“The Big Day” album review

Jameson Williams

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The Big Day, Chance the Rapper’s debut album, or OWBUM, as he prefers to stylize it, is a quintessential summer LP. With this release, Chance conveys a nostalgia for the summers of old; the endless summers of youth and adolescence.

At first, The Big Day feels a bit like a Tarantino film that could use some condensing. Although it is long, the length progresses the theme. With that in mind, the final cut of The Big Day can feel a bit overwhelming. At 22 tracks and 1 hour and 17 minutes in length, it’s an undertaking to sift through. But on subsequent listens the album seems to feel more whole, like one long summer vacation.

The bars are witty and inventive, fresh and “hot” like a summer day. Chance clearly wanted to showcase his talents and convey the clarity and peace of mind inherent to a summer vacation.

The second track, “Do You Remember”, with a hook performed by Death Cab for Cutie’s Ben Gibbard, primes the listener for this message:

  • “Do you remember how when we were younger the summers all lasted forever. Days disappeared into months, into years. Hold that feeling forever.”

As this hook concludes, a school bell rings. As a child, the feeling when that bell rang and school released for summer was incomparable.

Analysis

With 10 Day, Acid Rap, and Coloring Book under his belt, Chance was primed for a full LP release. Although, the months leading up to this album were somewhat tumultuous for Chance and his relationship with his fans. With the release of the single, “GrOceries”, far from a fan-favorite, Chance was faced with a split fanbase. Those who missed the quirky, loud, and funky ad-libs that stuck out on Acid Rap and were few and far between on Coloring Book, were worried by the direction the album might take given the poppy single.

It was rumored that Kanye West would include Chance in his string of seven track albums. This, like most of Kanye’s supposed recent work, has not come to fruition. It would be interesting to see a shorter album from Chance that harkens back to the style of 10 Day and Acid Rap, but The Big Day feels more thematic and polished compared to his mixtapes of old. This is a direction Chance has clearly been hoping to make for years.

As an artist, Chance has evolved and continues to do so. Acid Rap, the project that garnered him an almost cult-like following, was released on April 30th, 2013. Fast forward six years to July 26th, 2019, and Chance releases his first official album, The Big Day. With this album, July 26th was truly a big day for Chance and it’s exciting to witness his evolution through his unconventional route to success.

Standout tracks:

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