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Coloring Book

by Chance the Rapper

Released May 13, 2016

Reviewed May 13, 2021

Top tracks (based on community voting)
Same Drugs (50%), No Problem (41%), Angels (33%)

Judging solely on the content found on 2016’s Coloring Book, the time between Chance the Rapper’s breakout effort, Acid Rap, and the follow-up seem abundant with personal flourishment for the young artist. Where Acid Rap is a swelling, LSD-fueled exploration into the mind of a young and thoughtful creative in Chicago, Coloring Book seems far wiser. The arrangements are cleaner, motifs more direct, and the stylistic choices are even more creative. Chance taps into a vast array of influences on Coloring Book, from island music to electronic to ballad; however, the glue that holds the album together is its rooting in gospel. During a time where the young rapper was clearly inching his focus in life toward the more mature values of family, faith, and prosperity, the central musical elements reflect those topics in a tasteful and largely appealing way. Coloring Book is fully about the process of realizing where a person’s interests should be invested and making the necessary changes to succeed, a realization that takes many people a lifetime to come to. But three years can be a lifetime for some. If a person’s mind is focused on growth, cherishing every moment that falls before them, and gaining a more thorough appreciation for the world—and the relationships around them—then three years can amount to much more. – Pax (8.5/10)

There’s nothing wrong with music having religious themes or sounding happy and feel-good. But the God-loving, almost childish positivity that Chance adopts on Coloring Book is dialed up so much that it sounds fake—like Georgina from Gossip Girl after she goes to Bible camp. From a lyrical standpoint, this album also falls short in comparison to Acid Rap. His best performances are usually the ones where he comes off as a complex person that feels something more than joy. And there’s a glimmer of that on here, but more often than not, songs with good concepts (“Same Drugs,” “All Night,” “Juke Jam”) go nowhere. Coloring Book is colorful and lively, but it’s incredibly saccharine. – Alan (5.3/10)

Pax: 8.5/10 | DeVán: 7.5/10 | Hadley: 7.5/10 | Cam: 6.8/10

Dominick: 6.8/10 | Peter: 5.5/10 | Alan: 5.3/10


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