It’s a pretty busy week for Chicago rap, with loads of locals rolling out mixtapes left and right. Vic Spencer released The Catalog Don on Monday, the same day MMG’s Rockie Fresh tossed The Birthday Tape online, and Drake-cosigned rapper Lil Herb is set to drop a best-of compilation of cuts he made with Lil Bibby called Heir Apparents. But the thing on everyone’s mind yesterday was Acid Rap, the second mixtape from Chicago phenom and recent B Side cover star Chancelor Bennett, aka Chance the Rapper. The anticipation for Acid Rap leading up to its release was infectious, at times almost inescapable, and quite overwhelming. Fake Shore Drive crashed shortly after founder Andrew Barber posted the mixtape Tuesday afternoon.
There’s a lot to love about Acid Rap, too much to properly tackle and unpack after one listen or even half a dozen plays; the songs are so finely detailed that I still find new things in tracks he let loose months ago. But it’s quite clear from a cursory listen that Chance really lays everything bare, discussing subjects from his fear of death to his nostalgia for bygone days with remarkable insight. Sharing these kinds of intimate details isn’t new for Chance, and it’s long been part of the reason he’s such a relatable MC, but he digs deeper on Acid Rap and embeds his vulnerabilities in the fabric of his music—quite literally in the case of closer “Everything’s Good (Good Ass Outro),” which begins with a recording of a private phone conversation between Chance and his father, Ken Williams-Bennett.