Hey guys, it's National Coloring Book Day! If you're stressed out, or need to keep some kids busy, grab your nearest coloring book and get creative! Color outside the lines! Make a parrot's beak purple! Listen to Chance the Rapper's album, Coloring Book! The track "Summer Friends" is available on Spotify, Apple Music and SoundCloud.
This song features production by Francis and the Lights, and they offer vocals from by sampling their own song "Friends," which features Canadian artist, Bon Iver and fellow Chicago rapper, Kanye West. (Neither of them appear on "Summer Friends" by Chance the Rapper.) They lead the song off with soft and wonderfully distorted harmonies. The transition into a digitized and snare-heavy beat is aesthetically pleasing to the ears. As someone who isn't very much of a Chance fan, this is one of those songs where I can't even deny that it goes hard. It goes very hard. My favorite line, because the older I get, the less fun my summers become, is:
Our summer don't, our summer, our summer don't got no shine no more
Our summer die, our summer time don't got no time no more
While this song is very easy to vibe out to, the message is a familiar and dark one. He sings in the hook that "Summer friends don't stay," which is a reference to "Pushaman/Paranoia" from his 2013 mixtape, Acid Rap:
I heard everybody's dying in the summer
So pray to God for a little more spring
Losing friends to the hard streets of Chicago is something many of Chance's native fans know all too well. Chicago's death toll as of July 31st, 2017 was 413, most deaths caused by shootings. Chance himself has become an advocate against violence and in 2014, along with his father, Ken Williams Bennett, with the social media campaign to #SaveChicago. For 42 hours, they were credited to have stopped gun violence by spreading the message using radio influence, twitter and other social media.
Many people often criticize Chance the Rapper's evolution from dedicating an entire album to pour out his feelings while on many different drugs into becoming a gospel-inspired composer. However, if you go through all of his discography, he remains true to the place he calls home and uses every opportunity to make sure his hometown is straight. And the changes are doing well for him, as he just recently earned an Emmy nomination for his song "Last Christmas" with members from the Saturday Night Live cast.
Be sure to check us out on Spotify and SoundCloud @geeksofcolor! And don't forget to get to coloring with your pals on this wonderful #NationalColoringBookDay!