Chance the Rapper – Coloring Book
By Bobby Beebe
Since little music gets released between Christmas and the beginning of the year, I decided to take a look back on 2016 for this column and write about my favorite album of 2016. 2016, as you may have noticed, was a challenging year in popular culture. For that reason, my favorite record of the year is one that managed to transcend the confusion and conflict.
Coloring Book, Chance’s latest mixtape, can be boiled down to one word, “positivity.” The main thread that pulls the album together is its warm gospel influence, which is served up with big choirs, bolstering horn sections and pseudo-sermons delivered by a young rapper on the verge of exploding.
Chance’s verses are clever and colorful, a break from trap rap that seems to dominate traditional hip-hop radio stations. The two-parter “Blessings” provides a thesis for the album, as chance sings “It seems like blessings keep falling in my lap.” While songs like “All Night” and “Mixtape” show Chance still has some late-night party appeal, it seems clear that Chance is growing up and pushing on the boundaries that made his early work so popular.
Coloring Book is a perfect album for blasting out of car windows, for blasting while you sing along in the shower, and for blasting late night in the living room.
Essentially, when listening to this record, you should be blasting it. That’s what I did. All. Year. Long.