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Like Chief Keef, Chance the Rapper hails from Chicago’s South Side, but lyrically and production-wise Acid Rap has more in common with Kanye West’s soulful debut, The College Dropout.
Putting the lie to the title, Chance’s Chi-Town isn’t all LSD highs and technicolour roses. “It’s easier to find a gun than it is to find a fucking parking spot,” he claims on Pusha Man, criticizing mainstream media’s failure to report on last summer’s gang-related shootings.
More people will hear Snoop Lion’s recent anti-violence ode, No Guns Allowed, but coming from this 20-year-old rapper, the message is more poignant.
While the mixtape features strong guest spots from Ab-Soul, Action Bronson and a rare appearance by veteran Twista, none of them overshadow Chance, whose distinctive drawl, rapid-fire delivery and keen ear for experimental beats – ranging from hometown-grown juke to piano jazz – will have a bunch of labels tripping over themselves to sign him.
Top track: Smoke Again (feat. Ab-Soul)