"And we back," states Chicago's prodigal son, Chance the Rapper, on the intro to his fourth project. The highly anticipated project follows his Grammy award winning project Coloring Book, but is a milestone in Chance's career. Known most for his free music, The Big Day is Chance's first for sale studio album, after a trifecta of free mix tapes. Known most notably for his hits No Problem and Coco Butter Kisses, and his close friendships with superstars Kanye West and Childish Gambino, the rapper is not shy to working in the big leagues, and this album only furthers his reach into the A-List pool. Recruiting acts from Megan Thee Stallion to John Witherspoon and Shawn Mendes to Lil Durk, Chance lines this album with nothing short of a star studded cast of vocal talents. This album, themed around one of the most important, most exciting days in Chance's life, is also one of his most diverse, and explorative projects. This album is a joyous waltz, not as a victory lap, but as a glistening warmup to a new Chance, one that we haven't necessarily seen before.
Chance The Rapper has never been shy of exploring new sounds, and changing his style, and the The Big Day is nothing but proof of that. If one were to describe the sound of the album in one word, the best would simply be celebration. Chance recruits his long time gang of producers and instrumentalists, The Social Experiment, more formally known as SOX to deliver an array of sounds, from the uplifting and Coloring Book-esque synths and samples of the intro track All Day Long, along with the guest appearances of names such as Timbaland and Trapmoneybenny (see In My Feelings by Drake). A stand out track is Hot Shower featuring DaBaby and MadeinTYO lights up the first half of the album with a gritty trap sound. 5 Year Plan gives us a glimpse that many older fans of Chance miss, an emotionally produced track. And finally the last track, Zanies and Fools, ending the album on the same upbeat note that the album started with, full of hollow drums and uplifting back ground vocals that bring Chance back to the same, kiddish, fun loving Lil Chano from 79th that we met years ago. On our Intersect rating scale of 1-10, the sound receives a 10/10.
Chance the Rapper has branched out, and evolved from the young, hungry, hot prospect he was on his debut mixtape 10 Day. He has most certainly grown into a newer artist, and quite possibly even out grown "The Rapper". The album's predecessor Coloring Book, debuted a more sing-songy Chance, that has only grown since then. Chance's rapping on this one is definitely not that of fan favorite Acid Rap and it translates. A few hard hitting introspective songs are sprinkled throughout the album, but it seems that Chance more often than not opted for a simpler, radio/pop flow. This caused a certain incoherence throughout the album, and while the theme of celebration is very clear, the story and details lack throughout. In some places it seems as if the production carries the lyrics, and lacks the perfect complementing between the two. With that being said, he doesn't leave us high and dry with emotional tracks like 5 Year Plan and Sun Come Down. These tracks show off Chance's storytelling ability, and some of the emotion that we've missed in the past. These tracks show the raw Chance from Acid Rap just all grown up and mature. On our Intersect 1-10 Rating scale the rapping receives a 7.8/10.
THE ART BEHIND THE ALBUM
Chance The Rapper has rarely ever fallen short of producing art, and this album is nothing short of a Michael Angelo moment. Inspired by his marriage The Big Day is a vivid picture of his emotions, sporadic, full of happiness, love, and most importantly energy. Chance drew his inspiration from a high in his life, marrying his best friend, and his partner in crime. This served to create his longest length project to date. But why? Is this more artistic than Acid Rap? Some would argue no, some would argue definitely. Chance drew from all aspects of music to create this album, making a rainbow of sounds, stitched together almost haphazardly, but warmly, like a stitched quilt that your grandmother made. Similar to the album cover, there are gems sprinkled throughout the album. The skits help progress the album even when the coherency of the songs lack. But the most impressive part of the album art is not on the album at all. It's Chance's undeniable love for his wife, his bravado in the face of the media for changing his sound, and his ability to make joy out of others criticisms. He glittered and shined over all the noise and hate to create a moment, a moment he would freeze and put on record, so he could replay the magic of his big day forever and ever and ever. This only adds strength to the core of the album, not sacrificing his personal values, for the sake of sales. On our Intersect 1-10 Rating scale the art of the album receives a 9/10.
MY TOP TRACKS
Eternal, Sun Come Down, 5 Year Plan, Ballin Flossin
APPLE MUSIC'S TOP TRACKS
All Day Long, Do you Remember, Hot Shower, Handsome, Slide Around
Overall, I would give this album a recommendation. While not the Chance the Rapper we expected, it was a fresh breath of newness, almost a splash of cold water to the face. Something new and exciting and different in an era where people are used to a monotonous sound. The average rating on our Intersect 1-10 for "The Big Day" is an 8.9/10. Listen to the album below.