It's always great to see the growth in artists' work. That moment where the chills start and the grins widen, that's when you know that this person that you've been presumably following for years has improved in some, often intangible way. Chance The Rapper has been around for a while and he's constantly morphed his sound to improve. Similarly, Lil Yachty's been a fixture of hip-hop for three years now. On their latest collaboration, "Atlanta House Freestyle," the unlikely duo step up the effort for a rousing number that knocks the wind out of your chest. It's the growth that you always wanted, you may have just not realized it.
We think of Chance The Rapper as a cheery lyricist, one whose positive energy permeates his melodies far more than his most of his rap peers. His presence on wax is undeniable; he's the beacon of light that songs are built around whenever he appears on a guest feature. For his collaboration with Lil Yachty, he breaks out of this space, stepping into Yachty's world of dark, claustrophobic trap.
This cold atmosphere, inhabited by hungry 808 drums, proves to be navigable. Chance sounds at home here as he raps low and whisper-like; it's trap rap ASMR from the hall monitor. Lil Yachty, meanwhile, is no longer rapping with drawn-out spaces and melodies between words. He's similarly low and steady, fast and grimacing with threats and bragging that offset Chance's joking bars. "The safe is too big to hide the safe," Chance says seriously, but it's goofy. "Life is a movie, I was born at the Sundance," raps Lil Yachty, and immediately after hearing it, you'll smile. This isn't substance-over-style Lil Yachty. This is another guy entirely.
This isn't the only thing that Chance has been cooking up. He's been in the studio working on his album that's set to drop in July. If this new freestyle is that adventurous, we can imagine what his new LP will sound like.
Listen to "Atlanta House Freestyle" up above.