By: Samuel Rosean |Published 7/23/2018
Since the far-gone days of 10 Day, or even further back to barely remembered Back To School EP (which is almost a decade old now), Chance has been about the celebration. He’s kept his tones vibrant and his colors primary. Even in the darker corners of something like Acid Rap he would always remember to remind us that there were still be celebrations. A passion which reached its zenith with the bright yellows and oranges of 2016’s Coloring Book, where Chance decided that everything in life would be good. Everything. An album that felt necessary in a lot of ways, both as a juxtaposition to the descending nihilism of hip-hop at the time, and as a statement of musical purpose for Chicago. But it’s been two years since, and Chance the Rapper has made his definitive return with four songs to give us the message that… everything is still good? I guess?
It’s hard to fault the bright and ear wormy songs that Chance the Rapper returned with for being ideologically consistent with what people expect from Chance, but is this what we really want from him? I mean at the time of Coloring Book’s release the more militant hip-hop purists decried it as empty and hollow, or too “fun and happy”, whatever that means, but Coloring Book at least had a purpose. I think with time, even the more hot-blooded might come around to it as an important moment for a culture which was in turmoil, and in many ways remains in turmoil. But Coloring Book has been made, so what remains? Will Chance just make the same work over and over like a preacher clocking in every sunday?
I’m not Chance, and I can’t even say that there’s anything in particular that Chance could benefit from doing, but it’s just tough to see this kind of stagnation from an artist who has always felt singular and unique. Do we need four more albums of Chance extolling the virtues of god and the beauties of his baby’s moma? Do we even need one more? These are the kind of expectations that most hip hop artists avoid, I mean Pusha T will probably make hundred more albums about coke dealing before anyone is bothered, but Chance has never presented himself as just another Rapper. He claimed he was the “Tubman of the Underground” and a future mayor of Chicago. Chance has always pursued greatness, and greatness isn’t known for standing still.