Chance the Rapper talks ‘Acid Rap”s influence on the Midwest sound


Ten years ago this year, Chance the Rapper released his Acid Rap mixtape, which he believes is a “cult-classic.” Speaking to Complex, he says the project’s sound was incomparable to other albums that were out at the time.

“There’s definitely nothing that sounds like Acid Rap if you go back to 2013,” he said. “Like, you got [Kanye West’s] Yeezus, you got [Drake’s] Nothing Was the Same, you got Mac Miller’s Watching Movies With the Sound Off, you got J. Cole [Born Sinner]. In terms of rap, like, there was not another album that had a song like ‘Chain Smoker’ on it or another album that had a song like ‘Everybody’s Something’ on it. It was its own thing.”

Acid Rap‘s unique sound, he says, has since influenced the “Midwest sound that you still hear to this day.” “I think you’d be hard-pressed to find somebody that’s a year or two younger than me that wasn’t influenced by Acid Rap, even if they weren’t from the Midwest,” he said. “Jack Harlow, [LilUzi Vert. People that are from opposite coasts and from other places still tell me, like, what the album meant to them at that time.”

Chance dropped Acid Rap on April 30, 2013, during a time when he was indulging in lots of drugs. He says he “probably would have died” if he’d continued “the way that I was living at that time.”

“If I hadn’t had my spirit tugged on—literally—and a calling to become a better version of myself, then I would have died for sure. Then I would just be the representative of acid and I’m so much more,” Chance said.

He’ll be celebrating the album’s milestone anniversary with a hometown concert at Chicago’s United Theater this August.

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