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Chance the Rapper believes he “probably would have died” had he not curbed his drug use during the time he created and released his 2013 Acid Rap project. In an interview with Complex, Chance, who celebrated the mixtape’s 10-year anniversary, spoke about the extent of his drug use, and revealed he was regularly offered bags of acid tabs by fans.
“I probably would’ve died, to be honest,” Chance revealed. “That’s the thing: entertainment is entertainment. We like it because it’s something that’s recorded, that we could experience in that one time and then hopefully come back and listen to it and it sounds the same. But it takes away the humanity from the people who make it. The way that I was living at that time, I had everything in excess.”
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The Chicago rapper also spoke about how his success and newfound freedom enabled his addiction.
“So right after I dropped the project, I went on a few tours where I didn’t really make any money. But then I went on my first tour, my headlining on tour, where I made some money,” he said. “And I went and bought a crib or rented a crib, this fat ass mansion in LA. I went and rented a crib. This is my first time living outside of my parents’ house in another city and having money and doing a lot of drugs.”
Chance noted that part of his inspiration to kick the habit was to not become an ambassador for acid and drug rap, as well as his desire to maximize his potential. “If I hadn’t had my spirit tugged on—literally—and a calling to become a better version of myself, then I would have died for sure,” he said. “Then I would just be the representative of acid and I’m so much more.”
The Grammy Award winner also said that despite the project’s name, much of Acid Rap was recorded after he had quit using the drug. However, he does note that many of the beats featured on the Acid Rap were discovered while he was under the influence.
“I had to come to myself and realize and remember that I was not making those songs off acid,” Chance recalled. “I may have found some beats I liked off of acid, but it was me making the songs. And I think that was probably the key thing that I learned from that experience.”
Acid Rap was released on April 30, 2013 and was one of the most critically-acclaimed projects of the year. The follow-up to his debut mixtape 10 Day, Acid Rap included features from Childish Gambino, Vic Mensa, Ab-Soul, Action Bronson, BJ the Chicago Kid, Twista, Noname, Saba, and more. Chance recently announced a special 10-year anniversary show commemorating the album’s release and impact will take place in his hometown at the United Center in August.
Listen to Chance the Rapper’s Acid Rap below.