Mixtape Review-Coloring Book by Chance The Rapper
Coloring Book is a testimony but it’s also a test. No one disputes Chance’s skill level in regards to flow, delivery, and wordplay… moving the crowd to keep it simple. A few critiques of the project have already started to form and I think they portray the expectations of the audience that Chance is trying to extinguish.
The same audience that loves Kanye West and follows his every transformation (hoping he recaptures his “glory years”) are in pocket for Chance and are likely to love All We Got which features Ye and the Chicago Children’s Choir. It has the event feel of Ultralight Beam but those same listeners will definitely bristle at collaboration with Young Thug and Lil Yachty on a project so distinctly about spirituality. It doesn’t matter that the song is great (song is called Mixtape), most people acknowledge that. It just doesn’t feel right. What about Juke Jam? It features JUSTIN BEIBER so that sucks. I’ve never understood investing the energy to hate Bieber 1. If you don’t listen to his music 2. Don’t know him; why do you care? Bieber doesn’t have the ability to affect a song the way Chance does so the shirtless lightning rod lays a silky chorus and Chance kills a slow flow. Song is great.
Backpackers want Chance to wave the flag Lupe Fiasco does for hip hop intellectuals who will not accept buffoonery. Coloring Book is as much about the warmth, joy, and splendor of Blessings and keeping divinity in your life as it is about the beautiful color selection we have to choose from in hip hop. Jay Electronica belongs on the gospel rap jam How Great the same way 2 Chainz and Lil Wayne belong on the blustering and frustrated No Problem. Chance is smart enough to see that all the colors belong and doesn’t see any reason he shouldn’t be able to use them all.
Backpackers aside, some reviewers are uncomfortable with this deep sense of the lord as the centerpiece of the album. This isn’t a religion thing per say, any music fan should be expected to be intelligent enough to know that whatever works for the album & for the song works…period. This critique operates around the notion that old Chance was mixed up and dealing with growing up (10 Day era) and this one has all the answers and the journey to them was more fun. I’m trying to give this credence, I just don’t remember any of these guys repping for 10 Day at the time. During that time he was definitely more jumbled thematically but also as a craftsman, he wasn’t as good. He’s gotten better and so Coloring Book is better. He found out The Social Experiment makes more sense and that his off the wall excited delivery works best around their fresh instrumentational grandness. When you see Same Drugs and Angels on the same track listing he expects you to stow your confusion. Chance is speaking to an intelligent audience that gets his three dimensions and that being in a blissful spiritual place is not preachy or permanent. Some days the sun shines on you that way. Chance can give you joy and frustration with equal pressure and style, so I love where he’s going and where he is; Coloring Book is an important part of what he is trying to accomplish in the long run and if it makes you want to get off his bus, do it now before it really gets rolling.
stream the mixtape at Apple Music or at this link below: