Chance the Rapper is a twenty year-old MC from Chicago -- I say "MC" specifically because Chance is the most entertaining new artist I have heard in quite some time. Where Kendrick focuses on the ever present dispositions toward violence being bred in certain geographic areas, Chance explores the same subject matter but in a much more enjoyable manner - there is more than one "Backseat Freestyle" you can enjoy on an album packed with an intelligent social conscience. And like Kendrick nearly perfected on his debut, there is a two movement song on Acid Rap, the seven and a half minute long "Pusha Man", though it's not as smooth a transition as Kendrick's "Sing About Me, I'm Dying of Thirst".
Being from Chicago obviously carries Kanye comparisons with it, West being the most notable Chicago artist in recent memory. Hearing Acid Rap for the first time did bring me back to the first time I heard "All Falls Down", The College Dropout. It's feel good music with an educated backbone. While fellow young Chicago rapper Chief Keef is very much a trap artist focusing on fully embracing gun violence, Chance has a much more cautious, controlled attitude toward gun violence - exhibited in the second half of "Push Man".
Acid Rap unfurls like a proper debut, much like how other growing rappers in this blog-heavy atmosphere's first notable mixtape felt big - the entire Black Hippy crew, the Pro Era kids, and ugh, Odd Future. Yeah, he is rapping about taking acid, drinking, and drugs, but it's self-conscious and incorporates crafty wordplay, awarding these songs a lot of stability and a projected longer lifespan. Ab-Soul, Action Bronson, Childish Gambino, and even Twista show up to expand the mixtape's voice and reach. And the beats are as well selected as the features are.
On all fronts, Chance the Rapper's Acid Rap kills it. This is a proper introduction to one of the most promising talents to debut in the past year that cannot be missed, seriously.
Check out the video for album single "Juice" below and download Chance's first mixtape #10Day HERE.