Someone needs to tell Chance The Rapper that throwing eight hundred genres together onto one album doesn’t work. Chance was once one of hip-hop’s shining stars, a Kanye protégé with greatness beckoning, but this guy fell off quicker than Felix Baumgartner; creating one of the most disappointing rap albums of the decade.
Complacency is a truly dangerous thing. It can lead to a nosedive in quality and focus, an artist’s kryptonite. Surely this wouldn’t be the case for someone as driven and dedicated to his craft as Chance The Rapper right? He’s a three time Grammy winner with a keen knack for creativity and innovation, something he has flexed wonderfully on his three mixtapes 10 Day, Acid Rap and Coloring Book. The time has come for a debut album; a razor-sharp, all-encompassing project with cohesion fitting to match the title of a first album for an artist as well-regarded as Chance.
Ironically, The Big Day is the biggest hot mess of Chance’s career. It sounds more like a mixtape than any of the three actual mixtapes that came before the album; thanks to its relentless genre-hopping and cringeworthy performances.
As a very religious man, you would expect Chance to follow the mantra of “practice what you preach”, but when he said “I met Kanye West I’m never going to fail” on Ye’s 2016 track Ultralight Beam; it would appear he took it quite literally. Corny dad joke bars and surface level emotional context won’t cut it, but Chance doesn’t seem to care. This album is offensively bad, mainly because we have all seen first hand just how good this man can be.
This thing is absolutely littered with features. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, because more often than not they save these songs from complete disregard; I cannot recall an artist getting bodied so often on his own project by featured artists. Whether it’s Nicki Minaj on Slide Around, Megan Thee Stallion on Handsome or Gucci Mane on Big Fish; Chance just doesn’t have the answers he used to have when it comes to bars. That isn’t to say all these features are good, god no. Death Cab For Cutie on track two? Seriously? That Francis and the Lights feature on the title track? Is this a joke?
Most of the songs here just downright suck, there’s no better way to put it really. It’s like Chance saw the success of songs like All Night from Coloring Book and decided to try making at least ten lacklustre versions of it. Honestly some of the songs on here are so bad it sounds like he is actively trying to make them trash, it is utterly baffling to me. Hot Shower is categorically the worst rap song of the year, Ballin Flossin is an absolutely nothing track with obnoxious vocals, and Sun Come Down is a confused, jumbled shitstorm about death or life or death of life or life of death or something?
Guys, did you know Chance was married? I know he keeps it quite well hidden but honestly he is. If only he rapped about it a bit more on The Big Day right? There are a measly THREE HUNDRED AND NINETY SEVEN bars about marriage on here, and the best part? Not a single one of them are good or done in a way that you can say “aww that’s sweet”. There’s a video floating around on Twitter of a parody Chance track which sums it up better than I can, but it is unironically better than 95% of this album; have a listen for yourself.
I could truly go on an on about the issues with this album but for the sake of my own sanity I will stop here. Chance The Rapper’s career isn’t dead because of this, he is still young enough and talented enough to bounce back; but this needs to be a learning curve. The Big Day is, without a shadow of a doubt, the biggest flop of 2019; simply for the anticipation given his previous success. I am honestly impressed with myself for making it all the way through this almost 80 minute long eye-roller, the replay value is non-existent and the sour taste it has left in my mouth won’t go away for quite some time. The Big Day? More like the long day, the really really really really really long day.