RELEASED 26TH JULY 2019
Favourite track: Sun Come Down
A mix of RnB and Rap music that harks back to the 90s but a warped version with current influences and quirky sounds to give us something magically innovative
Now Chicago-born Chance the Rapper is an artist I would say I am somewhat familiar with. His success and resistance to being associated to a particular label makes him one of the more intriguing artists out there. With over 24 million listeners on Spotify, I was curious about how he became such a musical sensation in the Rap game. It was this decade that he has really been catapulted into the mainstream spotlight where he achieved a Grammy award in 2016 for Best Rap Album. He is also an artist known for actively being involved in community projects and social causes. He has collaborated with artists like Madonna, Justin Bieber, Kanye West and most recently, Ed Sheeran in his latest album. The Big Day features even more collaborations and is a 22-track album so it’s safe to say that he’s given us a fair amount of new music.
John Legend features on the first track ‘All Day Long’ which is a very quirky sounding song. It’s got an upbeat instrumental which is commercial and yet…not. Legend’s vocals work nicely with it too to make for a romantic RnB song rich with vocals and then some rap to switch it up. ‘Do You Remember’ has got a very retro 90s feel to it and features Death Cab for Cutie with some Hip-Hop piano and synths. ‘Eternal’ has a chill RnB feel to it yet again and includes vocals from Smino which gives it another dimension. The 90s retro feel is then transported to 2019 with a Trap beat and alternative Rap music featuring DaBaby and MadeinTYO. A weird song but I guess it IS inventive. ‘We Go High’ has ALL the beautiful harmonic ‘ooohs’ in the background to act as a base for his rap, beat and piano. Ari Lennox, En Vogue and Kierra Sheard open ‘I Got You (Always and Forever)’ which is a VERY retro sounding song. It’s romantic, RnB magic and exhibits the wonderful layers to the female vocalists voices. The ‘Photo Opps (Skit)’ is a random addition to the album looking at the idea of family and memories captured in a photo which seems to be a problem.
If you like alternative edgy openings ‘Roo’ (featuring Taylor Bennet and CocoRosie) has this and a hard beat and bassline. Knox Fortune features on the percussion heavy ‘Let’s Go On The Run’ which is a song you could probably run to given how the pace is emphasised in this song. ‘Handsome’ sounds very 2019. It’s a song you can dance to and a catchy one too. ‘Big Fish’ (featuring Gucci Mane) has a strong opening with cool synths and a current Hip-Hop/Trap beat with a repetitive background melody that works WELL. Randy Newman features on ‘5 Year Plan’ which has a chill instrumental and piano. It sounds very Kanye West. I can imagine him having this as the background to one of his songs. But it’s got a nice message about healing and time. ‘Slide Around’ has Nicki Minaj and Lil Durk featured on it which explores designer lifestyle and how he could still do the same thing in “plain white tee and blue jeans”…fair. It has a very relaxing instrumental with a chill beat too but still one that works with rap. I reallllllly like the instrumental and the beat to ‘Sun Come Down’. He speaks as well as sings about people in his life and who’s real out there and gonna stick by him.
‘Town on the Hill’ is a song that really exhibits the gorgeous quality of his voice but also his faith. It’s a song with a hard retro beat but a powerful instrumental full of rich synths and basslines. The last song on the album ‘Zanies and Fools’ features Nicki Minaj once again but with Darius Scott’s smooth vocals. The acoustic guitar partnered with the electric one and choral backing which is then suddenly disrupted by Afrobeat sounds and rap. This one is a real switch up. The choral chanting is uplifting and works well with the rest of the percussion and synths.
Listen to this album whilst you’re working because it has a range of music that you can play for a long time. All of which is innovative, quirky and taps into the trends whilst bearing in mind retro RnB music.