hmv tips for 2014… Chance The Rapper
Every day in January we're going to be previewing a band or artist, handpicked by our editor Tom, that we think are set for big things in 2014. Today's pick is Chance The Rapper, who is nailed on to be huge.
Who is he?
Hailing from Chicago, Illinois, 20-year-old Chancelor Bennett, better known as Chance the Rapper, has been steadily building a rep for himself over the last 18 months, beginning in 2012 when he uploaded his first mixtape, 10 Day, to online platform Datpiff. The mixtape was conceived while Chance was serving out a 10-day suspension from school – hence the title – and he followed up last year with another free mixtape named Acid Rap. Despite the fact neither has been released commercially, Acid Rap has been downloaded more than 250,000 times and was voted at no. 5 on Rolling Stone’s ‘Best Hip-Hop Albums Of 2013’ list.
What does he sound like?
His style of flow has drawn comparisons to Kendrick Lamar, but it’s actually pretty unique – Chance also has a pretty good singing voice and on Acid Rap he swerves from acrobatic, stream-of-consciousness raps to soulful melodies, against a backdrop of beats by a range of producers from Jake One and Nate Fox to more unusual choices like Swedish TV composer Ludwig Görransen. The range of production styles on offer have a lot in common with the smooth, soulful beats of the likes of Common and Outkast, much of which has a distinctly Acid Jazz flavour.
Why should I be excited?
Acid Rap is being hailed by some as the most important Hip-Hop project to come out of Chicago sine Kanye West’s The College Dropout – high praise indeed – and mainstream artists are beginning to wake up to his talent, with even the likes of Justin Bieber jumping on the Chance bandwagon: the rapper recently featured on Bieber’s track ‘Confident’. Don’t let that put you off though, Chance has been busy on his ‘social experiment’ tour, as well as appearances last year at a host of festivals including Reading and Lollapalooza, and has plenty more projects lined up for 2014.
Can I hear something?