The Rise of Chance the Rapper

By Max Bayer

If you’re a hip-hop head, you probably know about Chance the Rapper. If not, it’s time you found out. The rise of Chance the Rapper is directly attributed to the success of his mixtapes “10 Day” and “Acid Rap.”
You know you’re in for something different with “10 Day” when the slow beat and trumpet of “14,000 Minutes” leads into Chance’s high pitch, signature yelp.

A few songs later, Chance displays his pursuit of fame on “Brain Cells” with the lyrics, “But I’ma throw a tantrum, ‘til I’m on every Samsung, Sanyo, and Handheld and Handgun.”

On “Hey Ma”, he shows his respect to those who helped him get to where he is like his Auntie Toni, and what you can assume are family friends Ms. Moody, Monica, and Ava.

After “10 Day,” the hype for Chance was legitimate, but he needed to gain more maturity before he truly made his mark on the industry. “Acid Rap” made that mark.

The tape starts with “Good Ass Intro” and you can instantly feel the soul. “Even better than I was the last time…” plays melodically in the background, reminding the listener of the improvement Chance made between “10 Day” and “Acip Rap.” Between the two projects, Chance improved his lyricism, polished his instrumentals, and gained more confidence. Tracks like “Juice” and “Favorite Song” (which features Childish Gambino) have grown insanely popular since the mixtape’s release. But juxtaposed with these catchy tunes, Chance shows a more reflective side.

The upstart Chicago rapper delves into his darker past on songs like “Acid Rain.” He mentions the death of his friend Rodney in the first verse as well as his use of drugs to cope with this experience. The melodic and smooth “oohs” in the background set the tone for his sylliloquy. “I think love is beautiful too/ building forts from broken dams, what a Hoover could do,” is a perfect example of Chance using his witty rhymes to send a message.

As an avid fan of Chance, I have had the luxury of seeing him twice in concert, the most recent of which was a solo show at The Warfield. It was both interesting and sentimental for me to see this artist raising the palm of his hand through the entire show and his energy was unmatched by anyone I had seen before.

With two mixtapes and what many expect will be an upcoming album, Chance has set himself up for one hell of a year. He is still unsigned, yet his popularity has soared. Chance The Rapper’s unique voice and lyricism have made him one of my favorite rappers.

I can only hope his future projects resemble his original work. It is refreshing to see a guy becoming more successful while staying close to his roots and maintaining the style he had when he made it in the rap game. Chance the Rapper is the truth, and it’s only a matter of time before everyone knows it.