The Big Day blows.
In 2012 I was scrolling through HotNewHipHop when I came across a mixtape titled 10 Day by an artist with a pretty goofy name, Chance The Rapper. HotNewHipHop had the mixtape designated as “VERY HOTTTTT,” an undeniable sign of greatness in the eyes of a young me. So I clicked the link to DatPiff (oh, the lovely DatPiff) and I download the mixtape. I instantly fell in love with Chance’s uniquely entertaining voice and tracks like “Brain Cells,” “Prom Night” and “Nostalgia.” It was a refreshing sound and something I shared with all my friends the next day on the bus to school.
A year later Chance was back again and better than before. His sophomore mixtape, Acid Rap, became part of my daily routine. Songs like “Everything’s Good (Good Ass Outro)” nearly had me in tears while I was simultaneously banging my head off the walls to “Smoke Again” and “Juice.” It was some of the best music my young ears had ever heard. Chance joined Kendrick Lamar, who had just released Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City a few months prior, as one of the rappers I just wouldn’t shut up about.
Fast forward a few years and Chance has become one of the biggest rappers in the world. Unlike a lot of Chance’s early fans I really dug the album he did with Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment and even his third mixtape Coloring Book. That being said, I started to see signs of a changed man on songs like “Juke Jam,” featuring Justin Bieber, and the Kirk Franklin-assisted “Finish Line / Drown.” Never though did I think we would reach the point that we are at today.
I feel like I needed to say all that. I feel that way because what I’m about to say may sound like someone who has never liked Chance The Rapper but I want you to know that that’s just not true. I really, really liked his music. I’ve seen him live three times. I fucked with Chance. But his newest release, his so-called debut album, The Big Day, may be the worst album I’ve heard in a long, long time.
I’m not saying this because I miss the Acid Rap days– I’ll just go listen to Acid Rap if I’m really feeling nostalgic– I’m saying this because The Big Day is bad. The album is bloated, unfocused, and contains some of the stupidest and most brain dead lyrics I have ever heard. To put it lightly, I’m kind of pissed that this was even released. Clocking in at an hour and seventeen minutes over 22 tracks The Big Day is a big fucking L. At first it was okay, it started off alright with a kind of cute intro and an Eminiem-esque Indie/Rap song featuring Death Cab fo Cutie. Cool, that’s all fine. But then, this shit takes a turn.
The third song, “Eternal” is just so boring that I had to talk myself out of skipping it, but thank God I didn’t, because the following song might be the most disgusting song I’ve ever heard. “Hot Shower” sounds like someone tried to sample a fart but took a shit on the mic. It sounds like a G-rated 6ix9ine song. It sounds like a Kidz Bop record produced by Murda Beatz. It sounds bad. With lyrics like “We all dudes / And I’m all professional and proper / But my baby mama stopped me in a meeting (Skrrt, skrrt) / Just to Airdrop me some nudes” I think Chance has hit an all-time low. Thankfully, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel– if you can even call it that. DaBaby, whose popularity I still take a whole lot of undeserved credit for, comes in with a fire verse at the end to make the last half of the song somewhat salvageable.
Now, I could get into the details of all eighteen of the following tracks but you can take my word for it, I’ve listened three times to try and convince myself that they’re good but, frankly, they’re just not. The closing track “Zanies and Fools” is kind of fun and “5 Year Plan” is a somewhat decent song but besides that, this album is a rough listen. Chance consistently gets out-rapped by his features, including his younger brother, and continues to spit nonsense like “that boy advance gotta be bigger than Diddy Kong” and “Baby, I’m deeper than a iceberg with only the tip in.”
At the end of the day, I’m not sure if this is an album from a man who has hundreds of Yes-Men around him or if this is the work of someone who let all of his fame get to his head and stopped caring about the music. Attempting to fill the album at the last minute with features like Megan Thee Stallion‘s doesn’t make the other 74 minutes any more bearable and only further illuminates Chance’s poor penmanship.
I’ve heard some people say that the album came out the way it did because Chance is “happy” now and that he can’t make good music while he’s “happy” but that’s just bullshit. This album shoves ideas of marriage, family, and God down your throat like Megan did to Chance with broccoli but Chance barely touches the surface on many of these themes. He was happy on Coloring Book, his happiness doesn’t relate to his dumbed-down lyrics. Superficial and comic rapping about family and God just doesn’t mix. Period.
As you could have probably guessed from the last eight paragraphs I was hoping for a lot more from this album. Not much left to say besides WTF and Chance please don’t do me dirty like you did that MTV writer who gave you a negative review once.