“Same Drugs” by Chance The Rapper


Chance The Rapper first came to prominence for making a record on LSD (fittingly entitled “Acid Rap”) (2013). (I just learned his real name is Chancellor!) Since then he’s achieved success – three Grammy awards for Coloring Book (his third “mixtape”) which contains “Same Drugs,” a song in which Chance renounces drugs, skillfully weaving the theme of Peter Pan into the lyrics:

When did you change?

Wendy, you’ve aged.

I thought you’d never grow up…

You can say hello in prose, but a farewell requires a melody. Chance The Rapper must violate his own name, and sing, to bid farewell to drugs.

In the video, Chance, seated at a piano, sings to a creature who is simultaneously 1) a fake Muppet, 2) a hallucination, 3) his girlfriend, and 3) the singer Eryn Allen Kane. Are all lovers hallucinations? Is that what Chance is saying? (Or, alternately, that every hallucination is lovable?)


sparrowSparrow was born in 1953 in Lenox Hill Hospital, in Manhattan. He grew up in a housing project in Inwood, graduated from the Bronx High School of Science, flunked out of Cornell University, became a hippie, studied at the Naropa Institute in 1976 with Allen Ginsberg, Philip Whalen & William Burroughs, published his first book of poems in 1978 (Sparrow’s Poetry Coloring Book, entirely hand-drawn, xeroxed at his friend Richard Gartee’s copy shop) returned to New York City (still in 1978), finished college, began graduate school at CCNY (studying with Ted Berrigan). Soft Skull Press published three of his books: Republican Like Me (about running for President of the United States in 1996), Yes, You ARE a Revolutionary! & America: A Prophecy – The Sparrow Reader, and after a long hiatus he published “How to Survive the Coming Collapse of Civilization and Other Helpful Hints,” with The Operating System in 2016. Sparrow is the longest-running contributor to the Sun magazine, beginning in 1981. He has been published in the New Yorker, the New York Times (five poems & three op-ed pieces), the American Poetry Review, Lungfull! (plus other magazines) – and was quoted in Vogue. Sparrow plays flutophone in the “New Crimean” pop band Foamola. He now lives in a doublewide trailer in Phoenicia, New York with his wife Violet Snow. Twitter: Sparrow@Sparrow14; Sparrow X. Carter (on Facebook).

Questions, compliments, (hopefully not) complaints?

Contact Jackie Clark: jackie [at] coldfrontmag [dot] com.

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