29 June 2015 (gig)
30 June 2015
Psyched after a successful appearance at Wireless Festival, Chance the Rapper (or as my autocorrect prefers to call him ‘Chancellor of the Exchequer’) has come down to Brixton Electric to serve up the piping-hot Chicago-Town hip-hop UK fans have been craving for.
In the wake of two mixtapes and a recent collaborative effort with The Social Experiment, Chance creeps closer to the
mainstream with each release. This level of critical acclaim is impressive considering the young lyricist hasn’t even dropped his own album yet.
But Chance isn’t your run-of-the-mill hip-hop star. Going against the wishes of his civil servant father who worked under Obama, Chance instead chose to recalibrate his energies from politics to performance art.
Tonight, the tone veers between childish and playful, most notably during the crowd-rousing ‘Cocoa Butter Kisses’. Chance’s unusual delivery of songs marks him out as something special. His syncopated rhymes and intriguing flow patterns are just as fresh live as on record.
There are a few quieter numbers mid-to-late set where Chance's soul and jazz influences shine through. While not a criticism in itself, the change of pace appears to disorientate an audience still caught in the hype of earlier sing-alongs. Of course, this stylistic-switcheroo is a natural consequence of an artist whose heart is set on experimentation.
Leading the crowd in sessions of bird-like hooting in between songs, Chance sets a trend that continues well after the show’s conclusion. As fans spill out of the venue, Brixton High Street sounds more like a jailbreak at an aviary than a South London thoroughfare.
Ancient Greek playwright, Sophocles, once said ‘Chance rules our Lives’. This young rapper certainly dusts the cobwebs off the old sentiment.