"It was a dream. You cannot mess with the beam // This for the kids and the King of all Kings. This is the holiest thing."
~Chance The Rapper - All We Got
The quote above comes from the first song on Chance The Rapper's third mixtape Coloring Book. He references the track Ultralight Beam on Kanye West's The Life Of Pablo. Chance is on the first track of Kanye's album, where he teases this mixtape, and Kanye is on the first track of Chance's album where he references the track on Kanye's album. On top of that Chance dropped a hint about the exclusive Apple Music release of the mixtape in the song Angels, which was released over a year ago. Woah! Chance you're getting super meta, what is this an episode of Community.
Much like his buddy, Donald Glover, Chance is childish on this album. Not in the sense of throwing a tantrum or laughing at the word "duty," but using references and memories from his childhood to address topics like faith, fatherhood, and growing up. "I speak of wondrous unfamiliar lessons from childhood make you remember how to smile good." 90's kids are the most nostalgic generation and Chance taps into that masterfully. Much like Beyonce he has different songs that appeal to different audiences. He appeals to Trap fans with Mixtape, delivers a party anthem with All Night, and even had my devout christian mother singing Blessings.
This album is groundbreaking in so many ways. Chance is the first rapper to reach these levels of success, and make this many albums entirely independent without a label, "I put the 'indy' in 'Windy City.'" He also recently made Billboard history by charting on the Billboard 200 with an album that is exclusively streaming. Fans also tweeted every line that comes out of Chance's mouth, proving that his music is extremely powerful and very important to his fans.
This record is also important because melody and major chords have been drained current rap music. Artists like Drake and Future makes records where every song is dark and minimalist, consisting of just a bassline and drum beat. Artists like Chance and Kanye are injecting melody and positivity back into rap. I dare you to not feel happy and inspired after listening to this album. It is a glorious gospel rap opus and I'm predicting it will be my favorite album of the year.
Up next, more Chicago natives, garage rockers Twin Peaks released their third studio album, Down In Heaven. The band mixes folk and country in with garage rock. When you hear country mixed with rock you probably think of a band like Wilco. However, they blend genres and influences in very interesting ways, making their sound feel fresh yet familiar. Cold Lips is reminiscent of J. Mascis, Walk To The One You Love is full of country style twangs and slides, and Getting Better is driven by bouncy, percussive piano. This album is very dynamic and a lot of fun.
Speaking of fun albums, British rocker Oscar released his debut album, Cut and Paste. He blends a broad range of influences into a catchy indie-rock record. I like to think it's the music of The New Pornographer's with a beautiful baritone voice like The National's Matt Berninger.
The Unicorns were one of the greatest bands of all time and if you haven't heard Who Will Cut Our Hair When We're Gone? go listen to it immediately. However, after the band broke up Nick Thorburn form Islands. They have always been an nice replacement for The Unicorns, while they we're never quite as magical. Islands did something really interesting and they made two records and released them simultaneously. Taste is a fun, synth-rock album while Shall I Remain Here At Sea? was bare indie-rock with some very pensive tracks. To see my reviews of both albums get this months issue of Ghettoblaster Magazine.
That's it for now, but many more Jams are close behind.. Fly on Voltures. Ca-CAWWW.