Take a Chance with Coloring Book

Chance the Rapper grew popularity in the end of 2013 after the release of his sophomore mixtape, Acid Rap. It garnered over a million downloads on Datpiff, a mixtape streaming site, and was nominated for Album of the Year at the BET Awards. Finishing the mixtape trilogy put a lot of pressure on the Chicago rapper, and took nearly three years. With the announcement of the album’s release, fans of the 23 year old artist patiently awaited its arrival, and the wait is finally over.Coloring Book is available to stream on Apple Music or it’s downloadable on multiple sites in almost every country, now all it has to do is live up to the hype.
At a glance, this is obviously the final mixtape of its line. On the cover of Chance’s first mixtape, 10 Day, the rapper is seen looking towards the stars in a motivated manner. The second mixtape cover creates a pattern, where Chance is looking directly at the camera. The front of Coloring Book portrays him looking downwards, sporting a slight smirk. The tracklist features many famous hip-hop artists including Kanye West, 2-Chainz, Lil Wayne, Young Thug, Future and even artists from other genres like Justin Bieber, T-Pain and the Chicago Children’s Choir.
“This ain’t no intro, this the entree,” is whispered in the first seconds of the experience. The first song of the set is titled “All We Got” and features Chance’s inspiration, and fellow Chicago native Kanye West. To further stay true to his city, Chance recorded with the Chicago Children’s Choir. The Choir’s president and artistic director spoke to Pigeons and Planes, a hip-hop and rap news outlet, on the collaboration, saying, “We met backstage and I said whenever you want to work with the Chicago Children’s Choir, let me know, and his manager Pat Corcoran was like, ‘Yeah, let’s make that happen.’” 4 years later the rapper would invite 15 students and multiple alumni to his studio and made their dreams become a reality.
This feature sparked a gospel theme to envelope the mixtape. Recording with Kanye West on his The Life Of Pablo album must have struck a chord with Chance as the two pieces share a Christian message. Songs like “All We Got,” “Blessings,” “How Great,” “Finish Line/Drown,” and “Blessings (Reprise)” host a backdrop of choir anthems and preach about the greatness of the Lord. In “How Great” a pastor can be heard before the first verse stating, “God is better than the best thing that the world has to offer,” and Chance fully believes in this. The rapper has maintained his religious views  since the days he spent on 79th Street.
A journalist for the Federalist described the mixtape as “The gospel album Kanye doesn’t deliver.” This may seem like a risky move to make in the rap game, but the mixtape is assumed to be the first free project to reach the high end of the Billboard 200 charts. On Kanye’s “Ultralight Beam” Chance raps the line, “I hear you gotta sell it to snatch the Grammy.” This year he hopes this changes, as the GRAMMY’S will be looking at Apple Music streamed albums and mixtapes for nominations.

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