“It’s Friday the 13th,” I said in a spooky voice. “Chance’s Coloring Book comes out today,” I said in a slightly less spooky voice. This was no ordinary coloring book, however, as it was not a coloring book at all, but rather a mixtape. “It’s a good thing this was released for free, or else he would most likely be sued for false advertising.” Three years and fourteen days after his last project, Acid Rap, I pressed play on Chance 3.
The music started and I felt like I was on an ultralight beam, which is a Kanye reference. Speaking of Kanye, he did the hook for the first track, “All We Got.” Chance combined this with an accompaniment of children’s choir, a Beyoncé name drop, and a verse about making tea. “This album is an instant classic,” I said only 3 minutes in.
Then came “No Problem,” which got me more hype than I thought was possible. 2 Chainz exploded onto the track with the line “school of hard knocks, I took night classes,” which inspired me to sign up for a night class on Shakespearean poetry right there so that I could fully realize Chainz’ symbolism. Lil Wayne followed up with his first verse in four years that I actually liked. “Overall, it’s a banger,” I typed into a comment section, adding five flame emojis directly after.
The third song, “Summer Friends,” quickly reminded me that I had no summer friends, as I was having a one-man listening party. Tears streamed down my face as I whispered “Be strong. It’s what Chance would want,” and resumed the album. Francis & The Lights led the intro, which opened into a calm verse that held a flow similar to “Chain Smoker,” mixed with the themes of “Paranoia,” both of which were cuts from Acid Rap, and neither of which could stop my tears.
“Blessings,” the fifth song on the album, was performed live before the album’s release, so I had heard it a few times already. But because I was forced to watch Jimmy Fallon in order to listen, I held a lot of animosity toward it. Now I could play it Fallon-free, and it immediately became one of my favorite tunes on the album because of big band feeling and Chance’s staggering wordplay. A line like “ain’t no Twitter in Heaven” would usually upset me. “How good could Heaven be without memes and tweets from Jaden Smith?,” is probably what I would have said if anyone but Chance had said that paradise is Twitterless. But instead of being agitated, I was entranced by the upbeat vocals and message.
Next was “Same Drugs.” Filled with piano and hand-claps, this song was all about how Chance doesn’t do the same drugs that he used to, and instead partakes in a different drug. That drug is called life, or maybe God. All I know is that the only real reference to a coloring book on the whole album came from that song.
After 23 minutes I had made it to track seven, “Mixtape.” The track features Young Thug, aka the GOAT, and Lil Yachty, aka The BOAT. It had overwhelming Atlanta vibes, as well as a reference to the first Kanye album, which was not a mixtape. I let it slide because of the Da Drought 3 reference just seconds prior. I yelled at my computer, “I care about cover art, Lil Yachty,” but my cries went unheard.
Because it came out in October, I had already listened to “Angels” a total of 64 times before the album was released, according to my iTunes statistics. I was on the hunt for new music, and this was pretty rinsed, so I just skipped it.
“Juke Jam” marked the second time Canadian Justin Bieber and Chicagoan Chance had linked for a track, the last being in 2013 on “Confident.” For this round, Justin only said sixteen words. As a Belieber I was pretty bummed out, but as a Future fan I got a nice pick-me-up later on with “Smoke Break,” where, during his feature, he subtly called out Desiigner. “Neat.”
After crossing the “Finish Line” with T-Pain, Kirk Franklin, Eryn Allen Kane and Noname, I came to the final song of the album, “Blessings.” “Is that a typo?,” I thought. “Why are there two tracks named ‘Blessings’?” If Chance said the intro was the entrée, this was like a Fourthmeal from Taco Bell. “It’s kind of gimmicky and is exactly like something else, just later on.” And just like a Fourthmeal from Taco Bell, I loved it.
I had finished the album, full of nitpicks, but I promptly disregarded them. “This piece of art was shared with me for free. How dare I criticize it? I owe Chance nothing but a 6 out of 7 rating on wiux.org,” I typed, finishing my album review. I set the timer on my phone for 2019, and began the wait for Chance 4.
“All We Got”