Continuing the recent trend of spontaneous releases, Chance the Rapper, in collaboration with his band The Social Experiment, dropped a new album called Surf early on the morning of May 29. And there’s more: this album is available for free. The Social Experiment is a Chicago-based band that features the likes of Donnie Trumpet, Peter Cottontale, and Lido, all of whom have worked with Chance before, as part of his SaveMoney crew. Chance, who leaked hints to the media earlier this week that he was going to drop this album, is reported to have said that Surf is “the first Social Experiment project.” In other words, it is not exclusively a Chance the Rapper record, but more of a group collaboration. What does this mean for listeners? Basically: expect a lot of loud, brassy trumpet sounds. These are courtesy of the Social Experiment’s Donnie Trumpet, while Chance takes the role of producer and/or mixologist.
The 16-track album features guest spots from BJ the Chicago Kid, Busta Rhymes, Janelle Monaé, Noname Gypsy, Jamila Woods, and Erykah Badu. It is available on iTunes and other sources for free. Chance himself was born in 1993 in Chatham, Chicago. His real name is Chancellor Bennett. He was was slowly rising to fame throughout the early 2000’s, but it was especially with his release of the album Acid Rap in 2013 that set Chance the Rapper apart from other young hip hop artists competing at the semi-professional level.
Chance is known for his flagrant use of LSD, outside of music. Inside of music, he is known for his syncopated flow patterns and complex rhythms. He is also famous for fusing rapped and sung vocals, and also for his accomplished lyricism that tackles such mature themes as personal growth, archetypes, storytelling, political and social criticism, and of course lots and lots of recreational drug use of the psychedelic variety. Instrumentally, his music is influenced by hip hop, acid jazz, soul, and blues. For fans of hip hop, this should all sounds like an old story. Rapper makes raps, raps blow up, fame follows, famous followers follow that fame, followers follow those famous followers and more of the fame follows, etc. But Chance has remained remarkably loyal to his roots and to his original friend group.
FDRMX Eyes: India’s The Other People have created a heartfelt and breathtaking music video that addresses the importance of self-confidence. Check out the video for “So Damn Beautiful” here: