Disses, comebacks, mixtapes—it’s no secret that freestyles are becoming the new single. Don’t get me wrong, we’ve had our fair share of singles this week including a predictable Rita Ora and Chris Brown collab; a Robin Thicke and Nicki Minaj pop number (centering around—guess who—Paula); and even an electronic banger from Soundcloud favorite Ramriddlz and Toronto mystery, SAFE. However, singles just seem anti-climatic compared to the raw excitement we’ve been getting from the slew of freestyles coming at us lately, and I’m not just talking about the Drake-vs-Meek drama. This week, amongst the other anticipated projects that were dropped such as Chevy Wood’s short seven-track album, The 48 Hunnid Project, and Dr. Dre’s tribute, Compton, featuring hip-hop mavens Ice Cube, Kendrick Lamar, and Snoop Dogg just to name a few, Chance the Rapper and Lil B debuted their unexpectedly solid project: Free (The Based Freestyle Mixtape).
The mixtape consists of six tracks; each one is a 100% off-the-dome freestyle from the Chicago-based father-to-be Chance the Rapper, and TheBasedGod himself, Lil B. The first track off the tape, entitled “Last Dance,” features Noname Gypsy, a fellow Chicago native, and introduces the overall vibe and old-school aesthetic that follows on the remainder of the tape. For this, the opening track had to be our Frank Pick of the Week, as it opens with a freestyle from Lil B speaking on earning his wings, his rise to the top, and…periods? Chance follows clarifying that if you thought his Social Experiment project Surf was the end of it, you are sadly mistaken. The two rappers and female rhymer spit “hocus pocus” over an infectious soul-swaying beat that has you asking “What’s Next?” from the group, and a confirmation that the duo is an unexpected match made in hip-hop heaven.