The Big Day (album)

The Big Day is the debut studio album by American rapper Chance the Rapper, released on July 26, 2019.[2] The album follows several mixtapes by the rapper including the reissue of his collaborative Merry Christmas Lil' Mama in 2017, and is his first solo project since Coloring Book in 2016.[3] The album was influenced by Chance's marriage, which occurred in March 2019.[4] The album was met with positive, albeit lukewarm, reviews from critics, but received backlash from fans on social media.[5][6][7] The album debuted at number two on the US Billboard 200, Chance's highest-charting entry to date.[8]

The Big Day
A photograph of a hand holding up a transparent CD covered with diamonds
Studio album by
ReleasedJuly 26, 2019 (2019-07-26)
Genre
Length77:10
LabelSelf-released
Producer
Chance the Rapper chronology
Merry Christmas Lil' Mama Re-Wrapped
(2017)
The Big Day
(2019)
Singles from The Big Day
  1. "Do You Remember"
    Released: August 16, 2019[1]
  2. "Hot Shower"
    Released: September 25, 2019

RecordingEdit

In a November 2016 interview, Chance the Rapper stated: "I think what I'm working on now is an album."[9] In May and June 2018, American rapper and producer Kanye West released a set of 7-track albums as part of the Wyoming Sessions, producing five albums in collaboration with Pusha T, Kid Cudi, Nas, and Teyana Taylor. In July 2018, Chance announced that West was coming to Chicago to produce his debut album.[10] West arrived in Chicago in mid-August 2018 and began recording.[11] The duo later announced that their collaboration would be titled Good Ass Job.[12] At the same time, West began working on his ninth studio album Yandhi and shifted his focus to that project instead; West has no production credits on the released version of The Big Day.

Music and lyricsEdit

The Big Day has been described by music journalists as a pop-rap[13] and gospel rap record.[14] NOW Magazine's Richard Trapunski says it "presents a bigger and slicker version of [Chance the Rapper's] nostalgic gospel-rap sound",[15] while Stephen Porzio from Hot Press says it not only features hip hop but also R&B and soul music.[16]

Lyrically, the album follows Chance on his wedding day, inspired by his real-life marriage to Kirsten Corley in March 2019.[17] Its predominant theme of family is explored with most songs about Kirsten and Chance's family and children. The album features contributions from his brother Taylor Bennett, who raps on "Roo", and his father Ken Bennett, who helped co-write "Eternal". In the skits "Photo Ops" and "4 Quarters in the Black", comedians John Witherspoon and Keith David play wise uncle characters to highlight the multigenerational aspect of weddings.[4]

ArtworkEdit

The artwork for the album cover features a jewel encrusted clear disc, reminiscent of a wedding ring, referencing the album's wedding theme, and was created by artist Sara Shakeel. Chance the Rapper reached out to Shakeel via Instagram to commission a physical object in her unique Swarovski crystal-clad style to be photographed and used for the cover art. [18] Shakeel also created artworks for the rapper's installation "The Big Store".[19]

Marketing and salesEdit

In March 2017, Chance stated that he would sell his debut album, as opposed to the free release of his previous mixtapes.[20] On February 12, 2019, Chance tweeted "July" and shared a video on his Instagram revealing that he had "been making music" that fans could expect to arrive the same month.[21] On June 27, Chance released a promotional video titled "The Next Chapter Begins", where a pre-order for the album was launched. His first two mixtapes, 10 Day and Acid Rap, were also put up on music streaming services, and sold on vinyl alongside his third mixtape Coloring Book.[22] On July 16, Chance the Rapper announced the album's title, release date and revealed its cover during his interview on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.[2]

On August 4, 2019, The Big Day debuted at number two on the US Billboard 200 with 108,000 album-equivalent units, of which 27,000 were pure album sales in its first week. It was Chance's highest-charting entry and his third release to hit the top 10 of the chart.[8]

Critical receptionEdit

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
AnyDecentMusic?6.8/10[23]
Metacritic71/100[5]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic     [24]
The A.V. ClubA[25]
Chicago Tribune    [26]
Entertainment WeeklyA−[27]
The Guardian     [13]
Hot Press7/10[16]
The Independent     [28]
NME     [29]
Pitchfork6.9/10[30]
Rolling Stone     [31]

The Big Day was met with generally positive reviews, according to the aggregate website Metacritic. At the website, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from professional critics, the album received an average score of 71, based on 21 reviews.[5] Aggregator AnyDecentMusic? gave it 6.8 out of 10, based on their assessment of the critical consensus.[23] The reception was described as "lukewarm" by journalists Shaad D'Souza of The Fader[32] and Gothamist's Ben Yakas.[33]

Reviewing in July 2019, Al Horner of The Guardian described The Big Day as "a candid, cutesy concept album based around his wedding", believing it "combines something old and something new, subtly expanding Chance’s sound without ever straying too far from the sentimental gospel-pop heart of his last release, Coloring Book."[13] Fred Thomas of AllMusic wrote that "Bright, flawless production supports Chance's optimistic lyrics and cultivates an atmosphere overflowing with joy, wonder, and summery nostalgia."[24] Christopher Weingarten of Entertainment Weekly concluded: "A master lyricist, a musical omnivore, Chance and his family of producers and instrumentalists channel all the big emotions of the big day in a swirl of bliss, marital and otherwise."[27] In a less enthusiastic review, Danny Schwartz of Rolling Stone concluded that, "Despite its length, The Big Day is self-contained, at least by Chance’s standards", considering it "narrower in emotional scope" than the 2016 mixtape Coloring Book.[31] Dhruva Balram of NME said it is "a buoyant, cheerful project that looks back on his young, successful career through rose-tinted lenses but, ultimately, doesn't possess enough depth amidst a mishmash of production and features that make it too long-winded."[29]

The album and Chance received criticism from fans on social media, spawning many Internet memes primarily about the album's focus on Chance's marriage and receiving a rare zero rating from music vlogger Anthony Fantano. Having expected music similar to his previous albums, many fans believed that the album was a regression for the rapper.[34][35] Chance responded on Twitter to the criticism that he believes that people want him to "kill himself".[6][7]

Veteran music critic Robert Christgau believed The Big Day had become a "backlash victim", instead ranking it on his year-end list as 2019's third best album.[36]

Track listingEdit

Track listing and credits adapted from Apple Music and Tidal.[37][38]

No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
1."All Day Long" (featuring John Legend)
  • Chance the Rapper
  • Scott
  • DeMartis 'Sax' Williams
  • Verner
  • Eric "EB" Butler
  • Landfair
  • Fox
  • Segal
  • Peter Cottontale
  • TrapMoneyBenny
3:28
2."Do You Remember" (featuring Death Cab for Cutie)
  • Chance the Rapper
  • Scott
  • Starlite
  • Vernon
  • Fox
  • Cottontale
3:56
3."Eternal" (featuring Smino)
  • Chance the Rapper
  • Scott
  • Langford
  • Landfair
  • Fox
  • Segal
  • Cottontale
  • Smoko Ono
4:03
4."Hot Shower" (featuring MadeinTYO and DaBaby)
  • Chance the Rapper
  • Smoko Ono
3:45
5."We Go High"
  • Lusher
  • Chance the Rapper
  • Scott
  • Fox
  • Segal
  • Cottontale
4:59
6."I Got You (Always and Forever)" (featuring En Vogue, Ari Lennox and Kierra Sheard)
  • Lang
  • Chance the Rapper
  • Verner
  • EB
  • Langford
  • Fox
  • Segal
  • Cottontale
  • TrapMoneyBenny
4:41
7."Photo Ops (Skit)"
  • C. Bennett
  • Colleen Mares
  • Dex Coleman
  • EB
1:15
8."Roo" (featuring Taylor Bennett and CocoRosie)
  • Chance the Rapper
  • Verner
  • Landfair
  • Fox
  • Segal
2:51
9."The Big Day" (featuring Francis and the Lights)
  • Lang
  • Chance the Rapper
  • Scott
  • Vernon
  • Segal
  • Cottontale
4:02
10."Let's Go on the Run" (featuring Knox Fortune)
  • Lusher
  • Lang
  • C. Bennett
  • Scott
  • Verner
  • Kevin K. Rhomberg
  • Fox
  • Segal
  • Lusher
  • Lang
  • Chance the Rapper
  • Verner
  • Rhomberg
  • Fox
  • Segal
3:41
11."Handsome" (featuring Megan Thee Stallion)
  • Chance the Rapper
  • Coleman
  • Cottontale
  • Smoko Ono
  • TrapMoneyBenny
2:53
12."Big Fish" (featuring Gucci Mane)
  • Chance the Rapper
  • Timbaland
  • TrapMoneyBenny
  • Angel Lopez
  • Federico Vindver
3:06
13."Ballin Flossin" (featuring Shawn Mendes)
  • Chance the Rapper
  • Scott
  • EB
  • Starlite
  • Landfair
  • Fox
  • Segal
  • Cottontale
2:49
14."4 Quarters in the Black (Skit)"
  • C. Bennett
  • Mares
  • Coleman
  • EB
2:13
15."5 Year Plan" (featuring Randy Newman)
  • Chance the Rapper
  • Scott
  • Starlite
  • Jaskowiak
  • Ware
  • Fox
  • Cottontale
4:17
16."Get a Bag" (featuring Calboy)
  • Chance the Rapper
  • Landfair
  • Lido
  • Fox
  • Cottontale
3:21
17."Slide Around" (featuring Lil Durk and Nicki Minaj)
4:30
18."Sun Come Down"
  • C. Bennett
  • Garcia
  • Scott
  • Verner
  • Butler
  • Jaskowiak
  • Fox
  • Segal
  • Wilkins
  • Ryan Vojtesak
  • Chance the Rapper
  • Charlie Handsome
  • Scott
  • Verner
  • EB
  • Jaskowiak
  • Fox
  • Segal
  • Cottontale
  • Smoko Ono
3:35
19."Found a Good One (Single No More)" (featuring SWV and Pretty Vee)
  • Chance the Rapper
  • Scott
  • Verner
  • EB
  • Landfair
  • Murda Beatz
  • Fox
  • Segal
  • Cottontale
  • TrapMoneyBenny
4:18
20."Town on the Hill"
  • C. Bennett
  • Starlite
  • Vernon
  • Wilkins
  • Chance the Rapper
  • Starlite
  • Vernon
  • Cottontale
2:59
21."Our House (Skit)"
  • C. Bennett
  • Mares
  • Coleman
  • EB
1:05
22."Zanies and Fools" (featuring Darius Scott and Nicki Minaj)
  • Lang
  • Chance the Rapper
  • Verner
  • Landfair
  • Fox
  • Segal
  • Cottontale
5:23
Total length:77:10

Notes

Samples

ChartsEdit

Release historyEdit

Region Date Format
Various July 26, 2019
  • Digital download
  • streaming
TBD CD[63]
Vinyl[64]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Radio 1 Playlist". BBC Radio 1. Archived from the original on August 19, 2019.
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  40. ^ Lisa Mishra (July 26, 2019). "So proud of you @chancetherapper 💓 Thank you @nicosegal and @realcottontale for having me sing a few lines when I was home in the spring (y'all were my first ever studio experience when we did Coloring Book btw) So happy to have one foot in Chicago and another in Mumbai, exploring both my musical worlds in tandem. Can't wait for y'all to hear this in a few hours!! THE BIG DAY IS HERE!". Retrieved July 26, 2019 – via Instagram.
  41. ^ Harry, Jackée [@JackeeHarry] (July 26, 2019). "I'm extremely honored to be a part of #TheBigDay. Buy or stream @chancetherapper's album NOW! It's a musical masterpiece. ✨" (Tweet). Retrieved July 26, 2019 – via Twitter.
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  43. ^ servinmike20 (July 25, 2019). "JESUS CHRIST love each other forgi ve each other love your enemies JESUS CHRIST @chancetherapper Chance the rapper put the Name Of God JESUS CHRIST on his new album the song is called (we go high) JESUS CHRIST coming out of every platform God bless you Chance the rapper JESUS CHRIST!!!". Retrieved July 26, 2019 – via Instagram.[better source needed]
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  45. ^ Dellato, Marisa (July 26, 2019). "Chance the Rapper gets 'High' on Michelle Obama for 'Big Day'". NY Post. Retrieved July 26, 2019. In "Ballin Flossin," he samples Brandy's 1994 hit "I Wanna Be Down" with singer Shawn Mendes.
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  64. ^ "THE BIG DAY VINYL (PRE-ORDER) + DIGITAL ALBUM". chanceraps.com.