Chance The Rapper x Lil B – Free [Mixtape Review]

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Written by Boos.

Freestyling is a staple of the hip-hop community that has grown since its terminology was created several decades ago. However, its origins trace back to the beginning of the 5th century with the medieval contests properly known as ‘flyting’. Often used as a form of entertainment, ‘flyters’ would exchange crude yet verbose insults between each other in a battle of wits. These lasted up till the 16th century when more diverse forms of entertainment were being developed, but flyting’s influence has most definitely lasted up to this point.

Although freestyling is an important aspect of hip-hop culture, no other emcee has a more prominent usage of freestyling in their music than Lil B, aka The Based God. Lil B’s lyricism has brewed controversy in the hip-hop culture; his abstract methods of creating different bars with little to no rhyming scheme has stirred up plenty of negative reactions between hip-hop enthusiasts. However, this is what makes Lil B so noticeable — standing out is one of the best ways to make a name for yourself in the music industry.

The Lil B + Chance the Rapper Free Mixtape is a collaboration that plenty of hip hop fans felt they could only dream would happen. With two big names such as Lil B and Chance the Rapper, an average listener would expect a big grandiose project that would take months of writing and planning. However, the two MC’s took their own specialized methods and collaborated on this tape not only at their first meet-up, but with freestyle lyrics done right on the spot. Despite the supposedly rushed planning, there’s a lot of entertaining qualities to this mixtape.

The lyricism in this mixtape is hella entertaining. Because freestyling is Lil B’s norm to writing, this mixtape is near the top in regards to his lyricism. The tag team flow that switches between Lil B and Chance the Rapper offers witty and entertaining transitions between the two MC’s unique flows. Chance the Rapper’s freestyles are noticeable as well, and his on-the-spot rapping is on point. However some of the guest appearances, No-Name Gypsy to be specific, seem rather unnecessary on this tape. The intro track “Last Dance” includes Gypsy’s own freestyling towards the end of the track, and although entertainingly bad, it feels as if it drags away from the track’s potential.

The production on this mixtape is absolutely superb. Lil B and Chance the Rapper did a good job of selecting great beats to freestyle to, as the production is inspired by soul samples, wind instruments, and other beautiful melodic forms of instrumentation. The beats can drag on quite a bit (such as the songs ‘First Mixtape’ and ‘Amen’), but the quality of the beats is what makes the dragging on a good excuse for extending the songs.

This mixtape shouldn’t be viewed in a harsh critical sense, but rather based on how entertaining it is. The flow-of-consciousness streaming over intricate beats is a lot of fun, and will entertain many listeners. Although the writing can cause listeners to laugh and even cringe a little bit, it’s most definitely worth the listen. DailyChiefers hope that this isn’t a one-time collaboration, as we hope these superb MC’s continue a long lineage of witty and based freestyle mixtapes.

7.8

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