Death of the Critic

Chance The Rapper

Expectations vs Reality

Written by: Tom Blaich

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In these times, sequels are the name of the game. Finding a franchise that can be used over and over again to draw people to stores and theaters. The same can be said of music alongside games and movies, as fans eagerly await the newest release by their favorite artist. The only difference is where the name recognition lies. For games it might be with a franchise or a studio, in movies with a lead actor or director, and in music it lies firmly with the artist.

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The Gospel of Rap

Written by: Tom Blaich

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Hip-hop and religion are intrinsically linked. Far from the all-too-common perception of hip-hop as being tied purely into drugs and violence, hip-hop has acted as a reflection of the culture and artists that create it since the first time a track was spun in the Bronx in the 70’s. In the four decades since, woven throughout hip-hop are religious threads that are becoming more and more evident each day.
We wrote about it in our article on preconceptions against religious rap last year, but we did not examine the root of it, where this new trend came from.

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Bucket List Project - Review

Written by: Tom Blaich

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Saba is an interesting artist. Mired in the thick of Chicago rap, yet relatively unknown for his solo efforts. His 2014 debut mixtape ComfortZone was a quiet and meandering exploration of what life is like for a young black person. And since I reviewed it back in April, it has grown on me a lot. A fantastic way to wind down after a long day of something harder. So I knew I had to listen to Bucket List Project.

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Acid Rap - Review

Written by: Tom Blaich

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“Here’s a tab of acid for your ear.”


Chancellor Bennett’s second mixtape,
Acid Rap, looked to follow the success of the first, 10 Day, by going so far outside of the mold for what a mixtape should be. It’s so different from 10 Day, and other projects out of Chicago like ComfortZone or Innatape. Taking us through the experience of living in Chicago, Chance the Rapper weaves raps about drugs, violence, love, and family together in one of the more sonically diverse mixtapes that you can get your hands on.

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Sunday Candy: A Short Film - Review

Written by: Tom Blaich

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I’m a huge fan of Chance the Rapper. His mixtape
Acid Rap will always hold a special place in my heart. So last year when he announced his project with The Social Experiment, I was a little bit excited, to say the least. And then this song came out, and something just clicked. “Sunday Candy” is just delightful to listen to. Chance’s voice blazes through a feel good song with a wonderful backup from the talented Social Experiment.

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Religious Rap

Written by: Tom Blaich

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Coloring Book, the newest “mixtape” from artist Chance the Rapper, highlights many interesting things about the rap music industry. It’s a mixtape with timed exclusivity on Apple Music, a free album that might put him in the running for album of the year, and exists as a heavily gospel influenced album in a realm where self-described “Christian music” is looked down upon. But by circumventing that label and refusing to categorize his album in that way, Chance has delivered a musical bombshell that has fans asking what they are really listening to.

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