Review: ‘The Big Day’

Chance the Rapper’s debut album is an exhausting effort to convey wedded life in the most surface-level way possible.

Since 2013, Chance the Rapper has been blurring the lines between project classifications. His sophomore mixtape Acid Rap and 2016’s highly-acclaimed Colouring Book are near-enough polished albums, even paired up with Apple Music exclusive premieres in the case with the latter. But the rapper has insisted to call these mixtapes, which may be justified considering none of these projects have been available for sale. Now it is 2019 and Chance is ready to conventionally distribute his debut album, fresh off being newly-wedding to his longtime partner.

The expectations for Chance were high, and somehow he fails to deliver what is expected of him on the fiasco that is The Big Day.

Chance pushes listeners capabilities with a 22-track album – already the first misstep of the album before even pressing play. The Big Day is like an afterparty taking place in Chance’s backyard after the wedding, filled with guests that are not even close to the couple.

The Big Day is an album that focuses on Chance’s newly-wed life yet goes into zero detail on the occasion. Chance conveys his happiness within the marriage but fails to bring the listener into his world. We do not find out anything about his wife. Who is she? What does she do to make him happy? Where did they journey begin. The Big Day provides no answers and instead relishes in Chance’s happy-go-lucky sound to create “good vibes”.

A chunk of The Big Day are failed pop rap crossovers with featured artists that do not make any sense. Shawn Mendes appears on the cringy “Ballin Flossin” that forces the aforementioned “good vibes” with the adlibs and generic production. The title track slowly tumbles in the first half through Chance’s surface-level hook and weak singing before plummeting in the second half with Chance channelling his inner Kanye to spoil any chance of ending on a high note.

For a rapper that has shown to be lyrically competent, The Big Day is filled with Chance’s worst bars to date, and within hip hop in 2019. Chance’s similes and dated cultural references leave a bitter taste in the mouth all over the album. Opening track “All Day Long” runs a marathon of cringe-worthy lines that should never be written and recorded (“Life is short as a midget but mine’s a little LeBron”). More poor bars turn up on “Hot Shower”, arguably the worst song on the album.

The unorthodox guests often outshine Chance the Rapper on every track, whether it is Megan Thee Stallion on “Handsome” or Calboy on “Get a Bag”. When they are not outshining Chance they are demanding removal from the song (Gucci Mane, Nicki Minaj, Lil Durk).

After a patient 3-year wait, The Big Day is confusingly disappointing. All Chance the Rapper can do is get back to the drawing board, leave this blunder in the past and come back with a fresh follow-up.

Rating: 4 / 10

Favourite tracks: “Sun Comes Down”

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