Right on time (kind of) for his album every three year pattern to date, Chance The Rapper debuted what he described as his ‘debut’ album, and his first since bagging three Grammys on his last full-length, Coloring Book.
By comparison, The Big Day found a bit more push-back than his last few releases, and rightfully so. Each of Chance’s previous trilogy of releases (10 Day, Acid Rap & Coloring Book) felt like they served a purpose. I wrote about the third installment that it felt like each was compelled by life experience, operating as a convergence of expression and reporting. Highly thematic with central messages running through each, he focused on pivotal moments in a young man’s life: graduating high school, becoming a man and having his first child. On The Big Day, the focus is very clear: Chance got married and therefore, this focuses on his evolution to a family man.
It makes sense. This year saw him marry longtime girlfriend Kirsten Corley and just last week he witnessed the birth of his second daughter. This is a different Chance than we got to know on earlier records, and on his latest release he sets out to make that known. Unfortunately, it doesn’t move in too many other directions but the straightforward messaging he decides on early and rides all the way through. Whether it was because of the ‘album’ title or an outgrowth of the process which seemed more hurried than in past releases, the tracklist is an exhausting 22 tracks that is hard to get through in one sitting.
Look. Chance needed this. The Big Day is certainly not the pinnacle of what he’s released so far and has thus launched debates over which project truly encapsulates the man as an artist. People forget that since he was 17 he’s hardly had a misstep. At a time when cancel culture is digging the most minute details of people’s lives to parade in front of the world, Chance has not only stayed clean, but also won at every release. Don’t forget his last full-length won an unprecdented three Grammy’s. This project is fully entertaining and musically solid, but we all know that this was different than what came before it. A stumble is ok, it’s humanizing. This is a different guy than we met in 2011, as he should be, and I’m confident getting some push back on this record will only serve to make whatever comes next that much better.