I love Chance the Rapper. I won’t lie, I’m not a day one fan or anything. I was introduced to his music by a good friend and my first memory of his isn’t even musical. I remember watching an interview he had on the Breakfast Club where he was being grilled by Charlamagne Tha god on the choice of the name of his mixtape Acid Rap.
(Point of order
In hip-hop parlance, a mixtape is generally free and both self-promoted and self-released. Furthermore, the goal of a mixtape is generally to build buzz or generate interest for an artist. An album differs as its main purpose is to sell units and produce hit singles.
If you already knew this, great. If you didn’t, tell your mum, I’m sure she’d love to hear from you 😁)
from the moment I heard Sunday Candy I was hooked.
His verse on Ultralight beam gives me life and his latest mixtape Coloring Book is nothing short of a masterpiece. But my love for him goes far beyond his ability to eloquently throw shade at an ex, the work he does for his city or the fact that as an independent artist he made history by creating the first streaming-only album to receive a Grammy nomination. No, above all these feats, it is his unashamed love for God that is his most attractive and most valuable trait to me.
In this day and age, it is not always cool or popular to be openly down with Jesus. But Chance is part of a wave of musicians, including artists Lecrae and Kendrick Lamar, that seem to have either not got the message or simply ignored it. And even though he doesn’t want to be cool, he just is.You may posit, well Christ wasn’t about being cool and I would agree with you but the role of a Christian is to spread the gospel (or the good news of Jesus). Therefore, I would argue Chance is doing just that and so even if it is being done in a way that is undoubtedly cool it merely gives him style points (which we all know are the best kind of points ). I would cite as evidence the Colouring Book, which is arguably a new age hymn sheet with tracks like Blessings, Angels, How Great and Finish Line being ideal examples of my point.
Now he might disagree with that as he sees his new music as ‘just music from me as a Christian man…’
But having experienced the Magnificent Coloring World Tour, I respectfully disagree. Chance’s music serves a greater purpose than entertainment, it delivers a clear message and inspires change.The experience of the live concert reinforces this belief.
You see I nearly didn’t see Chance that day in Manchester as I got my ticket at the 11th hour. Additionally, as I had been burglarised the previous day, I wasn’t in the highest of spirits. But the feeling inside Manchester Academy that November night was electric, for Jesus. The best way to describe it was a massive praise and worship session.
I don’t talk about my faith often, as I like my actions to speak louder so I am highlighting Chance’s contributions as I imagine he may share my thinking. He took his time during his performance to explain his thoughts behind the music and the message he wanted us to take home.
I can’t adequately describe the joy I felt hearing a packed house sing along, knowing all the words, to songs that were ‘…founded in God and his faith…’.
So I would like to use this post as an illustration of how to give praise ,as general flattery can be shallow and self serving. And in closing I would like to ask you, as Chance once asked me, when was the last time you spoke to Him.
Peace and love,
Aharoun the Author