Mixtape Review | Chance The Rapper – Coloring Book

As of 5:26 PM on Thursday, May 12th, this project hasn’t come out yet. The official release date is May 13th, but I’m pretty sure it’s gonna be premiered on Beats 1 Radio later tonight the same way that VIEWS was premiered. I WANT this project to end up being dope af, but I’m not gonna get my hopes up too high like this guy…

That guy’s just setting himself up for disappointment. Well, maybe I shouldn’t say that. There’s a chance that the project may actually be as great as everyone wants it to be. I’m still a bit skeptical personally tho. I really liked Acid Rap, but the incredible reception had me thinking that it’d be better than it ended up being. Chance leaked a song with Lil Wayne & 2 Chainz today, and it’s causing comparisons between Chance & Young Thug of all people.

There are a lot of people saying that it’s incredible tho. I’m just gonna wait for the project to come out before I actually listen to it. I’m expecting it to be good. Most people will probably like it less than Acid Rap. I have a feeling that I may like it even more than Acid Rap tho. Or maybe I’m wrong and these predictions are dumb. There’s really no way for me to tell. I don’t think it’s gonna be premiering for another 4 hours, so I’ll update this when it drops.


Okay, the mixtape dropped about 4 minutes ago. It’s called Coloring Book. About five minutes before it came out, ScHoolboy Q released his newest single which features Kanye West, so today’s a pretty good day for music. Oh. Is this a mixtape or an album? It’s on iTunes… Everyone’s still calling it a mixtape. Why is it not in my iTunes collection yet? Everyone’s saying that it’s free, but it looks like you have to have Apple Music to listen to it. I can’t find a way to download it. I wonder if I should just go to sleep and try to get it tomorrow… Yeah, I think I’m gonna do that…


Okay, it’s now 4:41 PM on May 13th, and I have the album. The features have me a little worried about this project, but pretty much all of the reception that I’ve seen has been phenomenal so far. I haven’t really seen anybody comparing it to Acid Rap yet tho. I’m expecting this to be dope.

Track 1: All We Got Feat. Kanye West & Chicago Children’s Choir (Prod. Chad L. Roberts)

Alright here we go. It’s starting now. The way this intro is starting reminds me of the intro from Acid Rap. Goddamn. This production is fucking incredible. The first verse from Chance was great. I’m not sure about this hook from Kanye tho… The vocal effects are so strong that you can’t even understand a single word. It sounds like an organ. It sounds like he transformed into an organ. It sounds REALLY bad to me… It’s way too loud. It almost drowns out the entire beat. It also comes outta nowhere. It didn’t even sound like Chance was done with the first verse before Kanye barged in. Chance’s vocals sound really quiet compared to the hook. The mixing is surprisingly rough… What the fuck… I liked the second verse from Chance, but Kanye really brought this shit down for me. I’m not feelin’ his vocals at all. I definitely wasn’t feelin’ those Children’s Choir vocals either. Anytime I hear a children’s choir I automatically stop fuckin’ with the song. I can’t get behind this… I love the production, and Chance did his thing, but the features kinda ruined this shit for me. I’m not feelin’ this. It’s wack to me. 2/5

Track 2: No Problem Feat. Lil Wayne & 2 Chainz (Prod. Brasstracks)

Wow. I was REALLY not expecting to dislike the first song that much. Okay, this track’s starting now. This is already more of a “Gospel album” than The Life Of Pablo. I fuck with the hook. This beat is dope too. The first verse from Chance wasn’t bad. His delivery got old by the time the hook came back, but I still kinda enjoyed it. Same goes for the hook. 2 Chainz is on the second verse. I wasn’t feelin’ it. “Run shit like diarrhea.” I guess lines like that are to be expected from 2 Chainz. Lil Wayne’s verse was way better than I expected it to be. It was decent. The beat kinda drowned out some of his bars. Yeah, there’s definitely something wrong with the mixing on this project… It doesn’t ruin this song, but it’s really annoying. Honestly, this song gets old pretty quickly, but I still kinda like it. None of the verses were that great, but I don’t think any of them were terrible. You could argue that 2 Chainz’s verse was wack af—he definitely had the least impressive verse on the song—but it doesn’t ruin the track for me. Honestly, this song isn’t that good to me. The beat was cool, and Chance did his thing on the first verse, but the hook was annoying as fuck and neither of the features were that good. I kinda enjoyed this, but I’m not gonna listen to it again. 3/5

Track 3: Summer Friends Feat. Jeremih & Francis & The Lights (Prod. Sam Maunsell)

I just saw a comment that said “Chance is the closest thing we have to Prince now.” I like Chance, but that’s absolutely preposterous. Okay, this track is starting now. I don’t know who this is singing on the intro, but it sounds pretty good. Oh I think that’s Francis & The Lights. Fuck. This beat is amazing. Chance is goin’ in now. Yes. This is the kinda shit I wanted to hear from Chance. “First day: nigga’s shooting / Summer school get to losing students / But the CPD getting new recruitment / Our summer don’t, our summer, our summer don’t get no shine no more.” The first verse is dope af. It sounds like his singing has really improved since Acid Rap. The hook is really simple, but it works. The background vocals from Francis are a tad bit annoying. They kinda drown out the vocals from Chance at times. The poor mixing is really starting to get to me. “Never let a blog get in my way.” The second verse was dope. Goddamn. That outro from Jeremih was smooth af. I fuck with this song. It’s not amazing, but I enjoyed it. It kinda sounds like a sequel to Paranoia, which is one of my favorite songs from Chance. This is dope. 4/5

Track 4: D.R.A.M. Sings Special (Interlude) [Prod. Scott Theft]

The only reason I’ve heard of D.R.A.M. is because Drake jacked his song Cha Cha’s rhythm for Hotline Bling. Both terrible songs by the way. I’m not gonna be rating this song since it’s just a short interlude. I’m not feelin’ it. I don’t think D.R.A.M. is a bad singer, but the melody and lyrics of this track were a bit too sugary for me.

Track 5: Blessings Feat. Jamila Woods (Prod. The Social Experiment)

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I’m pretty sure that this song was performed on The Colbert Report a few days ago. I never heard it tho. The only track from this album that I’ve already heard is Angels. Okay, this one’s starting now. Jamila Woods sounds really good at the beginning of this track. This beat is dope af. Chance is goin’ in now. This is really a Gospel album so far. Kanye was trippin’ when he called The Life Of Pablo a Gospel album. It really seems like Chance does Kanye better than Kanye does Kanye these days. I don’t usually like songs where every fuckin’ line is about God or some shit like that, but I’d be lyin’ if I said some of these lines weren’t dope af. “Jesus’ black life ain’t matter; I know, I talked to his daddy / Said ‘you the man of the house now; look out for your family.” This is seriously a Christian Rap song. Songs like this do nothing for me. Even when I was Christian I didn’t really like hearing songs about God. Jamila Woods sounds REALLY fucking good on this song. The second verse was dope too. The religious lyrics didn’t really resonate with me personally, but I definitely fuck with this shit sonically, and there are some lines in there that I really liked. This is dope to me. 4/5

Track 6: Same Drugs (Prod. Lido)

I’ve heard from a lot of different people that this is the best song on the project, and it’s the first solo track, so this should be good. It’s starting now. This beat is alright. It’s really simple. There’s not percussion yet. He’s just singing. The first verse was cool. Chance is still a very poetic writer. The hook is alright. This… isn’t that good… I like the lyrics, but this beat isn’t doing much for me, and neither are Chance’s vocals. His singing isn’t bad; the melody itself just isn’t very entertaining to me. There are some uncredited female vocals in the background. I liked the outro verse… I just don’t think I’d ever wanna listen to this again. This isn’t even a Hip Hop track. The production during the outro was pretty dope, but other than that—and the lyrics—this song is pretty underwhelming. It’s not bad… It’s just not that good to me. It’s alright. 3/5

Track 7: Mixtape Feat. Young Thug & Lil Yachty (Prod. Stix)

Oh God… This… Why did he do this? You know what? I’m just gonna get this shit the fuck outta the way as quickly as I can. It’s starting now. Oh my… Chance… Why is he singing like that? It sounds like he’s trying to pretend he’s one of these new Atlanta rappers and he’s addicted to lean. I’m not feelin’ this hook. Chance ends the first 8 bars with “ay” like every stereotypical Atlanta Hip Hop artist. What the fuck is he doing? This isn’t a good verse. “We don’t know none of your words, ay.” It almost sounds like he’s trying to make fun of Young Thug & Lil Yachty. “Am I the only nigga still care about mixtapes?” What the fuck is he talking about? When in history did people care about mixtapes more than they do now? This song is so bad. It’s making me sad… Young Thug’s verse wasn’t good, but it still sounds like he put more effort into his verse than Chance did. Needless to say, I wasn’t feelin’ Yachty’s verse either. This is wack af to me. This is probably one of the wackest Chance songs I’ve ever heard. 1/5

Track 8: Angels Feat. Saba (Prod. Lido & The Social Experiment)

Angels

As I said earlier, this is the only song from this tape that I’ve already heard. The beat is dope. The first verse from Chance was great. I feel like most of his verses on this whole project have been pretty short, so it’s nice to hear a full verse of him rapping. I really like this hook from Saba. He’s not saying anything super impressive, but I think his voice sounds really good over this production. The second verse was great. This is easily the best song on the tape for me so far. There’s not anything I don’t like about this track. He pulled everything off well. This is dope af. The music video was cool too. 5/5

Track 9: Juke Jam Feat. Justin Bieber & Towkio (Prod. Rascal)

Wow. The majority of the features on this tape have been pretty terrible. Hopefully Justin will pleasantly surprise me. I didn’t even mind Justin Bieber until he grew up and turned into every white kid at my high school. Although, to be fair, before he grew up he was every white kid at my middle school. Okay, it’s starting now. Yeah, I’m not gonna like this song. I guess every Chance The Rapper with the word “juke” in the title is gonna be a love song. Chance was singing the first verse. It wasn’t bad, but this isn’t really the kinda shit I’d wanna listen to outside the context of this review. It’s not for me. This is basically an R&B song with three different singers. The hook from Towkio is fine. Justin Bieber was singing his motherfuckin’ ass off on that bridge. Okay, it wasn’t THAT good, but it was pretty good. It definitely wasn’t bad. The song just ended… I don’t know why I’d ever wanna hear this again. This isn’t good to me at all. I’m not feelin’ this shit. The production was underwhelming, and the slow pace of the song & uninteresting subject matter lead to a boring listen for me. This is wack to me. 2/5

Track 10: All Night Feat. Knox Fortune (Prod. Kaytranada)

This beat is pretty good. This kinda sounds like some shit I’d hear in a white people club tho… Ehhh… I’m not really feelin’ this hook from Knox Fortune. It doesn’t ruin the track tho. Actually… It kinda does. This sounds like some bullshit that I would’ve seen the white kids from my middle school fist pumping to. This hook is fucking horrible to me. The more I listen to it, the more I hate it. I guess the first verse from Chance was alright. Same goes for the second verse. Honestly, I REALLY dislike this song. This is probably my least favorite song on the whole project so far. It’s mostly because of the fucking God awful hook. This sounds like rave music. That’s coming from somebody who knows nothing about raving tho. This is what I think I’d hear at a rave. I’m not feelin’ this shit at all. This is wack af. 1/5

Track 11: How Great Feat. Jay Electronica & My Cousin Nicole (Prod. The Social Experiment)

Oh my fucking God… This motherfucker interpolated that fucking wack ass Gospel song that they used to make us sing in 8th grade—I went to a Catholic middle school for 8th grade unfortunately. “How great is our God.” I’m sorry, but I cannot take that shit seriously. I’m 99% sure that I wouldn’t have liked this shit even when I used to be Christian. Hahahaha. Wow. This is too much. This is so bad. I’m over two and a half minutes into this song, and it’s still My Cousin Nicole’s interpolation of How Great Is Our God. This is fucking awful. Okay, the beat FINALLY dropped. Chance is goin’ in now. Nah. I really like his flow and delivery, but the shit he’s rappin’ about isn’t for me at all. His verse was alright I guess. Jay’s goin’ in now. I actually like this beat. Jay honestly murdered his verse. His flow was dope af. I didn’t give a shit about the religious lyrics, but his flow was so dope that it made me like the verse. Fuck. If it weren’t for that long ass intro this would probably get a 4/5. The subject matter isn’t for me at all, but the verses are dope af on a technical level. Jay really went in. I can’t do it tho. That intro was just too much. Also, this isn’t really that big of a problem, but the track ends really abruptly. This is wack to me. 2/5

Track 12: Smoke Break Feat. Future (Prod. Garren Langford)

This beat is pretty good. Chance is singing in autotune for the first verse. It really sounds like he just tried to copy a Lil Wayne verse or some shit. Thankfully, none of the lyrics are as bad as Wayne’s, but none of them are that good either. Nothing stands out. It’s exactly what the title implies. The mixing is REALLY bad during this hook. I can barely understand a fucking word from Chance. The mixing is actually pretty bad during the verses too. This song does absolutely nothing for me lyrically. It’s an R&B song. He’s not rapping on here. The production is actually pretty great. Future’s about to go in now. He killed it. Just kidding. Who the fuck mixed this shit? I mean, I doubt I would’ve understood anything Future was saying even if this WAS well mixed, but I wish I could at least try to interpret what he was saying. I’m not feelin’ this shit man. MAYBE this would be decent if it was mixed properly, but I don’t even think I’d ever wanna hear this again. It’s not doing anything for me. I’m not feelin’ it. 2/5

Track 13: Finish Line/Drown Feat. T-Pain, Kirk Franklin, Eryn Allen Kane & Noname (Prod. The Social Experiment)

Oh God… I didn’t really mention this during my review of The Life Of Pablo, but Kirk Franklin was probably the only thing I didn’t like about Ultra Light Beams. Every time I hear him start that outro I’m just like “yeah, we get it. You can pray in your head, bub.” Haha. Bub. When was the last time you heard someone call someone “bub?” Is that a thing? Do people actually say that? Okay, I’m gonna start the song now. Hahaha. Wow. It’s weird hearing T-Pain humming at the beginning of this track. It kinda sounds like he’s trying to do what The Dream did at the beginning of Ultra Light Beams. This beat is dope. Chance is actually rapping on this first verse, and it’s dope af. For some reason I feel like Chance wasn’t rapping enough on this tape. The hook from T-Pain is dope af. The second verse from Chance was dope af. Finish Line just ended. It was actually really dope. I don’t have any problems with it at all. It might actually be the best song on the whole project. I love the hook from T-Pain, and the second verse from Chance was fantastic. It’s dope af. Drown starts about 7 seconds after Finish Line ends. It’s cool. I guess. Noname’s verse was dope af, but that was really the only thing that stood out to be honest. Kirk Franklin’s contribution to this track wasn’t as annoying as that of Ultra Light Beams. It’s alright I guess. I don’t think I’d ever come back to it again, but it’s not bad. Chance wasn’t present on Drown. Finish Line was dope af. Drown is alright. Overall this track is dope. 4/5

Track 14: Blessings (Reprise) [Prod. Cam O’Bi]

Chance is goin’ in right now. It’s a new verse. There isn’t any percussion yet. He just killed the first verse. There was no percussion. It was still dope tho. That was probably Chance’s best verse on the whole damn tape. This is even better than the original Blessings song in my opinion. That’s really all I have to say. It’s different enough from the original track, so I feel like I can give this one its own rating. It’s dope af. 5/5

Track +1: Israel (Sparring) Feat. Noname [Prod. Cam O’Bi]

Israel.jpeg

This song was released on August 12th last year. This beat is dope af. This song has a better beat than ANY of the songs that actually landed on the album. Chance has a very calm delivery, but he’s fuckin’ killin’ this verse. “Fuck the pharaohs and pharisees; Moses is back / I don’t need to see a Sphinx to know they noses was black.” His first verse was dope af. Noname did her thing too. I wasn’t amazed by her verse, but I think she fits really well over this smoother style of production. Chance’s second and third verses were great. Noname’s second verse wasn’t bad either. I fuck with this song. Honestly, this would’ve been one of the best songs on the project if it was there. This is dope af. 5/5

Track +2: Grown Ass Kid Feat. Mick Jenkins & Alex Wiley (Prod. Cam O’Bi & Nascent)

This song was leaked a few hours before this mixtape was released. I’m not really sure why it didn’t make it onto the project. Maybe it’s too wack or something.

It’s starting now. This beat is dope af. Mick’s on the first verse. He killed it. He even had a handful of water references in his verse. “My intention was to flood the scene / I don’t ever really hug the scene / Y’all know I been submarine with this shit / Little more Actavis how I lean with this shit.” The hook is actually dope af too. I wish I knew who those female vocals were coming from. Chance’s verse was really good too. “Everybody finally can say it out loud, ‘my favorite rapper a Christian rapper, and he got faith in his faith in his soul.” I hope that doesn’t mean that he’s gonna be rapping about God for the rest of his career. I don’t know if I’m gonna wanna review another Christian Rap project. The mixing on this song is pretty rough too, but it’s not as bad as some of the songs that actually made it onto the mixtape. Alex Wiley’s verse was really dope too. This is honestly better than any of the songs on the actual mixtape. This is dope af. 5/5

Final Thoughts:

This is easily the most disappointing project I’ve heard all year, and I’ve only really been anticipating it for 2 days. I don’t even wanna think about how disappointed I would be if I’d been waiting for this shit since 2013. It’s not a bad mixtape. It’s actually pretty good. I just feel like he took a huge step back. First of all, let’s get the most obvious problem out the way. The mixing was a fucking disaster. You wouldn’t think that a project this big would have a problem like that, but it was really bad… Outside of that, my other two problems are that the overall sound is just a bit too lighthearted and sugary for me. I kinda wish he would’ve switched it up a bit more. Most of the songs sounded pretty similar to me honestly. My main problem with this shit is the religious undertones tho. Objectively, it’s not a problem. I don’t even think Chance should really stop rapping about God if that’s what he wants to do. My opinion doesn’t REALLY matter. I’m a 17 year old kid from Durham, North Carolina. Listening to my opinion probably wouldn’t even be a good idea for Chance because I’m pretty sure I’m in the minority when I say that the religious undertones really hurt this album. As I said a few times already, I have ZERO interest in Christian music. I don’t like Gospel music, and even when I was Christian I never really cared for lyrics about God. It just never hit me as hard as I thought it should have. I would try to convince myself that what they were rapping about was deep, but it just seemed so pointless. This is probably gonna be really offensive to religious people, but I don’t wanna hear music about God when I can be hearing music about REAL shit. And no, I don’t mean songs about gettin’ money and fuckin’ hoes. Just because a song isn’t about God doesn’t mean it has to be about dumb shit. I like the mixtape tho. I’m just really disappointed. Well, actually I don’t like it. I don’t think it’s bad tho. I just don’t think it’s good. It’s alright. This is the weakest Chance project I’ve ever heard in my opinion. That’s just me tho. From what I’ve seen on Twitter, everyone seems to love this project. I’m disappointed tho. One positive thing I can say is that Chance actually made a Gospel album, unlike Kanye. Kanye needs to step it the fuck up. I saw somebody say that this mixtape is what The College Dropout would sound like if it came out in 2016. I’m sorry, but that’s stupid as fuck. There are absolutely ZERO similarities between this & The College Dropout. I could MAYBE understand if he said “this is what The Life Of Pablo would sound like if Kanye knew how to make Gospel Music.” Chance did a better job of making a Gospel album, but Kanye’s album is way better than this in my opinion. It’s an alright mixtape tho. I got a handful of tracks from it. I was expecting it to be much better than this, but it’s alright. In the preamble I said I wasn’t gonna get my hopes up too high, but I clearly lied. Jay Electronica had the best verse on the whole album.

Favorite Song: Finish Line

Least Favorite Song: All Night

Verdict:

58%

MEH

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