“The universe is listening, be careful what you say in it/
My grandma told me every bed a n**ga make, he lay in it/
The church you go to pray in it, the work is on the outside/
Staring out the windows is for love songs and house flies…“
– Jay Electronica, “better in tune w the infinite“
I wrote this as a sample piece for a magazine I was applying to and I totally missed the mark. My usual low-key-joke-filled stile was not appropriate for this publication in particular, I realized after I sent it. Luckily, I convinced them to let me write another one and this time I’ll adapt to their tone and get that spot in their staff, but that’s neither here nor there. The thing is, I finally have a new text to share with you, my non-existent audience.
The funny thing about it is that the last few paragraphs don’t really represent how I feel, I just saw the opportunity for comedy and went with it to the bitter end. I couldn’t care less that Kendrick is a millenial, an artist is an artist is an artist.
I hope you all enjoy it, people of the world: Continue reading
I would love to justify my lateness alleging that I was waiting for the new Run The Jewels to drop, but actually I just couldn’t find the necessary silence to finish this beauty until today. Or the will. This December in Venezuela was odd and noisy, even with fireworks out of everybody’s price range.
Anyway, back to the topic at hand… without further ado and starting at the top:
The third mixtape by the half emcee/ half singer from Chicago is half gospel hip hop/ half club music. On my first spin I thought at last, through Chance, I was going to be able to appreciate this new wave of mumble rap the children seem to be crazy about. It features Future, Young Thug and that idiotic kid Lil Yachty and none of those songs make me want to rip my ears off. I even liked “Smoke Break“at first. On repeated listens though, I tend to skip them and the Justin Beaver one. That sound just doesn’t appeal to me even with Chance and his production team in the mix.
As for the gospel, I propose it’s the reason this album didn’t really blew up worldwide. It was critically lauded across the board, the Grammy academy changed its rules just to be able nominate it, Chano appeared in every screen and became a household name, but the music per se got to a point and then stalled. You can talk about God all you want, just ask Kendrick, but.unlike jazz and funk, gospel is completely specific. It has all those catholic connotations and people from other walks of life don’t want to hear that shit. Also, personally, gospel doesn’t speak to me. I have no memories associated to it like most gringos. Anyway, “Coloring Book” didn’t really explode like it was supposed to.
As for Chance, his singing sounds better than ever in this mixtape, the very musical pieces bring out the best in his voice. His rapping though, It’s not on “Acid Rap” level. He’s got some slick lines here and there, but the melodies and not the lyrics were his main focus and the hip hop part suffered. The exception is “How Great”. On that note, let’s talk about Jay Electronica’s verse: Incredible. It’s not even that good by his standards and it’s still one of the bests of 2016.
In conclusion: Overall it’s a good project, parts of it are great, but Chance, do yourself a favor and drop acid before starting on your next one.
BONUS, the clips:
True artist, right here. It’s not exactly my kind of music, but I won’t complain. I wouldn’t know in what genre to classify him in, is this soul? No, but it does have one. All I can say is his power, angst and honesty are palpable. He came from the past or another planet to show us how it’s done. In the last song, “Adios”, he sings:
Adios to the little child in me
who kept on blaming everyone else
instead facing defeat
After all, why should I regret?
If it wasn’t for the mistakes
I made yesterday
where will I be by now?
Let that be our lesson for the day.