Updated: May 8
It's safe to say that Acid Rap soundtracked our fondest memories of high school and today it turns 10. A stoner essential with all hits no misses, even the intros and outros are a jam. It's packed full of exquisite samples and a slew of talented rappers that have gone on to receive critical acclaim from Ab-Soul and Childish Gambino to Noname and Saba. The mixtape is undoubtedly Chance The Rapper's best project to date.
Chance's tongue-twisting bars are elevated by his animated cadence. His clever wordplay is intertwined in the energetic flow. On 'Cocoa Butter Kisses', he says "Keep it lowkey like Thor lil' bro" - Thor's brother is called Loki and his name is homophonic with the word 'lowkey'. On 'Smoke Again', "Lean all on the square, that's a fuckin' rhombus" is a reference to dipping cigarettes in lean as 'square' is slang for cigarettes - and a rhombus is essentially a square that leans at an angle.
The mixtape didn't make it to streaming until 2019 as it was bursting at the seams with samples. 'Good Ass Intro' interpolates the lyrics and melody from both 'Freshmen Adjustment 2' Intro by Kanye West and John Legend and 'Faithful' by Common feat. John Legend and Bilal, Lili K sings this combination soulfully as Chance raps over it. 'Pusha Man' takes various elements of instrumentation from Dave Grusin's 'Modaji', lacing the beat with the smooth sounds of jazz, while
also interpolating 'Pusherman' by Curtis Mayfield. 'Paranoia' flips and reverbs the eerie 'Monroeville Music Center' by Hairy Fairy Hotaruna to give off the ambience of uncertainty. 'Juice' borrowed the keys from 'Jealous Guy' by Donny Hathaway (the sample has only just been cleared today!). The warmth of the acoustic guitar lead instrumental on 'Lost' belongs to 'Brother's Gonna Work It Out' by Willie Hutch. The drums on 'Everybody's Something' come from 'Fall In Love' by Slum Village. That all-too-familiar guitar riff on 'Favourite Song' is supplied by Betty Wright's 'Clean Up Woman'. The bassline on 'NaNa' originates from 'Red Clay' by Jack Wilkins.
Acid Rap is a staple in our diet. It's the tape you put on to relive your adolescence. An iconic favourite forever evoking nostalgia.
Review by Kat Friar!