Tag Archives: chance the rapper

The Starting Five (5/1/14)

Here at Bonus Cut our mission is to focus on hip-hop culture, current events, community building, independent artists making a difference on all facets, hip-hop education, the four pillars, unity and love. We have stressed time and time again that “new hip-hop music releases” isn’t our goal, and it never will be, but there are still instances where there’s an important hip-hop cut that can’t be ignored.

On that note, we will be sharing some projects that we feel deserve attention. Whether for their cultural impact or musical fluidity, these are songs we’ve stumbled upon at some point in our lives that shouldn’t be passed up.

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The Power of a Co-sign: How Far It Can Take A Hip-Hop Artist

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By: Uba Anyadiegwu

What exactly is a “co-sign?”

It’s quite simple: it is when an artist, usually someone with commercial success, gives a different artist, usually someone with lower success, a shout-out by acknowledging that they like his/her music. Co-signs can also be when those successful artists allow up-and-coming artists to be featured on their songs. Co-signs truly fuel why every artist is commercially popular today. Every hip-hop artist at one point in their career was given a co-sign; and because of that co-sign, this was the main reason why they were able to achieve mainstream success. Every artist dreams to receive some kind of co-sign from another artist. Without co-signs, artist diversity in hip-hop would be very shallow. Artists such as Kanye West, Drake, Kendrick Lamar, Macklemore and Chance the Rapper all received co-signs. So, who co-signed them?

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Exploring The Minds of Hip-Hop: The Bonus Cut Fantasy Draft (Part Six)

via consequenceofsound.net

via consequenceofsound.net

By: Harry Jadun with help from the Bonus Cut staff

Click here for part one.
Click here for part two.
Click here for part three.
Click here for part four.
Click here for part five. 

Fantasy sports has taken off. Due to the rise in technology and the internet, fantasy sports has not only become unbelievably popular in the United States, but also all around the world. Here at Bonus Cut, we have decided that we would take the concept of fantasy sports and apply it to hip-hop music. Instead of drafting wideouts and running backs, we’ve drafted some of our favorite MC’s and beat makers. The big winner in this situation is you. Not only do we introduce you to some of our favorite hip-hop artists and explain why they are relevant in hip-hop culture, we’ve also laced the Draft with dope tracks for your audio pleasure. With this draft, our goal is to pay tribute to some our favorite hip-hop artists and acknowledge the influence they have had on our lives.

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Creativity Breaking Into Mainstream Hip-Hop: How to Become a Superstar

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By: Uba Anyadiegwu

Many music listeners are getting tired of typical mainstream artists these days: artists who aren’t very skilled, but broke into the mainstream for their radio friendly or club material music. Artists such as Tyga, Flo Rida, and even the lackluster Big Sean come to mind. Everyone can rap but what makes you stand out? Is it your look? Persona? Swag? In some cases, it is! Ask 2 Chainz, because his music and material isn’t different but his whole persona and his name alone are reasons why he’s different. Nonetheless, artists such as 2 Chainz are more of fads and do not have longevity in their music careers. This is mainly because his music is cool and funny now, but after a while, people will start to get annoyed from it. For instance, look where Soulja Boy’s career went.. Yeah I cant find it either. The only way to create longevity in a mainstream artist’s career is to have a signature, creative sound; an artist’s rapping delivery and beat selection are major contributions to their sound. Hip-hop has been going through an experimental movement, where many of the most popular hip-hop artists don’t necessarily have that ‘traditional’ hip hop sound. This kind of sound refers to the sound where hip-hop originated from. A traditional hip-hop sound has a very jazzy and R&B sample influence feel with insightful lyrics. A great example of an album that follows this sound would be Kanye West’s College Dropout. However, artists such as Drake, Kendrick Lamar, A$AP Rocky and Chance The Rapper are a few examples of where hip-hop as a collaborative sound in the mainstream is headed towards.

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Album Review: “Acid Rap” by Chance the Rapper

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By: Harry Jadun 

“Balancing on sporadicity and fucking pure joy. Nightly searches for a bed and I just came off tour with Troy. But I can’t complain I got some motherfucking business. How many lab partners have I fucked since I got suspended?” -Chance the Rapper, “Good Ass Intro” 

Coming off of his 10 Day mixtape, which was inspired by a high-school suspension for weed related activities, much was expected of Chance the Rapper for his recently released mixtape, Acid Rap. Judging from his unorthodox delivery, outrageous ad libs and funky instrumentals that are tethered down by hard-hitting percussion, it’s clear that Chance has graduated to harder drugs for his newest work of art. The listener benefits from this, as it allows Chance to delve deeper into his mind as he explores many different topics, from crime in Chicago to watching orange Nickelodeon VHS tapes as a child. Chance takes us through a trip, poetically painting vivid pictures of life as a burgeoning rapper from Chicago.

Chance’s unique style was introduced to us on 10 Day but he has refined it for Acid Rap, in which his recipe for success calls for many different genres and inspirations. Here he blends aspects of acid jazz with samples of Kanye West and Tupac; moreover, he throws in clever word play, a little bit of Spanglish and even a Russian accent. Cue in his Lil Wayne-esque raspy, flawless off-key singing, and sprinkle his trademark “igh” ad libs on top and the final product is a quirky and delicious meal for listeners’ ears to feast upon.

It’s clear that Chance is proud of where he comes from, as he name-drops just about every significant rapper, landmark or business in Chicago. He doesn’t forget to bring his Save Money crew along for the ride, and features fellow Chicago artists Vic Mensa, BJ the Chicago Kid, Noname Gypsy, Lilli K and Twista. As a man of his city, this builds up his credibility as a Chicago native as well as a reliable voice for what is happening in the Windy City.

When hearing a story, the listener must never forget where the tale is coming from. Fellow Chicago rappers, such as Chief Keef, glorify the violence that plagues the streets of Chicago, which is commonly referred to as Chiraq due to the amount of homicides that has now exceeded American troop casualties in Afghanistan since 2012. Chance the Rapper, who dropped out of college to pursue a rap career after his good friend was killed in a stabbing in 2011, provides a different viewpoint. Throughout Acid Rap, Chance tells the story of Chicago through the eyes of a humble, down-to-Earth 20-year-old who lives in a city that’s in way over its head. Never is this more prominent than in “Pusha Man,” which starts out with Chance as a local drug dealer boastfully rapping about threesomes and drugs. The song then slows down, presenting us with the red pill that is the harsh reality of living in the streets of Chicago: “I’ll take you to land, where the lake made of sand, and the milk don’t pour and the honey don’t dance, and the money ain’t yours.” Even though he wishes he could be “Captain save the hood,” he admits he roams around the city with a gun on his hips, not to contribute to the violence, but to protect himself. Later on “Acid Rain,” Chance admits that he “trips to make the fall shorter.” It is this brutal honesty about himself as well as his surroundings that makes Chance such a lovable character.

Acid Rap also provides Chance with a stream-of-consciousness diary to explore his thoughts and reflect on his life, seemingly discovering himself bar by bar throughout the mixtape. His vibrant images and deft wordplay allow him to convey complex thoughts and feelings with ease. On the ultra-relatable “Cocoa Butter Kisses” Chance reminisces on his childhood when he watched Nickelodeon, and can’t help but hate the monster he has become, “wiling off peyote like Wiley the Coyote… Put visine inside my eyes so my grandma would fuckin’ hug me.” Throughout Acid Rap Chance takes listeners along for the rollercoaster ride as he grows up as a rapper and human being.

Although the topics that Chance takes on are very intense, he never fails to keep it light and fun, providing the listener with an odd sense of optimism that’s infectious upon listening to his charismatic flow. On the interlude, he relishes the smaller things in life that we take for granted. On the outro, he channels his inner Kendrick Lamar and uses a recording of a phone conversation with his father to show his love for his family. At times like these, Chance reminds us that he is still a kid, naively optimistic in a city under a dark shadow of doubt.

Of course, Chance takes some time to pat himself on the back for all of his achievements. On the playful “Favorite Song” he teams up with superfriend Childish Gambino and provides the listener with some witty, English-bending bars. He half-heartedly compares himself to the Miami Heat, metaphorically compares LSD to Lake Shore Drive and says fuck you to his high school faculty. All is good in the world of Chance the Rapper, who has transformed from a suspended high school student to the feature of magazines and blogs in less than a year.

After listening to Acid Rap, it’s hard not to agree with Lilli K on the introduction when she sings, “Even better than I was the last time, baby.” Chance the Rapper has improved as a rapper over the past year, and provides us with a vivid trip through his thoughts and feelings. Luckily for us, on “Chain Smoker” he lets us know that this isn’t his last work of art: “I ain’t tryna go out at all, got a lot of ideas still to throw out the door.”

“Cocoa Butter Kisses (feat. Vic Mensa and Twista)”

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