Hip-Hop: For Chance the Rapper's fans, the flashbacks come before Acid drops
On Fri 11/23 local MC Chancelor Bennett—better known as Chance the Rapper—will headline Metro with a show called "Acid Rap Live," after the title of his next mixtape. He plans to perform Acid Rap songs, but the collection won't actually be released Friday.
Bennett isn't the only local rapper lately who's promoted a yet-to-be-released full-length with a big show; last month Maybach Music Group signee Donald Pullen (aka Rockie Fresh) headlined Metro in support of his forthcoming Electric Highway mixtape. Pullen has the support of MMG honcho Rick Ross as well as other major-label perks, but Bennett has reached the Metro stage through grassroots hustle. "The Metro was, for us, just like a checkpoint in life," he says.
The 19-year-old has checked off a lot of boxes since releasing his #10Day mixtape this spring: he packed streetwear store Jugrnaut for a #10Day listening party in April, sold out Lincoln Hall in June, and toured with popular MC Childish Gambino for part of the summer. "I had never been out of this state before I went on the road with them," Bennett says. "The idea of music literally taking me places was something really hard to fathom."
But Bennett has started feeling constrained by #10Day and its theme, which has to do with his ten-day suspension from high school. "People are always tweaked out when I tell them, 'Oh yeah, it's last year I got suspended,' and it's coming up on two years ago," he says. He acknowledges the parallels between #10Day and the album that inspired him to pick up the mike, Kanye West's The College Dropout, but he doesn't want to be too much like West. "Kanye spent three albums writing about how mad he was about school," he says. "I don't want to put myself in a box where I feel like I can't change fast enough."
After making #10Day Bennett started getting into acid jazz and LSD—hence the name Acid Rap. The material I heard when I visited him at South Loop studio Force One Seven was playful and almost jarringly eclectic. "It gets down to a point where it's just like a lot of literal trippy shit on the album," he says.
Bennett says that for him acid is like a big question. Chances are his fans at the Metro will have at least one big question in mind: "What's Acid Rap sound like?"