Chance the Rapper – Acid Rap (2013)

Raps just make me anxious and acid makes me crazy


Acid Rap is the second mixtape release by Chicago-based Chance the Rapper. Even on the first listen, I was puzzled as to why this wasn’t pushed as an LP, as it definitely flows like one. Also, as somewhat of a rarity for a mixtape like this, just about every featured artist shines – they complement each track without overdoing it.

Chance spreads his lyrical capabilities as an MC quite nicely throughout the mixtape. He dabbles here and there with some socio-political commentary, pop culture references, and as the title would suggest, various drug allusions. But he doesn’t really linger on one or the other and somehow manages to blend most of these together seamlessly and cleverly.

The production is definitely the highlight on Acid Rap, and the influences here are easy to pick out, from 70s soul to 90s r&b and East Coast hip hop, and with just a tinge of psychedelia – it could’ve easily been named Acid Jazz Rap. Whoever handled the beats here knew what they were doing, because they mostly carry this mixtape. Thanks to the beats, Chance gets to display his vocal flexibility, with understated braggadocio in Good Ass Intro, to a gospel-infused slow jam about the value of love in Interlude, and the drawling, druggy delivery in NaNa. Chance lets everyone know he’s a man for all occasions.

What particularly struck me though is the accessibility of Acid Rap. The beats aren’t abrasive at all, and Chance’s flow pulls you along at about the right pace, even from the first listen. Hip hop aficionados and newcomers alike should get a kick out of this release – it pretty much covers all the bases and showcases some of hip hop’s best features. Definitely one of 2013’s stronger efforts, and my personal favourite so far.
B+

-Karl 

You can download and stream Acid Rap on Chance’s website.

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