Chance The Rapper’s “The Big Day” Isn’t as Bad As You Think…But It’s Still Bad

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Alright, for those who think this album is trash and are planning on taking 14 tabs of designer acid tabs in hopes it’ll be enough to turn this 90s wedding fever dream mix CD into the old cigarette-smoking, beat-sampling Chance the Rapper you fell in love with…let me help you out. Because I was in your position on Friday at work (metaphorically, not literally…I was only tempted to take *13 tabs of acid) when this project dropped. I’ve waited 3 years for a new Chance album to follow up one of my favorite albums of the past decade, Coloring Book. Another project from probably one of my favorite artists period. Someone who I rarely think misses…and I was absolutely smacked in the face with disappointment.

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This album (at first) is pretty garbage. There’s a lot of problems. I think at the center of all the problems, however, is the length. It’s 22 tracks long. TWENTY TWO. I said this about Drake’s Scorpion as well, JUST CUT THE 7 WORST SONGS. Even THEN it’s a long album at 15, but get everyone’s opinion and try to cut 7 tracks just to get through it. 22 songs can work when it’s a big collab album or it’s a soundtrack or if it’s a “best of” album or something but for an album that is completely based on his wedding….IT. DOES. NOT. WORK.

Honestly, I like the concept! An album that takes you through a wedding day, it’s positive, your surrounded by family, you’re marrying the love of your life, you’re getting drunk and dancing, it’s an idea for a whole album that could be awesome BUT it doesn’t have enough legs to last 22 damn tracks. Everyone’s saying “Chance needs to stop rapping about his wife”, and I disagree! The album is called “The Big Day”, it was about his wedding day, that’s the idea of the album, so yeah, that’s why he’s rapping about his wife so much. Remember when his last album came out and everyone clowned on him for rapping about being a new father to his kid? Yeah, the album was called COLORING BOOK. What’d you think he was gonna talk about? Bangin’ chicks and doing drugs? NO. So that’s not the issue with the album (at it’s core), the issue is that he’s rapping about his wife for OVER 70 MINUTES.

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The album’s a mess. It starts off strong with “All Day Long”, which is great with the exception of the John Legend feature that I felt like didn’t work? Just wasn’t necessary, like if Chance sang the chorus I think it would’ve fit better. But whatever. Then we get “Do You Remember”, which I really liked and had a feature from Death Cab for Cutie. I liked this one. I’m feeling good. Then we got “Eternal”, a pretty great bouncy 90s reminiscent dance song, ended up being one of, if not, my favorite song on the album. Also, has a great verse from Smino. Then we get to Hot Shower…

Folks, the lyrics on this one are anything but hot. They are quite literally what a 4th grader freestyling on the back of the bus would come up with. It’s just stuff that rhymes that means nothing. Like literally nothing. The beat is fun, but it’s not a Chance beat. Which is why the best part of the song is when MadeInTYO and DaBaby come in. If you go into this song with a good mindset, it can be a good time for sure. Toss it on at a party. But will I go onto my phone and put this on to listen to by myself? No shot. It didn’t fit at all with the other songs on the album either. Which is why the next song, and first one without any features, “We Go High”, sounded so weird. It was just Chance, singing and rapping personally and emotionally. It was one of the best songs on the album, but coming right after Hot Shower you’re like, WTF? Complete different energy.

Then we get “I Got You (Always and Forever)” another 90’s-esque R&B dance song that sounds like it’d be a great song to get people on the floor at a reception to bust a move. It’s a top 3 on the album for me….which is maybe why from here the album gets EXPONENTIALLY worse.

After that great song is when we get our first “skit”…7 SONGS INTO THE ALBUM. If you’re going to do skits, do them right. Have them add to the story and layout of the album. Make them interesting. Kanye did it well on his first two albums, Kendrick did it well on Good Kid M.A.A.D. City, even Logic did it wonderfully on The Incredible True Story…this just absolutely sucked.

Basically gave this dude a microphone and said “pretend to be taking pictures for a minute and half and you’re good”. It was absolutely pointless and made the album feel weirder than it already did. So when it goes right into the weird electronic bass-heavy track “Roo” featuring his brother Taylor you’re like WTF is going on??? That song is followed by the title track “The Big Day” and it’s probably the worst song on the whole album. If the TITLE TRACK is THE WORST ON THE ALBUM, you’ve got a problem. We get saved by a little bit of fun energy on “Let’s Go On The Run” after that, fun beat, fun lyrics (but not sophisticated at all), and “Handsome” with a great Megan Thee Stallion feature. But guess what? Correct! It DOESN’T FIT WITH THE ALBUM. Why is he collaborating with her? Why does this beat not sound like any other song on the album? Why did you follow it up with a TERRIBLE beat and throw Gucci Mane on it???

This isn’t Chance at all. This is the type of boring beat I expect soundcloud rappers to put out on their 18th mixtape of the year. It’s at this point I’m starting to realize Chance called his entire library of contacts and let anyone who wanted to be on his album have a feature EXCEPT THE PEOPLE I WANTED TO ACTUALLY BE ON THE ALBUM. NO F***ING KANYE FEATURE??? WTF THEY’VE BEEN HANGING OUT NON STOP THE PAST 3 YEARS. NO GAMBINO FEATURE??? EVERY HIP HOP NEWS TWITTER ACCOUNT TALKS ABOUT THEIR COLLABS EVERY OTHER DAY AND NO SONG??? But guess who could donate a verse NICKI MINAJ! WHAT??? WHY DOES NICKI HAVE TWO VERSES ON THIS ALBUM. WHY? WHY ON THE OUTRO OF THE ALBUM, THAT IS SUPER PERSONAL ABOUT CHANCE MEETING HIS WIFE AND WRAPPING UP THE WHOLE WEDDING CONCEPT, WHY IN OUR LORD’S NAME DOES HE CLOSE IT OUT WITH A VERSE FROM NICKI MINAJ??? IT IS MIND-BLOWINGLY FRUSTRATINGLY AWFUL.

I….I’m sorry about that. Lost my cool for a sec. I’m ok. I’m fine. Calm down djchickenparm, deep breaths. Ok…where was I?

Ahh yes, the awful Gucci Mane song “Big Fish”. After that one comes “Ballin Flossin” with Shawn Mendes (who I usually like) and this song is almost unlistenable so just go ahead and skip it. Then we get another skit that is absolute garbage and over 2 minutes no one will ever listen to the full thing after they’ve heard it once I can guarantee it.

We then get “5 Year Plan” a pretty cool song with a Randy Newman feature that has one of my favorite verses from the album as the last one. We then get “Get A Bag” and “Slide Around” and they bring the energy from the beginning of the album back a little bit, but remember, that’s been gone for the past like 6 songs as “Let’s Go On The Run” was the last one that felt even close to similar to it. And right as things are looking like they’re back? “Sun Goes Down” comes, and it’s basically just another “We Go High” type song? It’s not bad it’s just like unnecessary and kills brings the mood down. But not as much as the next 3 songs kill the mood. “Found A Good One (Single No More)”, “Town On a Hill”, and “Our House (skit)” is probably the worst stretch of songs on the album…and it lasts over 8 minutes.

We then finish off with the outro song “Zanies and Fools” that once again, starts off great and is sounding like it could finish off nicely but then Nicki Minaj swoops in for no good reason and closes out Chance’s album about marrying his wife. It’s literally insane.

That was my initial thoughts of this album and most of the thoughts I’m still having now. This album is not good…but it does have good parts. We can’t sleep on that. We can’t write off this whole project, and if you do you’ll be missing out.

“All Day Long” is a great intro. It works well as an intro. “Do You Remember” as anything but the second song on the album is great. Good chorus, cool feature, decent lyrics by Chance and totally fits his normal wheelhouse. It’s a keeper. “Eternal” is an awesome dance track and Smino has a fun verse. “Hot Shower”, again, not good for the album as a whole, but a fun party song if you wanna turn your brain off and rap an easy-to-remember chorus. “We Go High” has Chance being introspective and rapping clever lyrics over a mellow instrumental. It’s one of the most Chance-sounding songs we’ve heard in a while. “Let’s Go On the Run” has a TON of energy and one of my favorite beats on the album. Would’ve been a tail end of the album song. “Handsome” is a little more trappy and a fun Megan Thee Stallion verse, it can stay. I don’t hate it at all. I’d jam to this on the radio. “5 Year Plan” probably has my favorite part on the album in the last 45 seconds or so. “Get A Bag” and “Slide Around”, fun features, fun songs, fits with the dancey wedding theme. And “Zanies and Fools”, despite having a misplaced Nicki verse, wouldn’t be the worst outro ever. Put those all together and in the right order and you’ve got yourself a pretty solid album. So that’s what I did.

https://music.apple.com/us/playlist/the-big-day-but-its-good/pl.u-Ldbqqj3IxED9Vq

I took out the dumb songs, the weird songs, the awful skits, rearranged the songs into what I think would’ve been a more comprehensive order and made this playlist I called “The Big Day, But It’s Good”, and I’m telling you if you listen to this in order and if it’s what Chance had dropped originally I think we’d all be like “oh hey this is pretty good”.

But sadly, he didn’t do that. And now when comparing all of his projects it’s always going to be Acid Rap vs. Coloring Book for the top spot, “10 Day” coming in 2nd, and then “The Big Day” coming in a deep deep last.

And just to add salt to the wound? He didn’t even release cool merch. Part of what made Coloring Book so dope was the cool “3” logo but this time around? Literally made the shirt I would’ve made on CustomInk in about 5 minutes.

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SERIOUSLY MAN??? You hang out with Kanye and you couldn’t get better merch designed than this?

All I’m saying is, there are good parts on this album. The length is at the center of most of the problems. If he cut the bad stuff it would’ve been an alright release and it’s really not worth writing this album off. Listen to the bangers, go back to his old stuff, and hopefully that’ll be enough to tide you over until he releases his next album in like 5 years.

 

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