Chance The Rapper in Singapore
Written by Radio Heatwave on August 29, 2018
Chance the Rapper is a musical figure that needs no introduction: The Chicago native has made waves not just within the hip-hop community, but far outside of it, drawing audiences far and wide with his unique blend of hip-hop, gospel and pop. So, it’s no surprise when the opportunity arose to see the man himself perform live in Singapore for the first time, we jumped at it.
Zepp@Bigbox was awash with bright pink and blue lights during the pre-show DJ segment, and even though it was two hours before the concert was supposed to start, a small crowd of priority ticket holders had already began amassing at the foot of the stage. Dheepan and I bumped to some of our favourite tunes from the last few months (and occasionally before then as well), and as the crowd started pouring in, we were on edge with anticipation for the show to finally begin; even more so when it passed the slated 8:00PM starting time. We even started exchanging conspiracy theories on when the show would finally begin, with our phones at the ready to capture the explosive moment of catharsis when Chance would finally appear.
All of a sudden, the lights cut out and bursting out of the speakers came a sequence of Chance’s iconic verbal ad libs, like some kind of strange language, but a language that Chance fans were well versed in, responding back in perfect harmony.
The lights flashed back on, with Chance rooted centre stage, and the audience roared to life with cheers and applause, as he and his band launched right into a banger off of his last project Coloring Book, the song Mixtape, and while the lack of Lil Yachty and Young Thug seemed like something that should have been working against him, Chance’s sheer energy and charisma managed to carry the song and the performance, a brilliant start for the show.
His performance of Blessings, also off the album Coloring Book, got the audience grooving to the strong gospel influences that shone through, but when the word Angels flashed on the screen, the mixtape’s most popular single, the audience screamed with enthusiasm, and Chance delivered a fiery performance more than worthy of it.
After that was two of the songs released recently as what was known unofficially as the Chance 4, 65th and Ingleside and Work Out, and while I was expecting a performance of the most popular of the four, I Might Need Security, the live versions of these songs were still nothing less of fantastic, and the audience was singing along with every word.
Chance then took a moment to clue us into the fact that despite the incredible performances we have been privy to thus far, to him, the show had yet to start, and he brought out a surprise guest: friend and fellow rapper Reeseynem, performing a brand new single even I was unaware of called What’s The Hook?, and the infectiously fun vibe of the song definitely caught on with the audience, who were bouncing up and down it felt like a mini-earthquake.
However, it was only the beginning, as Chance then performed what is probably his most famous feature to date, his verse on DJ Khaled’s mega-collaboration I’m The One featuring Justin Bieber and Quavo. The audience immediately started jumping as soon as the first note came through, and it felt as if the floor could give way, but all of us were too caught up in the song and in the hype to really care.
Chance then took a step back and asked how the fans got to hear about him and his music, noticeably surprised that most had found out about him not through Coloring Book, but through his 2013 mixtape Acid Rap. However, that would not impede him from going right into the aptly named Favourite Song, which got the crowd moving immediately, and what is my actual favourite song from Chance and probably one of my favourite performances of the night, Cocoa Butter Kisses, and I stood in awe as people chanted the lyrics alongside Chance, knowing every single word of his masterful verse.
The hyped up eleven would be tuned back to a chilled out five with the following song Chain Smoker and, after a quick shout out to the ladies in the audience, his romance-soaked ballad Juke Jam.
Right after, he let us know that the real show still had yet to start, and with roaring encouragement from the audience, launched into what many would consider the most intense performances of the show, led by the jazzy, fun and cheerful All We Got, and the energy of the audience surged to an all-time high as we lost our voices screaming about giving Satan a swirlie.
The audience would then jump like they had never jumped before, Chance encouraging everyone, and especially the people who had resisted the urge to jump up until this point, to jump along to the music, when No Problem blasted through the speakers. It was probably my favourite performance overall that night, displaying the absolute peak of Chance’s unshakeable optimism and energy.
The KAYTRANADA produced All Night was yet another strong, funky banger that got the audience ecstatic, and Dheepan lost his mind when Chance finally wound down and performed Dheepan’s favourite song Summer Friends.
Finally, to close out the show, came the emotional Same Drugs, and Chance’s own enthusiastic outburst of finally being able to close out this amazing show here in Singapore, and return home to spend time with his family, which drew nothing but cheers from the audience.
However, we were not done just yet, as the audience clamoured for an encore, a final song, Chance came out and delivered, leading the crowd like a true blue gospel choir in Blessing (Reprise).
The Chance concert was definitely one to remember, an experience like no other, one that felt both deeply personal yet extremely exciting. Something that could touch the hearts of every individual and rally a crowd to enjoy music as a collective. It was a musical journey through the institutions of hip-hop, jazz, funk and gospel, and a personal odyssey through the various experiences that Chance calls his life. It was, if nothing else, a legendary experience.
Thank you to LAMC Productions for giving us the opportunity to catch this concert!
Written by: Craig Chen
Edited by: Raymond Teoh
Pictures by: Craig Chen