BY IBET INYANG
As much as I loved hearing DJ Spin play my favorite twerking anthems, by the time 9 p.m. rolled around, I couldn’t help but think, “Is this fool really showing up an hour and a half late?”
Schine Underground was packed with students waiting to see Chance the Rapper, and as they began to chant his name, the heavy drum beat finally came in and they all went crazy. “Good Ass Intro” blared as Chance jumped onto the stage to deliver an equally, good ass entrance. I’m not sure if he was touched by the spirit of James Brown or had caught the Holy Ghost, but judging by his sweet footwork and the way he glided across the stage, it was clear why this show had sold out in less than an hour.
You couldn’t help but move to the beat of each song; literally, the tight crowd surrounding me forced me to sway, bob and jump as they sang all of the words to “You Song” and “Smoke Again.” His lyrics were wrapped in a uniquely soulful yet hip-hop-y package and were served to the masses with fire and few of his signature, high-pitched ahh’s and woow’s. He markets himself as “the rapper,” but he seemed to be much more than that.
The way he counted the band off and let out soulful squeals at the end of each word in “Favorite Song” made clear that the Chicago native is a child of soul music. The way he closed his eyes, caressed the mic stand and squeezed out high pitched riffs in his almost a capella cover of Coldplay’s “Fix You” told me he was really a singer. And when he walked off stage after, to the crowd’s dismay, only to return minutes later, screaming for the crowd to “turn up” during his rendition of “Juice,” I could tell that he knew he had them in the palm of his hand.
No one seemed to care that Chance was late that night. He thanked the crowd of college kids for buying his music before launching into “That’s Love” towards the end of his set, vamping for a keyboard solo and welcoming us to clap along. The crowd’s energy screamed that they had gotten what they came for. He was worth the wait.
For photos of the show, check out this killer gallery.
Photo by Adam Gendler