely sung and adjusted version of Pete Rock and Cl Smooths classic T.R.O.Y.
Not every risk taken works, 22 Offs is an experiment with using the word off that reinforces your relationship with the next song button.“F#ck You Tahm Bout” is Chance jumping into the drill sound and not fitting in. All that being said when Chance says“This is just got off six month probation music” on “Windows” he’s not far off at all. This is a triumphant raise of the glass after a long difficult journey and a soft moment of contemplation fused into one thing that makes perfect sense. It’s about ghetto life in the thoughtfully tasteful way Tribe called Quest always was. Never shouting the harsh realities at you or taking credit for superhuman toughness. The harsh realities are mentioned as the very thing this music protects us from, and that’s a message that does come out of Chicago. It’s everyone’s job to listen hard enough to hear it.
You can stream or download 10 Day here: http://indy.livemixtapes.com/mixtapes/16769/chance_the_rapper_10_day.html