Chance The Rapper - XOYO, London 26/08/13
What's better than making your entrance music, which was essentially a greatest hits collection of contemporary hip-hop (and some classics too), sound ordinary in comparison to your own material...
What's better than having the entire crowd sing along to the majority of your songs, despite selling zero records...
What's better than making a room full of people grin from ear to ear...
What's better than turning a show into a party...
What's better than having a crowd wait around after your show is finished, chanting your name at the top of their lungs...
What's better than being one of the most exciting rappers on the planet, despite only being 20...
"I'm off that local, I'm on the global"
It's pretty difficult to articulate intelligible psychedelic-tinged emotions on a personal level, or even on record as Chance has so successfully achieved on Acid Rap - let alone have hundreds of strangers in a room ecstatically yell your catchy freaky couplets out in unison such as "Used to like orange cassette with Timmy, Tommy, and Chuckie And Chuck E. Cheese's pizzas, Jesus pieces, sing Jesus love me," yet Chance The Rapper proved that he possessed the necessary skills to translate all these ernest emotions as found on the mixtape to a live setting, via this entrenched acid aesthetic.
Present was a youthful, colourful naivety as expressed in his pop culture-heavy lyrics - that at times also flirts with the political, the gritty, the girls, the drugs, and thus rendering a potent mix; and all this tonight was present and oozing out of every nuanced rhyme, every stage leap/twinkle, every shit-eating grin, from the man himself.
Three or four years down the line, when Chance has got the call from Kanye to collaborate and he's being lined-up to to guest appear, or write for pop's next big thing, it will be one of those moments when suddenly everyone will say they were at XOYO in August 2013 to see Chance The Rapper for that moment before he went nuclear. It will never be like this again.
"Who's sneaking in the club? That's that youngster rapper"
From boisterous performances of 'Juice', 'Pusha Man' and 'Favorite Song', to touching renditions of 'Lost' and 'Chain Smoking' (featuring Mr. Hudson on keys), last night's performance demonstrated what he brings to the table: charisma, presence, modesty, confidence, great songs and above all, 'born to be on the fucking stage' talent.
"This shit my favourite song, you just don't know the words"
From the commanding hold he had over the crowd, to his remarkably soulful vocals - he turned a rather ordinary Bank Holiday Monday into a religious experience, no matter how hyperbolic that might sound.
"What's better than tripping is falling in love / What's better than Letterman, Leno, Fallon and all of the above..."
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