Hump Day has come again so it’s time to meet in the streets for a little showdown. Last week I pitted two of the biggest names in rap history against each other so I thought I’d go the other direction with it this time. This week’s showdown features two of the major names from the new school, indie rap scene that has become increasingly popular in recent years. We have Chance the Rapper with his breakout track Juice going up against the multi-talented Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino with Bonfire.
Chance the Rapper – Juice
Juice comes to us off Chance’s best known project, Acid Rap. The tape has reached diamond status on DatPiff for exceeding 1,000,000 downloads and is famously rumored to have largely been written and produced while Chano was tripping balls, hence the name. This is a rumor he himself admitted to be partly true in a 2013 interview with MTV. Juice itself is a track that is more or less the Chicago bred rapper giving himself some credit for getting to where he is in the game. The slow, methodical beat lends itself to Chance’s bouncy, story telling style of rapping. The track is very relatable in that I think we all one day hope to be able to look at our accomplishments and say, fuck yeah I did that shit. If you haven’t heard a lot of Chance then Juice is a great intro to what he can do.
Childish Gambino – Bonfire
Already having success as an actor, writer, and comedian some people surely raised an eyebrow at Donald Glover when he decided to pursue music as well. After donning the moniker Childish Gambino those raised eyebrows surely turned into bobbing heads shortly after hearing what he could do in the booth. Where Juice is slow and methodical Bonfire is an adrenaline rush from the moment the opening siren sounds. In his first real foray into rap Gambino announces himself with authority as he touches on how his career will be viewed and how he perceives living life as a rapper will be. The entire track is a fast paced thrill ride that is filled with incredibly smart lyrics. Referencing everything from Human Centipede to Casey Anthony and putting it all over a beat that could quite literally start a bonfire with how much heat it puts off, Childish made it immediately clear that he would have no problem adding “rapper” to his repertoire of career paths.
This will probably be one of the most challenging showdowns I’ll ever have to judge because I absolutely love both of these tracks. Ultimately it comes down to Chance’s honesty and storytelling in Juice going up against the technical brilliance and sense of atmosphere that Gambino created with Bonfire. This is the point where I stared at the screen for 20 minutes trying to make a decision like a fat kid trying to pick between ice cream and pie. In true fat kid fashion I finally decided that I couldn’t decide and I would just have both. A la mode bitches! Ever heard of it? I’m raising both their arms and calling this one a draw!
Final score: The judges can’t come to a decision and this one ends in a tie. There will certainly be a rematch in the future.