Chance The Rapper blew up with the release of his second mixtape Acid Rap, it led him to the fame he finds himself in in 2015. However, before Acid Rap was his first complete project-come-mixtape 10 Day. Possessing the same jazzed-up traits that made Chance a star, incorporating elements of gospel and soul resulting in a particularly memorable rendition of hip-hop. Released back in early 2011, Chance was just a kid in school who when faced with a short suspension of, you guessed it, 10 Days, crafted the now-defining 10 Day mixtape.
From the organ powered chill-ride Brain Cells, to the Brenda Russell-sampling Prom Night, 10 Day is a notably creative piece of music. With the harmonisations on the aforementioned working contrapuntally with Chance’s pubescent excitable raps, it makes for a jovial chord driven swayer that illustrates the intuitive nature of Chance’s musical mindset. Another incredible track from 10 Day is the beautiful Hey Ma, which in my opinion is one of Chance The Rapper’s best songs to date. Stemming from fellow Chi-Town honcho Kanye West‘s Hey Mama, it’s both powerful, yet symphonic, with potent lines like ‘hey ma, don’t be stretching your wallet…go get your nails polished’.
While the quality on 10 Day reaches and maybe too in some occasions, surpasses the material found on Acid Rap, the mixtape is subjected to some questionable tracks as well. While the friend-fired Family enlists close compadre Vic Mensa as well as another Chicago MC Sulaiman to help out, the surrounding tracks don’t do it any favours. The brash and crowded Fuck You Tahm Bout, and the lazy Biggie-sampling Juke Juke stick out like very sour thumbs against the sincere quality of other tracks on the project.
10 Day is both exceedingly excellent and frustratingly flawed. The highs of the mixtape are some of Chance’s best material to date, while the lesser of the tracks show how 10 Day was ultimately a good attempt at a breakthrough. However, Chance The Rapper’s first mixtape will always be an integral part of the artist he’s evolved into. Elements of Juke Juke are used on Acid Rap’s Good Ass Outro, while the idea of dense layering on Long Time is a direct signpost of how he’s got to the material likely to be found on the forthcoming Surf.
Verdict – WWWV