Yesterday, I was in the car with my kid and we were both dancing and singing “When the praises go up! The blessings come down!” Amidst our praise and worship I considered how I had never thought this as an option for hip-hop. I considered us bonding over various songs with a variety of content but Praise and worship. Nah hadn’t considered it.
With his third mixtape, Coloring Book, Chance the Rapper has presented us a spiritual offering. Praise from the top to the bottom, the tone is inescapable. Have you ever tasted a piece of fruit so perfectly in season and ripe it feels as if it’s the first time you ever tasted a banana, orange, pineapple,mango? Like a baby tasting something sweet for the first time, that’s how Coloring Book makes me feel. Full, warm, and somehow innocent.
I enjoyed “Acid Rap”, which made me go back to “10 Day”. I dig Chance he gives great interviews, well-groomed, and seems confident with his voice. His dedication to his city is admirable. He seems thoughtful. Thoughtfulness runs through this mixtape.
Much like Ye, Chance references God, religion, and spirituality not from a place of superiority but vulnerability. “Jesus Walks” proved a powerful but often untapped lane, but we didn’t see an influx of JC superstars. It seemed to just be an isolated example of what made Ye great not just good. TLOP per Ye’s own decree is gospel. Chance’s verse on Ultralight Beam shows his Judeo-Christian background. That verse was a perfect intro to Coloring Book.
When I was young, hip hop made me want to read, made me want to learn about being Black, about my history. I wanted to know what the references meant. Kids could listen now and want to feel a closer connection to a higher power and think that’s cool.
Music has been generous with us over the last year or so. Things are shifting. I feel a good portion of music offered as of late is complete. Artists are opening, growing, and we as listeners benefit. We are getting honesty. We are witnesses to a shift. I’m here for all these gifts.
Chance shared a piece of what his relationship with God looks like.
“Are you ready for your blessings? Are you ready for your miracle?”