Young Chicago hip-hop phenom Chance the Rapper released his third mixtape — and first major batch of new material since 2013 — on Thursday night. The 14-track effort called Coloring Book — which features collaborations with Kanye West, Jay Electronica, Lil Wayne, Future, Justin Bieber, and more — had fans scrambling to every streaming service they could think of to hear it.
But unlike Chance’s previous releases, 2013’s Acid Rap and 2012’s 10 Day, this bad boy wasn’t free: You have to be an Apple Music subscriber to hear it.
For a brief moment, though, the record was actually made available by the rapper on popular mixtape site Dat Piff Friday morning, but was removed from the site due to a request from attorney Colin Morrissey, an entertainment lawyer who works out of Brooklyn. Just who Morrissey was acting for remains unknown at this time, especially considering the release was labeled “official” on Dat Piff. Fans are still hoping the mixtape will make it back up onto the site.
That’s right folks, yet another one of the most-anticipated hip-hop releases of the year is an exclusive that isn’t available for purchase on iTunes. And here we thought artists had learned from Kanye West’s piracy-fueling mistakes.
It’s an especially odd situation given that Apple Music’s other recent exclusive release, Drake’s blockbuster record Views, was also made available for paid download to non-Apple Music subscribers. Heck, even Beyoncé’s recent Tidal streaming exclusive album Lemonade was on iTunes for purchase.
The big problem with Coloring Book not also being for sale on iTunes? The darn thing is seriously worth listening to.
Over the past several months, the Rapper performed two tracks, singles called Angels and Blessings, on late night TV. Both were simmering contemporary hip-hop cuts of the highest order.
Sadly, fans may have to bite the bullet on the Apple Music subscription (or, as one disgruntled friend of mine did, the service’s three month free trial) and hope that Chance makes the thing available elsewhere soon. Who knows, maybe it will be back up on Dat Piff, after its removal gets sorted out.
The good news is that Coloring Book isn’t a studio release, meaning that the record likely doesn’t have any massive long-term commitments, unless the musician inked a quiet — and likely lucrative — deal with Apple’s burgeoning streaming giant.