Chance the Rapper 

The rap equivalent of free jazz.

Chance the Rapper’s flow is the rap equivalent of free jazz. Throughout his verses, his throaty, guttural voice bounces between different pitches and intonations, frequently breaking from clear diction into more visceral, abstract sounds. When he dropped his critically acclaimed debut mixtape, Acid Rap, in 2013, the self-released project’s popularity earned him a spot on XXL’s Freshman Class of 2014 and recognition on many major music publications’ year-end lists. But though Chance was on the cusp of widespread fame, he took time to focus on experimental projects instead of rushing toward pop stardom. For instance, he formed the jazz-hip-hop fusion band The Social Experiment with several childhood friends from Chicago, which released a jubilant, improvisatory mixtape, Surf, this past summer. He also collaborated with one of today’s most unorthodox independent rappers, Berkeley’s Lil B, on Free Based Freestyles Mixtape. Hot off the heels of his new track with Justin Bieber, “Confident,” Chance performs at The Fox Theater with D.R.A.M., Towkio, and Metro Boomin (the producer of Drake and Future’s epic mixtape, What a Time to be Alive) for his Family Matters Tour on Saturday.

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