Odd, isn’t it? Kanye and Jay-Z spent the summer fitting child seats, while Nas’s biggest hit in ages was about being an overprotective daddy. Rap’s dangerously close to becoming ‘The Cosby Show’.
So are any kids actually making hip hop any more?
Thankfully, yes. At 20 years old, Chicago’s Chancelor Bennett knows what it’s like to be young, foolish and free. Take his first mixtape as Chance The Rapper, ‘10 Day’, which he wrote after being suspended from school for smoking weed.
Did he learn his lesson with drugs?
Not exactly. He named his second mixtape ‘Acid Rap’ – inspired by a bit of recreational mind-tourism on LSD. Though he admits recording under the influence, he says it was ‘just a booster, a bit of fuel’.
Do I have to be under the influence to enjoy him?
Absolutely not. Rich in neo-soul production and sunny hooks, his sound is a deliberate counterpoint to the more thuggish sound of Chicago’s hip hop scene. The languid piano backing of ‘Cocoa Butter Kisses’ recalls Frank Ocean, while Chance’s zany nasal flow evokes his hero Eminem. Best of all, there’s not even the hint of a screaming baby in the background.
The Bottom Line: Take a chance on Chance.
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The Blues Kitchen Camden
This lively, contemporary bar-diner on the main Camden drag celebrates American musical heritage in song (live shows, DJs, free harmonica lessons), spirits and sustenance. The food is all-American in spirit and substance, with barbecue and burgers featuring prominently. Though you can, if you insist, order a 'superfood salad.' There are around 50 bourbons in a variety of categories, some used as bases for cocktails. Rarer types (Blanton’s Gold, Sazerac 18-Year-Old Rye, Woodford Reserve 1838 Sweet Mash) go for a tenner or more, but otherwise you’ll be paying £3.50 to £6. ‘America’s native spirit’ is how Kentucky bourbon is described, with Ancient Age and Evan Williams typical examples; Tennessee, ‘the first cousin of Kentucky’, is honoured with a full suit of Jack Daniel’s labels.
Venue says: “Free birthday bubbly for parties booking in for drinks at Blues Kitchen Camden on Friday nights. Get in touch for more details.”