Chance the Rapper Thinks Outside the Lines with ‘Coloring Book’

Chance the Rapper - Coloring Book

Listen to Coloring Book exclusively on Apple Music for two weeks.

After announcing the release date for his now-released project on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon last week, Chance the Rapper dropped his project to high praise.

Formerly titled Chance 3, Chancelor Bennett released Coloring Book to his awaiting fans Thursday night. After having been accidentally uploaded to the free mixtape streaming service Datpiff at midnight, the mixtape was pulled–but not before thousands managed to get a listen without going through Apple Music. With features from a lot of the biggest names in music today, such as Lil’ Wayne, 2 Chainz, Jeremih, Kanye West, Young Thug and Justin Bieber–to name a few–Chance came out swinging for the fences.

Free Band Gang in Chicago

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The mixtape doesn’t strike listeners as a traditional Hip-hop release in regards to where Hip-hop seems to be today–a diverse genre with a huge uptick in the trap sub-genre. The project has a more laid back gospel-rap feel. His last project Acid Rap had a different feel and sound, but the same Chance. What Chance brings to the table is his well-known sound and a gang of artists to help. Generally having many artists contribute to one record takes away from the feel and overall sound of the project, but it doesn’t feel as such with Coloring Book. 

What Chance does with Coloring Book is bring together a litany of artists–all on different tracks, of course–and has them acclimate to his sound, in a sense. Artists such as Future, Young Thug and Lil Yachty, who are most known for their up-tempo, catchy songs find themselves on a project where the focus is on the lyrics and the tempo of the music. Chance’s way of rapping and the beats he chose for the project demand nothing but the best of the featured artists.

After a couple of listens–though it’s subject to change–would have to be “No Problem” featuring the ColleGrove collective 2 Chainz and Lil’ Wayne. Delivering probably one of his best verses of the year, 2 Chainz raps along to the uplifting beat whereas his counterpart slows down just a bit with his verse. This is not to take away from the quality of the other tracks on Coloring Book, as Jay Electronica is featured on “How Great.” The significance of the feature comes from the fact that Electronica’s debut album has long been in the works and promised, with not so much as a release date in sight.

The artwork for the project features Chance drawn in what looks to be watercolor against a hazy grapefruit colored starry sky–matching the drawing style of his previous projects. Promotional items for this project are in his fan’s hands as they are able to customize thier own Coloring Book apparel if they choose.

Apple has a two-week exclusivity license with Coloring Book, but the company is offering a three-month free trial to those who sign up. If you’d like to listen before the two weeks are up, go and get a free trial–it’s worth the listen.

Hensley Carrasco
Hensley graduated from the University of Rhode Island where he was the editor-in-chief of the school newspaper, the Good 5 Cent Cigar. He founded the site with hopes to add to the ever-growing digital music newsroom. Hensley generally writes about Hip-Hop, but other genres are not out of his writing spectrum. On the side, Hensley is a photographer, specializing in concert photography.

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