In the world of hip hop, there are often collaboration projects that are announced that end up never seeing the light of day. Kendrick Lamar and J. Cole, MF DOOM and Ghostface Killah, Mos Def and Jay Electronica just to name a few. Usually when these types of albums are first mentioned, hope is evident within the fans as they are optimistic about hearing two of their favorite artists going back and forth. However, in many cases that optimism slowly turns into cynicism and sadness since it is not uncommon for collab albums to get shelved for a multitude of reasons. Therefore, when Chance the Rapper posted on Instagram that he had made an album with the infamous and eclectic Lil B, many people were skeptical that anything made by them would actually be released. That is until Lil B posted the Free Based Freestyles Mixtape on his Souncloud, only 3 weeks after the initial announcement made by Chance.
Knowing the styles of Lil B the Based God and Chance the Rapper, I was unsure of what to expect from this mixtape when I pressed play. One of the characteristics that Lil B’s music is known for is that most of it is usually recorded off the top of the dome and, based on the title of the mixtape, it appeared that this was going to be only freestyles done by Lil B and Chance. But instead of being a bunch of poor freestyles with flows that (mostly don’t) fall off beat and boring concepts, Lil B and Chance deliver on this fun and fresh idea.
Positivity doesn’t always have a prominent place in music. Themes such as depression or anger frequently take the forefront and leave encouraging thoughts behind. However, Chance and Lil B spread the message of love, happiness, and just being yourself. It’s refreshing to listen to artists promote this meaning in their music, and it is evident that the two of them flat out enjoyed themselves while making this mixtape. It’s infectious. As a listen, it is easy to get caught up in uplifting, goofy, and fun music that was created by Lil B and Chance. One of the more unexpected releases of the year ended up being one of the most pleasant surprises of 2015. In most cases, when you mix an acid and a base, you get a neutral. But in this instance, you get something positive.
Standout tracks: Last Dance, Whats Next, We Rare
Forgettable tracks: First Mixtape
*Image from HipHopDX.com