to be completely honest… 20 years from now, I see this album playing in the background for the opening of a revamped Spike Lee’s “Do the Right Thing”.
hit after hit, feature after feature, and of course mixtape after mixtape, Chance has never lost himself and what it means to be a true artist. I would go so far to say that he is attempting to defy what it means to be independent and successful in today’s (music) world. with an already outstanding reputation for himself, he made waves for me with his raspy vocals and notable collabs during his Acid Rap days. looking at this latest release, he nails it… AGAIN.
there is so much to love about this mixtape. therefore, you could call it a 3peat. for me, he does it in three ways: his little to no use of misogyny in lyrics, his constant use of spirituality and religious tone, and his play on words. now, as easily as I can sit here and run through all the tracks, being that I have already listened to them all in their entirety 4 times since its release, I’ll just advise you to go ahead and subscribe to Apple Music 🙂
to hear a (young) BLACK man rap about all he is grateful for and the simple fact that it does NOT pertain solely to drugs, partying all night, and mistreating women, that’s where he truly won for me. starting off the tracks with gratitude towards the birth of his daughter and outlook on religion, All We Got was a surefire way to let us know that this is what he does, and just how well he does it. also safe to say that this was expected following his verse on Ultralight Beam. throughout, I appreciate the continuing of this soulful tone and giving thanks to God for the “simple things” like the mending of an old relationship, experiences while growing up in West Chatham and relationship with Kanye West, all leading to his current success and change in lifestyle.
I think I really fell hard for this mixtape because of my own artistry. sure I have Beyonce to speak on the strength of being a black woman and grinding for what I want but I really appreciate Chance for practically everything else. the amount of times I listened, closed my eyes and saw my own life, UNREAL. from growing up, analyzing past and present relationships, and envisioning a successful future, every single song was personal to him but also made for me. at 20 years old, still “young” and learning, I am thankful for the timing of this release and all it holds.
touching on subjects such as the Black Lives Matter movement, witnessing violence, and keeping his guard up in certain situations, it came off more than clear to me that personal growth and remembering humble beginnings is what primarily contributes to success and privilege. growing up in this generation and bearing witness to police brutality, the Black Lives Matter movement and changing race relations, these tracks again speak volumes to many young and hopeful voices like myself, looking to be independent and successful but remaining gracious and humble. with help of Kirk Franklin, Byron Cage, and even Fred Hammond, the importance of faith and strong spirit rings throughout the words. we recognize hooks and verses such as “when blessings go up, praises come down” and further let the words resonate.
on the contrary to the Christian feel, Juke Jam definitely holds the rank of a favorite for me. from its R. Kelly familiar feel to the true innocence of words, obsession and repeat of the track kicked in. this neo-soul feel took me to a place like the one I described earlier, 20 years in the future listening and reminiscing. I want to go on and on about each track but I really have to wait for another day and perhaps another project (insert hint here).
“I know the difference in blessings and worldly possessions..” –Blessings (Track 3)
from all of this, in your spare time, take some time and enjoy all that Coloring Book has to offer. you just might fall in love.