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Joel

Chance the Rapper - Coloring Book

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Remember when Kanye West said The Life of Pablo was "a gospel album with a whole lot of cursing on it," but it wasn't? Well, this record is. Take a look, if you haven't already, at David Dark's piece "I Speak To God In Public: Chance The Rapper's Faith":

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On Chance the Rapper’s third mixtape, Coloring Book, the heart of the 23-year-old Chicago MC is very much on his sleeve. But we’ve seen Chancelor Bennett’s heart before. Love requires a context, like lust needs a setting. For Chance the Rapper, the context (classroom, church, family, neighborhood, fans) is never far away. There’s no life to be lived without one. On Coloring Book, heaven — like hell — is always other people.

 

While the giving of thanks and praise to God in hip-hop can often appear perfunctory, Chance is going further, and he knows it. He embraces the role of self-conscious psalmist with relish, teasingly preempting the protest of anyone who might front when he lifts up his praise (“Don’t be mad!”). With Coloring Book, there’s a vibe to be had that blissfully overcomes the cordoning off of God’s righteous demands from the rest of human experience. Chance’s faith won’t be reduced to a side issue that comes and goes. Because the earth and everything in it is the Lord’s, it’s all God’s loving business. This is the deep-down freshness anticipated on his debut, 10 Day. He envisions his music, his crew, and his fans as all engaged in God’s group activity, “Kids of the Kingdom singing about freedom.”

There’s a way of separating God and gospel from the fact of lived reality, divinity from the everyday, prayer from bodies, praise from protest. See yesterday, today, and tomorrow’s news cycles. Like the prophetic community that formed him, Chance will have none of it.

 

Edited by Joel

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"This is the deep-down freshness anticipated on his debut…"

A Hopkins reference was about the last thing I expected in an article about Chance. I'll take it!

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On 5/19/2016 at 4:40 PM, Scholar's Parrot said:

"This is the deep-down freshness anticipated on his debut…"

A Hopkins reference was about the last thing I expected in an article about Chance. I'll take it!

Jessica Hopper becoming a fan of David Dark was a good thing for music writing in the US of A.

 

Still listening through this record. There's been a lot written about it -- it is much beloved by critics. Jon Caramonica on the NYT Popcast talked about how Chance has inherited/adopted the more spiritual aspects of Kanye West's early work (while contrastingly Drake -- whose work I'm not really familiar with -- has carried forward the 'self-doubt' parts of early Kanye).

I do think Coloring Book bears some resemblance to the first few Kanye records for sure, and it is absolutey better than what West does now.

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1 hour ago, Joel said:

Jessica Hopper becoming a fan of David Dark was a good thing for music writing in the US of A.

Still listening through this record. There's been a lot written about it -- it is much beloved by critics. Jon Caramonica on the NYT Popcast talked about how Chance has inherited/adopted the more spiritual aspects of Kanye West's early work (while contrastingly Drake -- whose work I'm not really familiar with -- has carried forward the 'self-doubt' parts of early Kanye).

I do think Coloring Book bears some resemblance to the first few Kanye records for sure, and it is absolutey better than what West does now.

Amen and amen.

 

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Edited by Anders

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Well, I guess I'm out of my mind, then.

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Me too. If all of your value is on innovation in sound, give it to Kanye. But in every other way, I give it to Chance.

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On May 31, 2016 at 9:45 PM, Overstreet said:

Me too. If all of your value is on innovation in sound, give it to Kanye. But in every other way, I give it to Chance.

I don't think only valuing "innovation in sound" is a major problem on the A&F music board, where my perception is that lyrics trump everything else for most folks. I only shared the tweet in part because I don't like trashing one artist in order to lift up another, and I think some folks here are friends with Sam? I like both albums. Plus, Kanye literally appears on the first track of Chance's!

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