Chance The Rapper’s debut album, The Big Day, is finally out after a three-year gap between it and his last, game-changing release, Coloring Book. While he was able to meet his own self-imposed deadline of July 26, dropping the album to streaming services around noon, Chicago time (naturally), there were a few stressful hours in which fans weren’t sure the album was coming at all. In a new interview with Rolling Stone, producer TrapMoneyBenny (of “In My Feelings” fame), who worked on several of the album’s tracks as a kind of pinch hitter, explained the process of racing the clock to finish the album at the 11th hour.
“I don’t think anyone knew the final tracklist,” he admits. “There were five dry-erase boards, all with different titles on them. One of them was the main one, but it wasn’t 100% in order when I was there. So I had no idea that would be the first song.” He also describes the week leading up to the release as “one hectic week of working noon to five a.m. every day. It was a lot of coffee, a lot of ordering out. It was super go-mode. Crunch time.” Benny also says that Chance still hadn’t added verses to some of the songs, which were sent to him with Tupac verses used as filler so he could make the necessary tweaks to the beats and mixing.
The reason for all the last-minute switch-ups? Chance wanted to make sure “this whole album has no dull moments.” That perfectionism meant that even those who worked on it wondered whether it would meet deadline; even Benny confesses, “In my head I’m like, ‘Damn, this is definitely not coming out at midnight.’” Fortunately, with the advent of streaming the album was still able to technically come out on time, even if it missed the expected midnight release. The rest is history.