Welcome to the Magnificent Coloring World Tour; Chance The Rapper leaves Vancouver in awe
Vancouver, BC – If you were not one of the lucky people that was able to take in Chance the Rapper’s equally personal and epic performance at UBC’s Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre last night, you missed out. There is something almost ironic to me that he is named Chance the Rapper. His music, his message, and style reach far beyond the realms of the rap game. Chance is a visionary, a poet and a preacher who is breaking down barriers across multiple creative platforms. He is creating his own path and pioneering a new genre of Gospel Rap with a twist of soul, juke and jazz. Likewise he is putting on performances that are challenging our expectations and fundamental understandings of hip-hop as a whole.
“My name is Chance The Rapper. I’m from Chicago Illinois. And I’m Weird. Vancouver, welcome to the Magnificent Coloring World Tour.“
I stepped into Thunderbird stadium expecting a rap concert and stepped out feeling like I was in Times Square and had just seen one of the top Broadway shows of the season. From the moment he burst on stage and hit the first note of the hit song “Angles” from Coloring Book, everyone in the building knew they were in for something special. There was no warm up. No opening act. Just an explosion of sound, flashing white beams of lights that lit up the crowd and our baby Chance, in a denim jacket and jeans combination and his signature #3 cap. Instantly becoming the biggest personality in the building. He started off the show performing a variety of music from his mixtapes Acid Rap and Coloring Book. Talking mostly about sex and drugs through songs such as “Pusha Man” and “Cocoa Butter Kisses”, each song featured a more elaborate and colourful display of lights than the last.
As if his lyricism and musicality wasn’t enough, Chance delivered one of the most dramatic and eccentric performances of the year. Digital screens flanked and lined the stage displaying album covers, intricate graphic designs and the occasional lines of lyrics to help the crowd sing along. What Chance’s show apart was the lion puppet, taking on the roll of Detroit comedian “HahaDavis” whose vocals are featured on the songs “No problems” and “All Night”. The puppet talked to Chance throughout the show and encouraged him to be himself and find his purpose for making music. This would be the first of many puppets to come. A female puppet accompanied him on “Same Drugs” while a harmonizing muppet-like puppet choir sang background vocals as he performed the entire last half of the show.
Despite the lights, the theatrics, and the jokes, the Chicago rapper conveyed an important message and took the crowd on a journey into founding himself and God while trying to help us find ourselves along the way. When performing the songs “How Great”, “Finish Line Drown”, and “Blessings (reprise)”, he took breaks from rapping to do a little preaching, letting us know that these are the moments he will cherish forever and encouraging all of us to put down our phones and listen, think about our lives and actually in the moment with him. Chance managed to make a giant stadium feel like a little Baptist church. A conversation between one rapper and thousands of fans feel like an intimate talk between a pastor and a lost pupil.
“Your blessing isn’t on my mixtape. It’s not at this concert. Are you ready for your blessing?”, he preached in a sentiment that I think all religious and non- believers can appreciate. The message that after all hardships and struggles there will be light and serenity and there is a higher purpose for our pain and our obstacles; our journey has a direction and a destination. Despite Chance so eloquently letting me know, multiple times, that my blessing was not at this concert, I definitely feel very blessed to have experienced and witnessed such a profound moment in hip-hop culture.
Written by Nika Booker for HipHopCanada
Photography by Kassandra Guagliardi for HipHopCanada
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