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The Vibrant Colors in Chance the Rapper’s Coloring Book

Chance the Rapper

Chance the Rapper

Alec Critser, Student Life Editor

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After his verse on Kanye’s “Ultralight Beam” became an instant classic, it was obvious that this young rapper from Chicago wasn’t going to fall off any time soon. Four months later, he released the best rap album (though it’s advertised as a mixtape) of 2016 so far, passing “The Life of Pablo” slightly and “VIEWS” by a mile.

Coloring Book is a triumph in many different ways.

This album’s strength is in its ability to fuse gospel and rap in such a seamless and effective manner. Kanye said, “The Life of Pablo” was a gospel album; I feel as if the album only slightly lived up to that title. Chance The Rapper, on the other hand, ultimately delivers the gospel album Kanye promised. Utilizing groups like the Chicago Children’s Choir and Francis & The Lights give this album a lush, angelic feel, and Coloring Book’s production makes it instantly likeable and uplifting.

While Coloring Book is heavy on the gospel, it is also heavy on the rap. Chance does not meander lyrically on this mixtape. His message is compelling and fairly straight-forward. The lyrics are not as witty or creative as the lyrics on Acid Rap, but they get Chance’s messages of praise, positivity, and triumph across effectively. The overall feel of Coloring Book is best encompassed on the track “All We Got”, where Chance states that “Man I swear my life is perfect, I could merch it, if I die I’ll prolly cry at my own service”.

Though the album features a plethora of collaborators, the album never feels overstuffed with artists or ideas. The collaborators include Young Thug, Future, Justin Bieber, Lil Wayne and Two Chainz, but one artist on the album stands out in particular: Kanye West.

Kanye West is Chance’s hometown hero and inspiration. On Coloring Book, it almost feels as if Kanye is living vicariously through Chance, but he’s not; Chance is autonomous. On Kanye’s “Ultralight Beam”, Chance states “I met Kanye West, I’m never going to fail.” Coloring Book ultimately validates that statement.

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The Vibrant Colors in Chance the Rapper’s Coloring Book