Once a month, I'll be taking an in-depth look at a landmark album in the music industry. This month, we dissect the young Windy City prodigy's SoundCloud monster mixtape; a 13-track, 54 minute embodiment of every sound, style and emotion that makes Chance The Rapper so polarizing. The first modern rap mixtape to be certified "Diamond" by numerous music streaming sites, Acid Rap will stand the test of time as a landmark in rap for Chicago - a powerful testament to artistic independence by a kid from 79th street in Chatham.
11:30 P.M. (Eastern Time), February 13, 2016
Studio 8H, New York City, New York
Melissa McCarthy stands in front a small crowd of SNL cast members and audience-goers. The lights behind her on stage are dimmed. Up on stage stands a thirty-person choir and gospel artist Kirk Franklin.
McCarthy is given the cue to speak.
"Once again, Kanye West!"
The lights brighten. Kanye stands tall in front of millions watching at home. "Ultralight Beam" begins.
To this day, "Ultralight Beam" is regarded as one of the Chicago legends greatest works - a culmination of all the styles Mr. West has culminated in his long and illustrious career.
Two minutes into the extravagant performance, the song transitions into a brief vocal pause, indicating the start of a verse.
The crowd trembles with anticipation, anxious for the bars to come.
It's Kanye's time to cement his legacy one final time.
He puts the microphone down.
The camera pans out, revealing an additional feature artist.
Draped in a diamond pattern sweater and a Chicago White Sox cap, this moment is a build-up of every day, month and year of hard work to this point.
Kanye nods, passing the torch to a man who has looked up to him his entire life.
The young rapper smoothly delivers the greatest verse of his career to near perfection.
You cannot mess with the light
Look at lil' Chano from 79th
The artist finishes his verse, and looks back at his hometown idol, seeking approval.
An era begins.
11:00 P.M. (Central Time), April 30, 2013
Chatham (South Side), Chicago, Illinois
Three years prior to Chance the Rapper's performance and mainstream "introduction" on SNL, young Chancellor Bennett was a bright young star on the music scene.
Considered "underground" by many, Chance's earliest project was 10 Day, a mixtape made during a 10-day suspension Chance and a couple of his friends were given. Jam-packed with samples and snippets of some of Chano's earliest influences.
Raw and quickly done (hence the name), 10 Day isn't so much an accomplishment in quality as it is independent efficiency - the mere fact that Chance and his musical peers were able to culminate a still popular mixtape in that amount of time was a marvel in many listeners opinions.
You may be asking yourself, "what's the meaning of the date above?"