Chicago, Illinois is a city rich in the culture of jazz, blues, soul and gospel. It’s also one of the most influential cities in the history of Hip-Hop. With the “Mount Rushmore” of legendary rappers from the area: Common, Kanye West, Lupe Fiasco; the city from a hip hop perspective carried the strong lyricism, funky sound, and soulful art. It was believed the city was stuck with it’s certain poignant sound. And then BANG BANG. A new style was born.
Chicago took on a perspective in this new decade with it’s self imposed nickname, “Chiraq.” Statistics couldn’t do the city justice of what was going on within. It was well noticed. People all over the country took notice and the whole urban culture watched as a city was starting to lose it’s hip hop identity. Gangster Rap was now the entity with the youth. It was artists like Chief Keef and Lil Reese that brought violence to their raps and a war-like approach to their songs. It was Keef who said about his upcoming project, “I’m finna raise the murder rate up.” But then, April 30th, 2013 at around 2:00 pm came and made it’s claim.
Chance The Rapper (AKA Mr. Bennett) brought his own sound to Chicago. Now his sound is not like the legendary Chicago artist before him, but it does share some of the same messages by the ones that came before him. On April 30th, 2013 he released his acclaimed mixtape Acid Rap. The beats and flow of the mixtape range from happy, to hazy, to weird, and nerve-wracking! You can’t put a finger on the guy. ‘He raps a little off beat that makes him on beat?!’ ‘You can’t determine his flow and it’s basically impossible to mimic.’ ‘He raps about drugs yet he still brings a positive message.’ ‘He’s your favorite rapper’s favorite rapper!’ The guy contradicts all of your contradictions. And love him or hate him, you know you can’t control yourself from singing along to “Cigarettes on cigarettes, my mama think I stank; I got burn holes in my hoodies, all my homies think it’s dank; I miss my cocoa butter kisses.”
Chance is the leader of the new school artists to come out of Chicago. His rapping affiliate, Vic Mensa, is proof that Chicago still is holding down the respected rap game there. But it won’t be easy, the persona that is Chief Keef still looms big with many of the youth in Chicago. But Chance has a chance to do something special. With his fan base only rising, it will be interesting to see how he proceeds Acid Rap, and what new he has to bring to the table. All I know is, I’m rooting for Chancellor.
How do you feel about new school Chicago rap? What’s your thoughts on Chance the Rapper? Leave a comment below