It’s optimism set to music, and you feel that from the very start of the album. It’s refreshing. At the same time it’s the same Chance the Rapper you expect to hear. It’s one of those albums that you can listen to the whole way through, bobbing your head the whole time, and every time you listen to it again you hear something new.
The first four songs fly by. But then you hit “Blessings” and you just have to pause. “I don’t make songs for free, I make them for freedom,” Chance raps, “Don’t believe in kings, believe in the Kingdom.” There ain’t one gosh darn part of that song you can’t tweet. The album continues strong through to the end, with beautifully spiritual sounds like that of “Angels” and “How Great”.
Coloring Book is a bit heavy on the spiritual side. God is featured in almost every track; religious stories weave in and out of every other bar. It’s well done, but may be too much for some. That’s me stretching for a negative remark on this album.
Does Chance the Rapper’s Coloring Book live up to all the hype? Yes. More than any other rap album has so far in 2016. It’s a musical masterpiece compared to Drake’s Views. It shows more growth as a follow-up album than Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ This Unruly Mess I’ve Made. Though it might not be as out there as Kanye’s Life of Pablo, it’s a better engineered experimental sound on the whole, full of energy and enthusiasm, and most of the verses are stronger. Plus, the marketing of the album is doing way better.
Coloring Book is easily the best rap album release so far in 2016. You can’t listen to it and not find yourself smiling. It’s lyrically brilliant, musically a masterpiece and overall has a much welcomed positive and uplifting feel to it. Chance the Rapper is slowly working his way into the mainstream, and I’m loving it. I’m excited to see where his success takes him. You can’t help but root for him. And I can’t wait to see what’s next!