When most people turn 22, they are just trying to comprehend the fast-approaching real world. I can hardly imagine what it would feel like to have accomplished as much as Chancelor Bennett has all before turning 22. Bennett, also known as Chance The Rapper, celebrated his 22nd birthday with friends and family in the wings as well as an eager crowd at The Palace last Thursday.
This crowd, which was almost entirely made up of local college students (from my old lady perspective) , was so engrossed in his set, singing along with every song, jumping, screaming, the whole deal. Chance The Rapper first started becoming a college (somewhat cultish) favorite during the spring of my senior year a few years back. That next year, his mixtape Acid Rap officially dropped and he really blew up. This young kid from Chicago has since then been touring constantly and adding unique pieces to his music. His latest work, Surf, includes his band of musicians, Donnie Trumpet and the Social Experiment, and will be released later this year.
Chance has garnered such a big, devout following largely in my opinion to how different his style of rap is. He intertwines sung portions in with his flows that are never predictable. (One of my students made the comment “he doesn’t even rap on beat,” which I shared was kind of the point.) Many tracks from Acid Rap also include samples of songs that are recognizable, yet adapted to his style. And you can’t forget the contagious choruses that will always get you jumping and singing along. The newest creations done with Social Experiment, includes a lot of live horns, aka Donnie Trumpet, adding another distinctive element to his songs.
The pause in action for some birthday acknowledgements (and I say action, because his live shows are full of it) included a several minute long video compilation of close friends and family, all wishing the young man a happy day. The rambunctious crowd finished the tribute with a round of “Happy Birthday!” Chance The Rapper used this outpouring of love to carry him through all the way to the end with the highest levels of enthusiasm.