This week’s rap forecast remains the same as it has been since mid-July at mostly cloudy with still only a chance of a newly album dropping by Chance The Rapper himself.
After inspiring overwhelming excitement about his upcoming sophomore album — a continuation of debut album “Coloring Book” circa 2016 — Chance has put his album release on hold as he tackles other projects. Although the surprise release of four new tracks ensured morale among fans was kept high, it also kept them wanting more.
The saga first began after Chance spoke with The Chicago Tribune. Their published article from July 16 sparked rumors that the highly anticipated sophomore album would be released later that same week. In the interview, Chance excitedly expressed his hopes of releasing the album just in time for the 50th Anniversary Special Olympics Celebration Concert, for which he planned to perform as the headliner, alongside a variety of other stars.
Chicago, home of the first Special Olympics competition over 50 years ago, proved to be the ideal destination for the anniversary concert Chance, a Chicago native himself, thought while working to produce the event with his own company, Social Function Productions.
So, thousands of locally based participants, athletes from across the country and their families gathered at Soldier Field in Chicago on July 15 to listen to live musical performances by Smokey Robinson, Jason Mraz, Usher and more to celebrate the incredible ability of these inspiring young athletes.
Activist Chance expressed deep gratitude for the opportunity to produce a concert for such a meaningful purpose. All came together for the celebration event itself, and smiles were shared by everyone in attendance.
Only one thing seemed to be missing: a debut live performance of a fresh set-list of tracks from Chance The Rapper’s long awaited album.
Chance took to Twitter July 17 to formally announce the delay for the new album to fans, writing, “Sorry no album this week, def been in the stu tho.” The excitement lulled momentarily with the promise of music to come.
Yet the wait was soon over, for now. Chance spoke nothing but truth of his continuous hard work, unexpectedly dropping four brand new singles the next day.
Humbly, he let Spotify and other music streaming platforms break the news to listeners. Still, it is unclear whether the new album will also be released independently, accessible on a variety of listening services or exclusively on a certain streaming app.
Then, when “I Might Need Security” hit No. 60 on Billboard’s Hot 100 the week of Aug. 4, Chance posted on Instagram to express his shock about the immense popularity of his new hit.
“WOAH WOAH WOAH. This aint supposed to be on @billboard This is ridiculous. I understand how badly you guys want new music now, headed to the lab” Chance wrote.
Plans for his sophomore album include “very, very personal” lyrics that “just clarify, just speak from [his] point of view because you won’t get [his] angle of the story if you’re just reading it from articles” Chance said as a guest on local Chicago talk show Windy City Live.
Chance wants his new album to be a continuation of his Grammy-winning 2016 mixed tape “Coloring Book,” showcasing his development as an artist, as well as his search for the right words through which to tell his story.
Other projects in progress include a playlist of seven songs produced by Kanye West, as well as a collaboration with Childish Gambino. It is unclear whether songs stemming from these projects will be included on the album upon release, of it these tracks will follow separately.
“Working under him, working with him on his albums is crazy, but having him tell me that he wants to produce my album and come to Chicago is like … ” said Chance regarding his excitement to create music with Kanye.
According to Chance, the duo has already started the creative process in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, experimentally recording lyrics and beats. The rappers plan to move the operation to Chicago, given Chance wants to incorporate his city as his muse in his upcoming music.
“65th And Ingleside” and “Work Out” of the four newest singles focus on the deeply personal relationship between Chance and his long-time girlfriend, now fiancé, Kirsten Corley. After a video posted on Instagram by @theshaderoom of Chance proposing to Corley amid 4th of July family festivities went viral, Chance expressed a desire to share his side of their relationship story, complete with its incredible highs and inevitable lows. Chance claims his love for his soon-to-be wife and their daughter, Kensli, has inspired him to connect with his listeners off the record via the stories he tells, breaking down the paparazzi barrier.
Chance also shows support for local artists and offers his hand to those enduring the creative development process through his song “Wala Cam,” sharing the namesake of a Chicago-based platform for up-and-coming hip-hop dancers and aspiring rappers.
Of course, Chance never fails to impress with his lyrical ingenuity, and whether it’s his sampling from Jamie Foxx’s 2002 comedy special or his rapping about the reality of injustice in Chicago and across the nation, “I Might Need Security” — the most popular track out of his most recent four — proves he’s done it again.
So, Chance has provided listeners a rather thorough sneak peek of what is to come on his new album.
Yet, once again, Chance threw listeners for a loop, staying true to his word promising to produce new tracks, but instead releasing the single “No Brainer” featuring Justin Bieber, DJ Khaled and Quavo, rather than his own stuff.
After 2017 saw “I’m the One” at the top of the charts, the group released anotha one for summer 2018. When DJ Khaled released “No Brainer” on July 27, along with its official music video featuring the four artists and Khaled’s adorable son Asahd, the single’s popularity skyrocketed almost immediately, reaching No. 5 on Billboard’s Top 100 within the first few weeks of its availability.
Although “No Brainer” dulled the hype for Chance’s upcoming album, fans still anxiously await its release. Yet, there’s no doubt the rapper has kept incredibly busy in recent weeks, so fans wonder how much studio time has been spent crafting his new album, as opposed to working on clearing his full plate of projects.
So, the question remains: how much longer until Chance blesses us with a slew of new songs for us to play on repeat? Sure, those four new singles proved to be a snack, but let’s face it — we’re still craving more.