Chance the Rapper’s breakthrough album, Acid Rap is one psychedelic work of art. Mixing singing and rapping, his flow and wordplay is reminiscent of Andre 3000 of Outkast’s natural way of vocal expression especially with some of the southern influenced guitar and 808 drum featured tracks. His vocal style is especially unique due to blurts of yells and “nya nya’s” that are potentially annoying. The beats mostly consist of lounge smoked keys with crispy variations of chopped up brakes, and programmed drum machines. Chance raps about getting high, but also relationships with family, friends or significant others and how those two facets correlate and exist together in his life. On the track Paranoia produced by Nosaj Thing, Chance raps to a dark, pretty beat about feeling unsafe in his neighborhood in Chicago, “down here, it’s easier to find a gun than a parking spot. No love for the opposition, specifically a cop position because they’ve never been in our position.” He paints a vivid picture, “I’m riding around with my blunt on my lips, the sun in my eyes and my gun on my hip..” The violence, and corruption in Chicago, the lack of national media coverage on this issue makes him paranoid, so he smokes to calm himself down.
Although these are serious topics, Chance’s playful delivery makes this album enjoyable, sometimes coming off as a cartoon character. This image goes perfectly with the painted album cover. He sweats because he’s paranoid, his tie dyed shirt represents tripping on acid, and the difficulty of hiding the fact that he is smoking or taking drugs as expressed in the song, Cocoa Butter Kisses. The background represents his dark neighborhood. The hazy, psychedelic skies sprinkled with stars and a constellation of himself is like the spacey vibe, self reflecting, larger than life like the track, Everybody’s Something.
– Review by Bag