Chance the Rapper_lowres


Twenty-two-year-old Chicago rapper Chancelor Bennett (hence, Chance The Rapper) achieved a rare feat in going platinum for a completely free album (or "diamond," in the parlance of rap mixtape download website DatPiff). Chance's acclaimed 2013 "mixtape" Acid Rap — also the name of the genre of his invention, fusing acid jazz, funk, soul and hip-hop — remains his only "album," though he's made dozens of appearances and a collaborative album, Surf, with a hip-hop and neo-soul band dubbed The Social Experiment. Chance's Acid Rap trips span nasally childhood narratives (shouting out Nickelodeon's Rugrats on VHS tapes on "Cocoa Butter Kisses": "Used to like orange cassette tapes with Timmy, Tommy and Chuckie") and colorful day-in-the-life lines ("kicked off my shoes, tripped acid in the rain," he raps on "Acid Rain." "Wore my jacket as a cape, and my umbrella as a cane"). He's an outsider without a place in the rap pantheon, but not a jester in someone else's court. On the hard-hitting "Everybody's Something," he raps, "And both my parents was black but they saw it fit that I talk right, with my drawers hid but my hard head stayed in the clouds like a lost kite."