Chance, 23, has cultivated quite a following during his lifetime. Chance first received major recognition, outside of his hometown of Chicago, for his music after the release of his second mixtape “Acid Rain” in 2013. Now resurfacing on the charts once again, he introduces his third mixtape to the hip-hop (and gospel) music industry, “Coloring Book.”
The 14-track mixtape features well-known artists from 21st century hip-hop, rap and gospel communities, such as Kanye West, Lil Wayne, 2 Chainz, Justin Bieber, Kirk Franklin and T-Pain.
Since its release on Thursday, May 12, “Coloring Book” has received overwhelmingly positive reviews from music critics around the country, including critics from Rolling Stone, Pitchfork and Refinery29.
According to contributing writer Kris Ex of Pitchfork Media, an online music magazine based in Chicago, “Chance the Rapper’s Coloring Book is one of the strongest rap albums released this year, an uplifting mix of spiritual and grounded that even an atheist can catch the Spirit to.”
A strong testimony of appreciation also surfaced from Rolling Stone writer Christopher Weingarten, who called “Coloring Book” the “richest hip hop album of 2016 so far,” praising the mixtape for its powerful commingling of vocals and genres.
Weingarten went on to further applaud the mixtape, stating why he felt Chance’s unique sound would continue to set him apart from other artists.
“Mixing American music at its most vintage, today’s most cutting-edge rhyming and the emotional vocoder music that symbolizes our future, this lush, powerful album attempts to move hip-hop past Planet Rock and into the Heavens.”
Chance has harnessed the sounds of this third mixtape, showcasing what appears to be a seamless blend of juxtaposing music genres. Now emerging as a staple name in the music industry, Chance has received recognition for his interweaving of gospel music and rap, jazz and traditional hip-hop, with his mixed-media sound.
Of the most notable songs from his latest tracks, available on Tidal, Rhapsody, Apple Music, SoundCloud, Google Play and Spotify, “All We Got,” “Juke Jam” and “No Problem” have all earned high recognition.
Chance’s signature and jumpy, “Ah! Ah!” can be heard scattered throughout the chorus of his first track, “All We Got.” The song carries a high energy, laced with quick, rapping beats and a zinger chorus that strongly communicates that, “Music is all we got.”
Aided by the always-recognizable vocals of Kanye West, Chance introduces his mentor in the first few lines of the song singing, “This ain’t no intro/This the entree/Hit that intro with Kanye.”
“All We Got” currently holds over 1.7 million plays on Spotify, making it one of the more popular tracks from “Coloring Book” to date.
Chance’s song “Angels,” originally released as a single in 2015, can be found on the new mixtape as well. With over 16 million Spotify plays, “Angels” holds the title for Song with the Highest Number of Plays on the new mixtape, which is undoubtedly attributed to its extended release time.
Of the newly released tracks, “No Problem” featuring Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz has proved to be the most popular of the bunch. With over 2.49 million plays on Spotify, this song fosters a smooth blend of techno-choir and intense vocals from its two featured rappers. Lil Wayne emerges as a refreshing complement to Chance’s brooding vocals in this track.
Appropriately positioned at the beginning of the mixtape, “No Problem” grips listeners with its punchy chorus line and charismatic layering of harmonics, plunging them into the unique, dynamic experience of “Coloring Book” from the beginning.
Having performed at Virginia Tech back in October 2014, during his Verge Campus Tour, Chance was greeted by high-energy Hokies, making the night a memorable success.
Now climbing the charts once again, establishing himself as an independent artist with an unmatchable sound, students should be sure to check out the rapper’s newest releases. Highly regarded by the music community, spanning across multiple genres, platforms and instruments,“Coloring Book” has most certainly proven to be one for the books.