Chance The Rapper – Coloring Book [Review]


Chance The Rapper. Chancellor Bennett. Lil’ Chano From 79th. The self proclaimed great of all of Kanye’s prodigies.

Grew to fame in 2012 with 10 Day and completely blew up in 2013 with Acid Rap. Chance is a fairly original Hip-Hop artist as far as style. His delivery is exaggerated, and I say that in the most complimenting way possible. It’s colorful, playful, silly, and childish. Combined with his subject matter and references, it all makes him a pretty relatable artist.

Since Acid Rap was released back in 2013, Chance hasn’t released a lot of solo material, but that hasn’t stopped him from making headlines and selling out shows.

As an independent artist he’s achieved a lot of great things and gained the respect of many great musical artist since his rise to fame.

Most recently he dropped one of the best rap verses of 2016 on Kanye’s album, The Life of Pablo and since then the hype for his third project has been at an all time high. Deservingly so though. It’s been 3 years since he’s released a solo project and between then and now he’s connected with a lot of great artist and garnered a lot of praise as an upcoming artist.

Now his new album, Coloring Book, is finally here. So here goes…

Coloring Book

1. All We Got
Featuring Kanye West & Chicago Children’s Choir; Produced by The Social Experiment

This is a dream, you cannot mess with the beam

Solid opener for the tape. I like Chance’s delivery and how it slowly builds up alongside the production. His first verse feels like something very precious, talking about how he how’d probably cry at his own service and how he wants to turn his mother’s child into his fiancé and that if she ever finds another that he better love her. Personally, I can’t help but go “Aw” when I hear it.

Kanye’s presence on this track is felt, but his Auto-tuned crooning doesn’t do much for me personally. It doesn’t hold the song back for me or anything, but it doesn’t make me enjoy the track more that I already do. It’s just there, ya know? But a Chance tape with Kanye on the intro felt a bit necessary so, I’m satisfied.

I also really dig the choir and those classic fast/high-pitched vocals in the background. It’s all very College Dropout reminiscent. Solid intro, I’m liking it.

2. No Problems
Featuring Lil’ Wayne & 2 Chainz; Produced by Brasstracks
COLLEGROOVEEEEEE. Titty Boi and Tunechi come in on this track to give an assist and overall everything turns out to be dope. Chance’s delivery is energetic and full of personality as always, and the hook is very catchy. 2 Chainz and Wayne steal the show for me though.

2 Chainz gives a silly verse with lines like “I’m so high me and God dapping“, but I just can’t help loving it.

Lil Wayne delivers another solid lighter flick verse here, which continues to sadden me that his album is stuck in limbo.

Lord, free the Carter, niggas need the Carter
Sacrificin’ everything, I feel like Jesus Carter

Solid production. Solid features. Overall this is just a very fun track. My only complaint…I wish it had a Ye feature. (Remix?)

3. Summer Friends
Featuring Jeremih & Francis and the Lights; Produced by Francis and the Lights

It’s been a minute since I called on a friends, fucked up and fucked all my friends

Loving this track. Especially the bass in the production.

On this track Chance reminisces about his summer nights growing up in Chatham. How he’d hang out with his friends and steal bikes, watching Blockbuster movies, catch lightning bugs and an array of other things. Simpler times compared to what it is now.

Summer school loosing students
But CPD getting new recruitment

What’s happening in the Chi is very tragic. Nice to have an artist that is as vocal as Chance is about what’s going on in his city. Loving the track.

Also, the Jeremih feature is solid. Don’t sleep on Late Nights.

4. D.R.A.M. Sings Special
Produced by The Social Experiment & Jordan Ware
Whenever I see the name D.R.AM., I just want to put a cape on for him and go on a rant about a certain lightskin wave thieving hybrid. But I’m not gonna do that here…so I digress. D.R.A.M. delivers this soothing lullaby for an interlude here and it’s nothing too grand or anything, but it’s just enjoying to listen to. Quick and subtle breakaway from what’s been going on so far. I’m digging it.

5. Blessings
Produced by The Social Experiment

I don’t make songs for free, I make ’em for freedom

I feel like this is something that could’ve landed on Surf. Not a bad thing, since I enjoyed that album.

The statement of the song is pretty straightforward and simple, being Chance’s devotion to God and how he’ll praise him until he leaves this earth. I enjoy the track, but it’s not a personal highlight of mine. Definitely something that grows on me more with each listen though. Also, that Dragon Ball Z reference is nice.

Shoutout to Jamila Woods too!

6. Same Drugs
Produced by The Social Experiment & Lido
This is a pretty beautiful and well crafted track. On surface level this might sound like its drugs, but listening to the track you can clearly pinpoint that it’s something deeper than that.

What I’m getting is that the drugs are a metaphor to represent old interests that Chance and this girl formerly had or shared and now they’ve grown apart and out of them. I think that’s pretty much confirmed with the whole Peter Pan references. Might sound cheesy on paper, but Chance is pretty… creatively cheesy, and in song it works well. The production on this track is great too. Definitely a highlight

7. Mixtape
Featuring Young Thug & Lil’ Yachty; Produced by Stix & CBMIX
Y’all really forcing me to speak on Lil’ Yachty? I mean, his verse doesn’t make me want to stick a shiv in my jugular. It’s silly. I tolerate it.

Young Thug? I lowkey kinda fuck with Thugger. He’s definitely some sort of sus alpha hybrid chameleon, but Thugger drops hits. His verse here is solid.

I think it’s fitting for these three to be on track together since they pretty much are the current hottest mixtape rappers out.

This track isn’t a highlight or anything for me personally, but I can put this track on when I’m riding around with my friends and they decide to hand me the aux cord.

Coloring Book Review

8. Angels
Featuring Saba; Produced by The Social Experiment & Lido
Easily one of my favorite tracks here. I love the production and Chance’s delivery and overall sentiment on the track. Saba gives a nice feature on the hook here and matches the vibe of everything going on. It’s really just a feel good track for me and I can put it on whenever and enjoy any time. Definitely a highlight.

9. Juke Jam
Featuring Justin Bieber & Towkio; Produced by Rascal & Peter Cottontale
Biebervelli Tha Don comes in this time to help Chano with an assist, as well as Towkio. This is basically Chance reminiscing on the innocence of relationships when he was younger and he does well at presenting the image.

The production here is really nice, I love the acoustic guitar here. Bieber fits perfectly here and Towkio is very nice on the hook. Everything comes together well and makes for a very solid track.

10. All Night
Featuring Knox Fortune; Produced by Kaytranada
I love Kaytranada. Whenever Kaytranada produces a track I’m bound to like it. I don’t DISLIKE this track, but I’m not really feeling the hook on this one here. Chance’s verses are okay; Kaytranada’s production is fine. This would probably fall under being my least favorite track on the album. It’s not terrible. I’m just not feeling it personally.

11. How Great
Featuring Jay Electronica & My cousin Nicole; Produced by The Social Experiment
Fun fact: Listening to this song on a Sunday morning is the equivalent to going to church.

I dig the choir, but I can see how some may feel like it drags on it bit. Once the beat drops though there’s nothing, but pure glory. I love the production and Chance gives a really solid verse that ends a bit sudden and leads in to a Jay Electronica feature where he just floats all over the beat.

I spit on a title, it’s tidal waves
I spit on an apple and kill a worm
A fire in Cali could swallow a valley for every African village burned
Jay Elect would’ve never made it
O’son of man O’son of man
Who was the Angel in revelations with a foot on water and a foot on land?
Who was the Angel that rode a Harley from the project to the House of Parliament
And opened the book in the Devils chamber and put the true name of the Lord in it?

Maybe Chance can be the one to get Jay Elect to finally drop his alb-naaaaaah. Dope track. Definitely a highlight for me.

12. Smoke Break
Featuring Future; Produced by GARREN
I’m liking the bass and synths on this track, the production on this album as a whole is pretty solid. This is something I could turn on and play in the background when I just want to spend a day at home being laid back and getting high. Ironic, cause the track is titled “Smoke Break”, but don’t be fooled. The track is actually more so about Chance’s relationship with his baby mother and how being a father consumes a lot of his time, and he feels a smoke break is needed.

Future Hendrix himself comes in to slide an assist and he does his job well. I actually find it pretty funny that you can actually hear his chains clinking in the background throughout his feature.

13. Finish Line/Drown
Featuring T-Pain, Kirk Franklin, Eryn Allen Kane, & Noname; Produced by The Social Experiment
You can tell Chance is a prodigy of Kanye. Only he could get Kanye West, Lil’ Wayne, and T-Pain all on the same album in 2016. Starting to feel like 2007-2008 in here. I feel like I’m a kid again listening to this track. Sunday after church music. Chance gives a very touching verse here, I like that line about him rushing up to heavens gate to see his deceased dog when he passes. Keeps hitting my soft spots.

T-Pain’s feature is very well placed and I’m glad to see him doing good features in 2016. Noname drops gems on a lovely feature and Kirk Franklin gives us another sermon, similar to the one he did on “Ultralight Beam”, and all of it comes together beautifully. Eryn Allen Kane and the choir and just the entire gospel feel on this song is done really well. Definitely a highlight.

14. Blessings (Reprise)
Featuring Ty Dolla $ign; Produced by The Social Experiment & Cam O’Bi
This track is very subtle and has a great assist from Ty Dolla Sign. I like the soothing harmonizing vocals in the background and the clapping rhythm. I can really picture Chance standing on stage at church rapping in front of a choir as they sing behind him.

Call me mister Mufasa, I had to master stampedes

It’s really a nice closer for the album. It’s pretty subtle, but given that a lot of the album was pretty upbeat I think it’s fitting for it to close out on a smoother level.

Chance states it clear here that he’s Kanye’s best prodigy and in ways it’s kind of hard to debate.


Honest truth, I wasn’t really feeling this tape that much on the first few listens. After a few more listens though it grew on me a lot. With Acid Rap it just clicked for me on one listen, but this was definitely something that deserved more listens and I’m glad that I did give it more listens.

This tape is a mix of Hip-Hop, pop, soul, and a lot gospel and I feel as if it all meshes well, especially with Chance’s personality and image as an independent artist. In 2012 Chance released his first tape and didn’t even have 50k followers on Twitter. Now it’s 2016 and he’s one of the biggest current artist in the game, working with Kanye West, Lil’ Wayne, Justin Bieber, J. Cole, 2 Chainz, performing with Kendrick Lamar, and scoring features from the very elusive Jay Electronica, all as an independent artist. I think he deserves praise just off the strength of that, as well as being able to deliver solid and enjoyable projects such as this one here.

Solid production. Solid features. A lot of creativity and some nice variety. This is really a free album disguised as a mixtape.

If you like Chance The Rapper, give this a listen, If you don’t like Chance then I’d still say give it a shot, you might find something you like in here.

If you’ve never really gotten into Chance’s music then I’d recommend going back to some of his earlier stuff first and then head over to this one here.

I cosign this tape. I’d love to buy it if he ever decided to release it on vinyl. (HINT HINT just in case you see this Chance.)