Listen: New Chance The Rapper x Noname Gypsy – Israel (Sparring)

Jacob wrestling with God
Jacob wrestling with God

Chance The Rapper and Noname Gypsy are two of Chicago’s brightest talents. With previous collaborations on “Lost“, “Warm Enough“, and most recently “Last Dance“, the pair have built an undeniable chemistry. Their latest offering “Israel (Sparring)” is a surprise track which maintains the theme of sparring as they trade incredible displays of wordplay between the verses. The interesting cover art is a depiction of the famous Biblical story of Jacob’s (renamed Israel meaning “He who struggles with God / One that struggled with the divine angel“) struggle, wrestling with an angel/God himself (see Genesis 32:22-32.)

Cam O’bi is responsible for laying down the smooth, slow foundation which unleashes Chance and Noname’s lyrical monsters. Chance masterfully masquerades his complex internal rhyme schemes and wordplay in a laid back type flow. Although the flow is mellow, Chance drops bombs of wisdom, constructing images of The Bible, struggle, self betterment, Africa, family and more. Noname perfectly synchronized her verse to start as soon Chance finishes, while also keeping up the Biblical imagery and the general theme of the song “sparring is training” with complex wordplay. The verses begin to shorten as the pair maintains the theme of the track. Sparring is training and struggle strengthens a man.

It was only a week ago that we were blessed by The Based God x Chance project in Free (Based Freestyle Mixtape). Although Free was enjoyable, “Israel (Sparring)” is light years beyond Free in terms of complexity and depth; check out some of Chance and Nonames deepest bars to date. Enjoy the thought provoking track and let us know what you think.

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