“And we back” after three mixtapes and three Grammy’s, Chance the Rapper: the man who declared he’s “made the 3 more famous than Steph” unleashes his “debut” owbum The Big Day.
One thing you notice first about The Big Day is its genuine host of features. Chance partnered with Gucci Mane, Shawn Mendes, John Legend, SWV, EnVogue, Megan Thee Stallion, and more to create the diverse musical stylings the owbum offers. Although the project reluctantly doesn’t possess the sound of Chance’s prior projects Acid Rap and Coloring Book. In the same listen, The Big Day doesn’t necessarily stray away from his feel-good gospel roots, but you quickly sense he’s trying to expand his overall audience.
As The Big Day takes you on an emotional journey, it more so documents the events that took place between Chance’s fiancé and family leading up to his wedding day. The material just doesn’t celebrate his love for his wife, but speaks to his current station in life. Mr. Bennett doesn’t refrain from letting us know, not once, but twice he’s kicked his cigarette habit, or that he’s side chick free (Eternal,) but most importantly, he’s no longer single (Found a Good One, Single No More.)
The material remains relatable with a slew of cultural references which add to the 90’s nostalgic feeling, in addition to the album skits that assist in the storytelling. So, regardless if he was flipping Brandy’s “I Wanna Be Down” into a house song, or taking the James Taylor classic “Only One” and making it an anti-anthem for bag securing, Chance still found a way to make his
Although The Big Day can easily convey a lack of focus, many will see beyond that minor mishap due to Chance’s lyricism. 22 tracks cause the long-winded album with good and bad songs to suffer. A slight tweak or removal of a few songs would have better served, and told the intended story. The latter half of the LP contains all the value, still leaving the project with minimal replay value.
“Do You Remember,” sounds like a continuance of “Summer Friends,” in which you hear Chance expressing concern about his death and legacy. That comes before he confesses to cheating on “We Go High,” then properly preparing for his future with “5 Year Plan” to reiterating for the upteempth and final time on the album, that marriage is a pact between him, his wife, and God on “Zanies and Fools.” Those batch of songs are inviting the many intricate parts of Chance’s inner thoughts which assisted in transitioning the boy into a married man.
In a nutshell, The Big Day is celebrating his life and the people in it. The album would better suit as an ode to his wife, then his wedding day, because it has too many coerced parts sounding like underwritten album fillers. The LP may be a companion to his wedding day, but somewhere along the way Chance lost his narrative. The album doesn’t capture the essence of what a good debut album may sound like, but it does feel like one. This project would have better served as a sophomore album with too much creative control, rather than a “debut” to celebrate his big day.
Listen to The Big Day below.