As a sophomore, the pressures of reality seem to loom heavier over me every day. When life’s pressures are at their peak, I like to take a break and listen to some music to unwind. I see music as a release, a way to disconnect and forget about things for a bit, and even bring you to a happier, more peaceful place. One song that has been calling me whenever I need a break is “Acid Rain” by Chance the Rapper.
Born in Chicago, Chance the Rapper has only released two mix-tapes and is already a highly praised artist. He turns 21 this year and is playing sold out shows, including Coachella, all over the place. Although “Acid Rain” isn’t necessarily a cheerful song to listen to all the time, it brings things into perspective.
In the song, Chance discusses his drug habits, how he grew up, and his struggles. I think the song as a whole is a very good representation of his life and his motivations.
Chance isn’t afraid to really show who he truly is, a very rare character trait in the hip-hop industry. In the rap, he says, “wore my feelings on my sleeveless,” meaning he outwardly displays his personality—the good and the bad—without hesitation.
“Acid Rap” effectively taps into his feelings. The sprinkled guitar riffs make you pay attention to what he is saying and feel his words. The truth he spits in this rap feels refreshing like a light rain.
Another reason I turn to this song is to disconnect. Sometimes it’s good to reflect on what and who you are in this world and this song definitely fosters that thought process. Most rappers nowadays hype themselves up, talk about how they’re killing the game, smoking lots of marijuana, sipping on the prescription medication codeine, and having fun with girls.
Though “Acid Rap” not only does Chance effortlessly explain his upbringing, he also validly questions and critiques the current rap game. A line at the end of the first verse “making all this money hoping I don’t get rich” exemplifies Chance’s understanding himself amidst the representations the popular hip-hop industry slaps on him. This line conveys his true passion: expressing himself through rap rather than the fame and fortune that ensues.
Ultimately, I listen to this song to disconnect and unwind because of truths. As a sophomore, the constant thoughts of if I am going to have an internship this summer, what major I want to declare, or the career that I will pursue for the next 40-plus years is intimidating. But, as I said before, that’s when I turn to music.
“Acid Rap” questions what it means to be happy in this world, a constant philosophical question everyone asks. I feel that most rappers rap about getting messed up on drugs because they are uncomfortable with who they truly are and want to play themselves up to look cool or live up to an image. Chance effectively tears himself apart in his raps, making himself a real person rather than an idol. I listen to remember that we all struggle and that we’re all just people who want happiness.