Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Chance the Rapper: Acid Rap [free download, 2013]
His flow a cartoon whine, his wordplay wittily associative, his affect educated ghetto, and his main life experiences rising in the rap game, zonking on cannabis and lysergic, and surviving a battle zone, he projects an anxiety that has recognizable cognates among alt-rock waste-os with a lot less to be afraid of. Amusing though he and his yelp can be, I like him best when anxiety is a mood rather than a subject, particularly on the quasi-political track hidden behind "Pusha Man"--"Paranoia," an anti-summer song, because summer's when people gets shot. I also welcome the two-and-a-half minute "interlude" that praises, yup, "falling in love"--and the one that proves "Clean Up Woman" is his favorite song. A-