Chance The Rapper had an impressive run in the mid 2010s that was almost derailed by the lackluster response to his 2019 debut album The Big Day — but now the Chicago native has something to say.
During a visit to The Breakfast Club on Tuesday (August 2), Chance addressed the narrative that he “fell off,” admitting the comments hurt but they aren’t exactly new to him.
“To me, I can do one of two things: I can either agree with it or I can live my life,” he said. “If I agree with it, then that means The Breakfast Club fell off, ’cause y’all don’t have people that fell off sitting in your chair usually.
“So I feel like, I gotta stay on my path. N-ggas was saying I fell off when I was in high school! … It is tough, but I don’t know. It’s like, what can I say? Tell people my feelings are hurt.”
Chance The Rapper has reunited with his old rap buddy Vic Mensa over the last 18 months, teaming up for songs like “Wraith” and “Shelter,” as well as grassroots musical projects in Ghana.
For Chano, this back-to-basics approach has been paying dividends, helping him to drown out the criticism while rediscovering both his passion for and confidence in his craft.
“Man, when I get up with Vic and we just make shit, it’s so undeniable. I’m so good at rapping,” he continued. “At this point, I gotta put the words on the screen ’cause muthafuckas really loving that shit! It’s giving people goosebumps.
“So I’m like, ‘I could listen to people that think about artists like they’re fucking Pokémon cards, like these commodified trading cards that’s like, ‘Oh, you’re fucking 2K rating just went down.’ Fuck them n-ggas! These n-ggas is lame as hell, they’ve never been on. If I fell off, at least I was on.”
Inspired by Chance The Rapper’s marriage in early 2019, The Big Day was met with mixed reactions among both critics and fans. HipHopDX gave the album a 2.3 out of 5 score while ranking it among the most disappointing albums of the year.
Even Chance’s former manager, Pat Corcoran, cited its “sub-par quality” in a $3 million lawsuit over unpaid fees. However, the album still debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200, earning a respectable 108,000 album-equivalent units in its first week.
Chance The Rapper receded from the spotlight before returning in 2022 with the singles “Child of God” and “The Highs & The Lows” featuring Joey Bada$$, early previews of what appears to be a new album.
Following their duet at the 2022 BET Awards in June, Chano and Joey performed their aforementioned collaboration on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on Monday (August 1) — check it out below.