Chance The Rapper is back with his self proclaimed “debut” (a topic for another day) album, “The Big Day”. Chance first became popular for his 2013 mixtape, “Acid Rap”, which is often heralded as his classic work by most fans. After a string of features, loosies, and an incredible verse on Kanye’s, “The Life of Pablo”, he became a mainstream success with releasing his mixtape, “The Coloring Book”. That was in 2016. Fans have been eagerly waiting to see how he would follow up. Now, three years later he is back. But, the real question is, does it live up to the hype?
Personally, going into this album, I did not have high expectations. My lack of belief stemmed from numerous different reasons. One being, the disappointment I had for how Chance has handled his brand over the last few years. The other being that I simply didn’t love the music he’s been releasing. Last year, Chance released a pack of 4 songs, where I felt only one was a keeper (“I Might Need Security”). Earlier this summer to build anticipation for the album, Chance dropped a song titled “Groceries”. I wasn’t a fan. The song was far too upbeat for my liking, and maybe even a little “corny”. It was something that I always feared with Chance; him going towards the route of “happy rap”. To my delight, that song was not included on this album, but unfortunately, the “happy rap” was.
One 22 Track Mood
From the very first track, “All Day Long” with John Legend, I couldn’t help but roll my eyes. The beat sounded very sparse and outdated, to me. It sounded like a step down from his last project. This was a song I could imagine being the theme music to a sitcom. It was deeply frustrating to me, especially since this was a recurring theme throughout the album. There were many instances where I felt the features outshined Chance (Da Baby, Megan Thee Stallion, Nicki Minaj). I respect Chance for the direction he wanted to go with this album (marriage), but I just feel a marriage themed album has been done better (EX: Jay-Z’s “EX: 4:44”). To me, the main thing this album was missing was a turning point. The whole album felt like one big mood throughout 22 tracks. But, with having 22 tracks, there are always a couple of diamonds in the roughs and The Big Day was no exception.
One of the highlights of the album, “We Go High”, caught my attention right away. This is my favorite version of Chance, introspective and lyrical. On this track, Chance got personal about his break up with his now-wife and talked about how it affected him and how the time apart inevitably brought them back together in a more healthier state. This is some of the best rapping I have ever heard from Chance. Another, album standout is “Eternal” feat. Smino. On this song, I love Chance’s flow and the pocket he got in. Smino fits perfectly on this track and smoothly skates over this beat. This is a song I can see being played at cookouts for years to come.
I Was Disappointed
All in all, I didn’t really like this album. I would even go as far as saying, I was disappointed. I know Chance can do better. We’ve SEEN him do better twice before. I was in disbelief that after three years, THIS is what he came up with. I was shocked until I started thinking that maybe this album wasn’t for me. But I had to think back to who Chance’s core audience is. Who are the people blasting and streaming his music? Then I realized it was suburban white kids, and for that, I think Chance accomplished his goal. But, regardless, I have to base these reviews off of my taste and this was not it. This album was made to show off Chance’s “Big Day’, but it didn’t do anything for me, except ruin it. I wish Chance the best.