Every now and then, an artist comes along who’s so slick, effortless and charming it’s impossible not to gawp. Chicago MC, vocalist and songwriter Chance The Rapper is one such artist. The 23-year-old burst into the mainstream in 2013 with his joyful ‘Acid Rap’ mixtape, followed it this year with a memorable guest spot on Kanye West’s ‘Ultralight Beam’ and then his own heady, gospel-inflected ‘Coloring Book’ album. He doesn’t play in the UK often, but that’s not the only reason you should check him out at the Apple Music Festival.
His live band are super tight
When Chance The Rapper graced London with his presence in 2014, he didn’t mess about. His sold-out show at the O2 Forum in Kentish Town was riotous and sweaty, but what really stood out was Chance’s insanely talented band, who ran the gamut from jazz and rock to soul and pop. Like his buddy Kendrick Lamar, Chance is bringing outstanding live instrumentation back to rap. Fingers crossed his pal Donnie Trumpet stops by the Roundhouse for some sweet brass back-up.
His famous friends might turn up
Chance has friends in high places. Not only is Barack Obama a fan and James Blake his old housemate, earlier this month Chance serenaded his “auntie” Beyoncé with a Simpsons-inspired version of ‘Happy Birthday’ at the Made In America festival in Philadelphia. Back in 2014, his mate Justin Bieber joined him on stage at Coachella to act as hype man and in 2015 Kendrick Lamar came out with him at Teens In The Park, a free event he put on in his hometown of Chicago, for ‘M.A.A.D. City’. Will he bring out anyone in Camden? You’ll have to go to find out.
The songs are so very good
A fiercely independent artist, Chance releases his music himself, and gives it away for free too. Cheers, Chance! This means he’s in full control of his creative process and everything you hear is straight from the heart. He’s capable of party bangers (‘No Problem’), tender ballads (‘Same Drugs’) and sweet summer anthems (‘Cocoa Butter Kisses’), and they’ll all blow your mind live.
He’s a true showman
Chance’s high-energy showmanship was enough to win over former US President Bill Clinton at Made In America. Go watch the videos, they’re hilarious. When the rapper’s on stage, you can’t keep your eyes off him as he dashes this way and that, throwing in some fancy footwork and Chicago juke dance moves for good measure. The man’s a whirlwind.