Label: N/A
Released: May 12

The way 2016 went, we needed some of the good word. We needed an infusion of gospel in our hip-hop. Kanye West did it with the opening track of The Life of Pablo, “Ultralight Beam.” Fellow Chicago native Chance the Rapper gave the world spirit with his guest verse on the song, and so it made sense when his third project, Coloring Book expanded on his testifying. The album has a vibe that otherwise you only get at the peak of church service (just check the vocals that weave in and out of the Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz-assisted “No Problem”). Even when tracks like “Blessings” explicitly espouse the virtues of belief in a higher power, the album is never overly preachy. For many artists, the battle between the sacred and the secular can create some of their best music (see most of Marvin Gaye’s finest work); Chance the Rapper walks that path, and he walks it well. Coloring Book colors outside the lines, painting Chance into a beautiful space as an artist and a man. —khal