It’s no secret that Chance The Rapper’s debut album The Big Day landed with more of a thud than a bang, despite actually being pretty good (I will die on this hill). Fans expecting the looser, more straightforward feel of projects like 10 Day, Acid Rap, and Coloring Book were disappointed by the seemingly jumbled collection of music on the album, with their glossy production and lofty ambitions (I will allow that it was too long and could have been sequenced better). It’s led to more overt criticism of his recent output, prompting him to complain that it felt like fans wanted him to be miserable due to their jokes about him getting back on drugs.
However, he also has a truly compelling argument to those fans, which he shared during an interview with Ebro In The Morning to talk about his recently reissued Christmas album. When the host asked him about all the hate — “throwing rocks at the throne,” as he put it — Chance explained that he has a different metric for success. “I’m just really, really good at rapping,” he declared. “So, regardless of what happens, I’ma always have that to fall back on — and if that doesn’t work, I can perform my old raps. If that don’t work, I can direct someone else’s raps. There’s nobody that can rap like me. That’s a cool thing to have.”
— HOT 97 (@HOT97) December 15, 2020
That’s actually a pretty smart way to look at things — at the very least, it keeps him from overly focusing on fans’ jokes about his content. Even if he raps about being a family man, which is probably something many of his young fans can’t relate to, he does so really well, so as long as he is meeting his own standards, he technically can’t fail in the opinion of the only person whose opinion matters — his own.
However, the fallout from The Big Day has affected him in other ways. His former manager Pat Corcoran recently filed a lawsuit for $3 million in back pay, citing breach of contract and claiming that Chance let his family talk him into making bad business moves that exacerbated the negative feedback from the album. Chance’s lawyers shot down the accusation, but without Pat The Manager’s help, he may find it’s harder to repeat his prior successes. Maybe collaborating with Dionne Warwick will give him some insight to extending his longevity.
Watch Chance’s full interview with Ebro above.