Chance The Rapper: Past vs Present

WRITTEN BY KARAN TELI

I’ve been lucky that in my very short lifetime, I’ve already seen Chance The Rapper perform live twice. I can imagine that in 3-5 years Chance will be selling out the 02 Arena and performing at festivals and stadiums alike. So the two concerts I went to, the first being with less than 2000 people in the audience and less than £20, it was an intimate show, for ‘real fans’, if you believe in such a thing. 2 years later I saw him again, this time about 6000 people in the audience. It was clear that the greatness of coloring book gained him fans, but there is no ceiling for chance the rapper. The potential is endless.

Chance’s growth, maturity, humbleness and overall quality of performance have all raised; and it is evident by the difference in the two concerts.

At the first concert, Chance was just a 19/20 year old who couldn’t believe that a kid from Chicago, up the road from D Rose, was out in London performing a small sold out show to people screaming the lyrics of Juice, Smoke Again, Cocoa Butter Kisses and every other Acid Rap banger. It was at this concert that he debuted the SoX cover of ‘Arthur’s’ theme song. So you could say I witnessed history. The SoX was on stage throughout the whole concert, but there presence wasn’t completely felt. It was a good night for a Chance The Rapper fan, but if you weren’t a fan and went to that concert, you would’ve said ‘he’s just another rapper’.

That’s not the case anymore. I’ve been to Watch The Throne, Wireless Festival, J. Cole, seen Yeezus 3 times, hell I’ve even seen Blue live; my second Chance The Rapper concert was one of the best I’ve been to.

‘The Rapper’ became the performer. He became an artist. His energy was different to two years ago; he got used to the stage and the screaming fans. But that doesn’t mean he didn’t appreciate them. Every 3 songs he would take a break to thank the fans for being there and supporting him. He would grab the mic and say ‘I’m Chance The Rapper’, not realising just how many fans he has. The SoX crew behind him even had their own shining moments throughout the show, each getting a shout out and their 20 second solo to showcase just how important they actually are. Not to mention Chance brought out DRAM to perform Broccoli. No Lil Yachty though.

This concert gave me an appreciation for a live band at a rap concert. He doesn’t have a backing track. Live trumpets, guitars and drums to him rapping is something I haven’t seen at rap concerts before. Confetti falling from the ceiling during ‘Blessings’, a orange light flashing behind him during his verse of ‘Ultra Light Beam’ looked like the gates of heaven opening, a cover of Drake ‘For Free’ over the ‘All Night’ beat and all types of animation and effects on the screen behind Chance throughout the whole show. Still a concert for ‘real fans’; the song that went off the most was ‘Brain Cells’, a song many may not have even heard. If you went to this concert without knowing Chance The Rapper, there’s no doubt you left a fan of him and the whole SoX crew. 

Chance is growing. All this without an album out. A mixtape with Lil Wayne, Kanye West and Justin Bieber is crazy; the potential of Chance is even crazier. 

Soon tickets prices won’t be £20 and the crowd will be way bigger than 6000. So to be able to see Chance The Rapper twice already in his young career is a blessing and to see his improvement with my own two eyes is amazing. I’m sure I’ll be seeing Chance again, on a much bigger stage, with plenty more fans singing every word. 

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