Ever since Chance has started putting out collaborative tracks with his band The Social Experiment on his Soundcloud, fans have been obsessively waiting for the upcoming album – Surf. Now it’s finally here, and it’s very interesting, and very much free.
If you got excited at this news, chances are you got into Chance sometime in the last few years with the release of his other free mixtapes – 10 Day and Acid Rap. This album however, while staying true to the general sound Chance has become known for, goes in a bold new direction. Mr. Bennett’s bandmate and long time friend Donnie Trumpet may be the name on the cover, but the album was a group effort between the Chicago rapper and his band.
Deviating from some of the louder ‘club-banger’ styles we heard on the last mixtape, Surf offers a much more acoustic and poetic sound to compliment the lyrical styling, which switches from Chance himself to various colleagues like Big Sean, Busta Rhymes, NoName Gypsy. The album still feels a lot like Chance though, with goofy word play and smooth lyrical flow that’s reminiscent of spoken-word poetry, all accompanied by lots of upbeat trumpets and keys. Each song stands on its own, with some leaning more to an electronic-funk vibe and some making you feel like you’re listening to a blues band at a small dimly-lit bar with cigarette smoke hanging softly in the air around the stage.
Chance has been steadily rising in the hip-hop scene, and this album coupled with all the ‘Open Mike’ nights he’s been holding in Chicago for upcoming artists illustrate just how much Bennette wants to give back to the community. Many of the tracks on Surf don’t even feature Chance, with him falling to the background to help with production in quite a few songs, giving his band mates and collaborators more credit that they objectively deserve. This album is a great example of the amazing content that a group of like-minded people can create, and the fact that its free means this project was clearly very close to the hearts of these artists.