Chancelor Bennett is not old enough to buy alcohol. Chances are (heh), he probably doesn’t remember when mixtapes were actually tapes. Despite all of this, Bennett, better known as Chance the Rapper, recently released his highly-anticipated second tape Acid Rap. Following up his highly-acclaimed first tape 10Day, whose title is a reference to the amount of time he was suspended from school, during which time he recorded it, Acid Rap (whose title comes from the fact that Chance did a whole lot of LSD during the albums writing and recording process) takes his music to another level, filled with scratchy, soulful samples, clever wordplay, and high-profile guest spots. Beginning with uptempo, Beyonce-esque vocals ushering in opening track “Good Ass Intro”, the album oozes good vibes, with a chorus featuring an ecstatic Chance chanting “you did it, you did it/you did a good-ass job” (Fun fact: “Good-Ass Job was a working – and in my opinion much better – title for Kanye West’s 2010 album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy). The album quickly moves into highlight “Pusha Man”, likely a callback to Curtis Mayfield, and a two minute fast-paced banger which quickly ends and we’re left with fifteen seconds of silence before secret track “Paranoia” begins. Here, Chance gets serious for a bit, lamenting the murders that happen every summer in his hometown of Chicago, which go unreported in mainstream media. The song is mellow and contemplative, with a catchy hook floating in a river of questions that don’t seem to get an answer. Other highlights on the album include the party-starter “Juice”, which soundtracks a hilarious and heartwarming video of Chance handing out roses to people on the streets of Chicago; the funky bass grooves of “NaNa”, featuring Action Bronson (or is that Ghostface?); and “Chain Smoker” whose “bridge” section I will defy anyone not to get hyped on. Finally coming to “Everything’s Good (Good Ass Outro)”, the album closes on a feel-good note, with everything feeling just about right. All in all, I highly recommend you take a trip through Acid Rap, and keep a tab on this Bennett kid, ’cause he’s goin’ places.
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