If you aren?t listening to Coloring Book, Chance The Rapper?s latest mixtape, you should be. If you haven?t heard Acid Rap, the mixtape that put him on the map, you should listen to that too. If you already like Chance and want to hear his ?origin story? then check out #10DAY.
If you don?t want to listen to Chance The Rapper because you don?t like rap music, I still think you should give him a chance. At 23 years old, he?s the most promising young rapper since Kanye West. His music is thoughtful, intelligent, clever, catchy, nostalgic, and in many cases, tragic and inspiring.
Energized by the most recent edition of Shea Serrano?s weekly newsletter, and with the help of Genius, I?ve put together a list of my favorite lyrics and verses from #10DAY (high school Chance), Acid Rap (ready for the spotlight Chance) and Coloring Book (I just became a father Chance).
Before you scowl and think ?Sean, do we really need another list on Medium?? let me give you a few reasons why I think we do. If you don?t need convincing, keep scrolling.
- Chance is a rapper, but he is also a writer. A great one. Read his lyrics below and you?ll see what I mean, you may know them when you hear them but how often are they seen?
- I?m a better writer when I write while listening to music and maybe you are too. If thats the case, then Chance may be the right music for you.
- The themes in Chance?s music are consistent with many of the articles I see in ?Life Learning? and other areas of Medium, and I think that if they don?t speak to you directly and evoke memories of your own, they may inspire you to create new ones. His evolution and progress over time is clear, and if you think you?re due to accomplish bigger and better things in life, it may just be a matter of time before you do.
Here?s the list, from old to new. Not every song is included, but every song is worth listening to.
Listen on SoundCloud
14,400 MINUTESNo stars, good jobs, or excellentsAnd I?m still so fucking non-echelon
MISSING YOU Brown boys are dying, and none of ?em were for businessAnd all of em? love they mommas, and all of they mommas miss ?emAnd this shit is just stupid, this shit is fucking senselessThe news shouldn?t support it, this shit is getting expensive
NOSTALGIAHeads down, eyes shut, time to play Seven UpHeads bowed, hands clutched, bottles gone, Heavens upSmiles come through, though my eyes might cryWhen they reminisce over you, my God
FAMILYDon?t wake up, don?t wake up, don?t wake up too fastDon?t make up your mind, you should flake on that classSing all you want, just don?t Drake on they ass
PROM NIGHTThey see my little 10 Day tape and my dumb rapsDon?t call it impossible, if you really want thatThey send my ass to summer school, don?t call it a comebackI just came to beat a bully?s ass and get my lunch back
ACID RAP (2013)
Listen on SoundCloud
PUSHA MAN/PARANOIDI?ll take you to land, where the lake made of sandAnd the milk don?t pour and the honey don?t danceAnd the money ain?t yours
Cause everybody dies in the summerWanna say ya goodbyes, tell them while it?s springI heard everybody?s dying in the summerSo pray to God for a little more springI know you scaredYou should ask us if we scared tooIf you was thereThen we?d just knew you cared too
COCOA BUTTER KISSESCigarettes on cigarettes, my momma think I stankI got burn holes in my memories, my homies think it?s dankI miss my cocoa butter kissesI think we all addicted
JUICE God give me one sentence moreMaybe I just gotta get suspended more?Hash tag it, get mentions for itMake you love it, get it trending moreAnd then act humbleHear some bull that some dude mumble
EVERYBODY?S SOMETHINGWhat?s good, good? And what?s good, evil?And what?s good, gangstas? And what?s good, people?And whys God?s phone die every time that I call on Him?If his son had a Twitter wonder if I would follow himSwallow them synonyms like cinnamon CinnabonKeep all them sentiments down to a minimum
THAT?S LOVE What?s better than yelling is hollerin? loveWhat?s better than rhymes, nickels, dimes and dollars and dubsIs dialing up your darling just for callin? her upIt ain?t nothing better than fallin? in love
ACID RAIN I miss my diagonal grilled cheesesAnd back when Mike Jackson was still JesusBefore I believed in not believing inYeah, I inhaled, who believed in me not breathing inCigarette stained smile all covered in sinMy big homie died young; just turned older than him
CHAIN SMOKERWhy toss my filter when she saved my life?The same shit that kills us, always taste so right
BONUS ? SURF (2015)
Listen on iTunes
This is a collaborative project between Chance?s Acid Rap and Coloring Book mix tapes, that quite frankly, I didn?t know existed until this week. I haven?t listened to it all yet, since Coloring Book has been on repeat, but the song Shea Serrano mentions in his newsletter is called Sunday Candy, which Chance performed on SNL in 2015. The GIF below was created from this YouTube video for the song.
COLORING BOOK (2016)
Listen on Apple Music
ALL WE GOTTryna turn my baby mama to my fianceShe like music, she from Houston like Auntie Yonc Man my daughter couldn?t have a better motherIf she ever find another, he better love herMan I swear my life is perfect, I could merch itIf I die I?ll prolly cry at my own service, igh, igh!
SUMMER FRIENDSJJ, Mikey, Lil Derek and them79th street was America thenIce cream truck and the beauty supplyBlockbuster movies and Harold?s againWe still catching lightning bugs
Momma had salon doing perms out the armchairDad was working late, he treat the crib like it?s a timeshareI would mow some lawnsFold my ones like a lawn chair, hugh, hugh!Now I?m the same way, over time all the time, every night, hey
BLESSINGS I don?t make songs for free, I make ?em for freedomDon?t believe in kings, believe in the Kingdom
JUKE JAMThe rink was the place but in that space and time I was too young for youAs you were for me, too worried ?bout Frooties and Chews?Til I found out all the shawdy?s with cooties was cuteAnd realized what booties can do
SMOKE BREAK Truth being told, we used to movies and bowlWe used to Netflix and rollI used to pass her the smokeShe used to laugh at my jokesYou pat my back when I chokeWish we were stuck in our waysWe way too young to get old
FINISH LINE/DROWNThey ain?t teaching taxes in schoolIt don?t even matter I was acting a foolBut who would think their raps would turn into racks?Don?t matter, matter fact, it could happen to youScars on my head I?m the boy who livedThe boy love playing when the boy too sickReclining on a prayer, I?m declining to helpI?ve been lying to my body can?t rely on myself
If you enjoyed this post, recommend it to help more people discover Chance the Rapper?s library of music and comment with your favorite songs or lyrics of his.