Chance The Rapper: Coloring Book – The Best Lyrics

Sunday Candy, Happy Sunday, with Chance The Rapper’s Coloring Book!

After listening several times, we can testify how solid is the mixtape Coloring Book, a project that helps you create your own Happiness through the Freedom songs Chance made in for you in this project. Different themes are discussed though: Faith, Growing Up, Happiness, Value of Music, Independent Music vs Major Label, and more. 

In order to best illustrate the meaning of this Coloring Book, we’re going to highlight the best lyrics throughout the mixtape, the most meaningful, the ones that could help get the message, and understand the concept and the concerns  of this third project.

Besides, it is kind of perfect that Chance has waited for his third mixtape to put some Gospel on it, as he shows of the number 3, God number, for The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit (this is the holiest thing).

1) All We Got

Man I swear my life is perfect, I could merch it

If I die I’ll prolly cry at my own service, igh, igh!

The kind of lyrics that gives hope in Life, and that invites to love and live life at its fullest. As Bukowski would say: “We live our lives so well that death will tremble to take us”. If Finish Line was initially the first track for the intro, All We Got is the perfect ‘entree‘ to this Gospel/Hip-Hop project, A project that gives Faith and Strength again to “the kids of the King of all kings”

2) No Problem

If one more label trynna stop

It’s gon’ be some dreadhead niggas in your lobby

One of the catchiest hooks in the mixtape, and one of the most meaningful knowing all the efforts Chance put in work to make a differentiation between him being independent and the major labels, the A&R. As he sings in a song that could have been great to count in the mixtape, ‘Somewhere In Paradise’, he says:

“I don’t like labels or titles […] I know them tricks is for addicts that need fixes for habits in love with carrots and cabbage”.

Quote which resonates with the lyrics in  No Problem: “You talk that talk that make a lame ass ngga fall in love Not me, though, btch you can keep those”. To emphasize the strong idea of this song, in this interview, at 12 minutes and 25 seconds, we understand the point of Chance, firmly willing to make his way independently.

Interviewer: When you mention independent, is it successful? […] Cause a major (label) it could push you to a level that you cant do independently.

Chance:  I might not necessarily agree with you on pushing you to a level that you might not be able to get to. There is definitely the distribution in a seat that I am right now, […]  put you on a stage,.. in a lot of different places… But I think it’s about being the manager of the project, of the product ; it’s how you get there. And for us it’s about having that person-to-person connection […]”

These are a few reasons why Chance persists making history in the music industry remaining independent, far away from labels, known for reducing the freedom of the artists (cf Lil Wayne in the song).

3) Summer Friends

Our summer don’t get no shine no more

Our summer die, our summer time don’t got no time no more

When I was so young before I could remember

I would always treat my gang like family members

Even when I changed, a nigga never changed up

I always bring my friends, my friends, my friends, my friends up

The most touching lyrics, depicting violence in Chicago, reflecting Paranoïa in Acid Rap, when Chance sings “I heard everybody’s dying in the summer So pray to God for a little more spring”.

Summer Friends is the kind of song that honors for ever the memory of every friend gone and become angels ; their names are written in this Coloring Book

4) D.R.A.M. Sings Special

Everyone is special

Another empowering song, helping every listener acknowledge his own value. It’s hard to see sometimes how much valuable we can be, too many times focused on how messed up we are, but truly, we’re special, Everyone is special.

This Gospel song, finally really makes you feel like God speaks loudly and directly to you and tell you that you can shine again. This interlude is a blessing.

5) Blessings

I don’t make songs for free, I make ’em for freedom

This should even be the name of the whole mixtape, as these Blessings brought to us for free, really bears a power of Freedom. No one can deny the feel-good energy of this track, the lightness and the happiness it contains, either you’re religious or atheist: The emotion is real and communicating, reaching everyone, bringing peace of mind, and positivity.

6) Same Drugs

Don’t forget the happy thoughts

All you need is happy thoughts

[…] When did you forget how to fly?

A song about growing up,leaving your shades and darkness (a shadow of what I once was), and  finding happiness. This song, with its theme of childhood and Peter Pan, is the best illustration for Coloring Book.

“Think of a wonderful thought 

Any merry little thought 

[…] Think of the happiest thing 

It’s the same as having wings” – You Can Fly!

And don’t let the drugs put delusional colors in your eyes. Put your own colors in your life.

7) Mixtape

I’m the only n*gga still care about mixtape

This interview is a nice illustration to the track Mixtape.

Besides the fact that Grammys traditionally consider only music commercially presented,

The track might also question the music consumption by people, how it evolves : do people care about the music, the lyrics, the craft… nowadays as they used 10 to 20 years ago? Answer is no. What’s interesting in this interview is Chance’s perspective on type of music consumers (from 4 minutes and 35 seconds)

Chance: “There is an actual fine line between the mainstream music lover and people that are actually searching for their own music.

There’s people that music doesn’t mean anything to them ; they’ll never gonna get on a blog, they’ll never gonna go and target with intent to buy or anything.”

8) Angels

I’m the blueprint to a real man

(Echoes with another song were he raps he “knew [he] was as fly as a butterfly whe [he] was just a caterpillar)

Igh, Igh, Igh, Igh, for my real fans

This one is for everybody having doubts the third mixtape wouldn’t be as good the Acid Raps or as 10 Days.

9) Juke Jam

You had a nigga, I couldn’t stand him

But when they play “Take You Down”, Chris Brown

I am his stand-in

I mean it’s just dancing

10) All Night

Come on, big fella, you drunk, big fella

Two sips and now you wanna trip, big fella

You not a drinker, I can see it all in your leg, big fella

You wobbly, big fella, you finna fall Sit down, you drunk, big fella

The most hilarious part.

11) How Great

Good God, the gift of freedom

Hosanna Santa invoked and woke up slaves from Southampton to Chatham Manor

If Coloring Book is a Hip Hop/Gospel project, this quote, reference to Nat Turner’s Slave Rebellion in Southampton County recalls the origin of Gospel music, which comes from the Negro Spirituals, sang by the slaves.

How Great is the second longest song in the project, after Finish Line/Drown, this is the masterpiece of this Gospel project, followed by the Blessings suite (1 & 2). This is the song for Freedom.

12) Smoke Break

We way too young to get old

They don’t do the same drugs anymore, they’ve grown up, but sometimes hey realize growing up is a trap, and a Smoke Break, breaking free from parenthood and responsibilities is appealing, and sometimes well deserved.

This songs resonates with Lost from Acid Rap, with Noname.

13) Finish Line/Drown

Me and my girl plan to stay to the end

Hope there never come a day where we be better as friends

We in a marathon we could build a marriage on

Keeping Faith in God (All my day I pray and pray) and a Lifelong relationship with the mother of his daughter: this is the Finish Line for Chance, the ultimate goal.

Lord rain down on me so I can move on water

Like children at the altar, like God inside my house

Again these lyrics from Noname resonate with Chance’s in Somewhere in Paradise, when he sings “I think I’m walking Jesus, I knew my feet wouldn’t drown”, and also with Same Drugs, where you need to be like children to enter in the Kingdom.

14) Blessings (Reprise)

I made it through, made it through, made it through

And everything I gave to you, I gave to you, I gave to you

You got it, you got it, you got it, it’s coming (Coming, coming, coming)

So are you ready? (Are you ready?)

The last page of the book, the prize after the Finish Line,

The Blessings of the Promised Land, the achievement, the Dream come true

Soul floating up in the colorful clouds and bright sky, and that light breeze of Life and Happiness:

Your miracle is here,

You’ve been hopeful and it was worth the wait;

You’re Free,  you’re Blessed,

Glory be to God…

Marcus Gon

Rédacteur en chef de Sounds So Beautiful, et auteur de l’œuvre Poetically Yours. ,Storytelling, ou l'art de conter une histoire, l'effort de véhiculer un message, l'exploit de communiquer une émotion, ou bien encore le miracle d'inspirer et d'influencer. Sounds So Beautiful, founded by writer and musician Marcus Gon, is the international media, specialized in the music industry, working closely with advertisers and public relations, and allowing emerging artists to develop their career. Poetically yours

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