Blame Chance the Rapper for delaying The Life of Pablo. Kanye told the world that Chance the Rapper held back his seventh album’s release, via Twitter. Chance confirmed it, too, also via Twitter. He held back the album drop because of a song that Chance wouldn’t let go of. He fought for it to remain on the album after Kanye already decided to cut it.
According to Vibe, that song is “Waves.” It was, at one point, going to be the title track, and the entire album was going to be the Waves album. But the album name changed, and the song got cut. But Chance just wouldn’t let anyone sleep. He kept Kanye and company at the mixing board, crafting and perfecting the track so it could be included on the final release.
— Pitchfork (@pitchfork) February 13, 2016
As Jezebel reports, Kanye streamed his Yeezy Season 3 fashion/album listening event on Thursday, live from Madison Square Garden. A standout track, actually the first track Kanye put on play, right from his laptop, was called “Ultra Light Beam.” It features Chance the Rapper, The-Dream, and Kelly Price alongside Kanye, along with some words from gospel legend Kirk Franklin. That was the best thing about the event. It’s a shame the rest of the album didn’t follow that track’s sound innovation. It showed a new potential in gospel and rap collaboration. Hopefully someone, maybe Chance, will build on this. Chance’s verse played while an army of stone-faced Kanye West fashion models were literally unwrapped before a packed arena.
So yeah, if “Waves” will be another strong showing from Chance, then let the legions of fans wait. Kanye needs another Chicago artist to join him on a throne he’s sat on for a long time. Perhaps a young protege can help cement Kanye’s legacy as an outspoken poet. But Chance’s potential is likely to both inspire, and then outshine Kanye. Not now, but in the future.
— SPIN (@SPINmagazine) February 13, 2016
In his still burgeoning career, Chance the Rapper released a few mixtapes along with some collaborative projects. His 2013 mix tape, Acid Rap, solidified a platform for his popularity to grow, and his 2015 collaboration, Surf, with Donnie Trumpet and The Social Experiment, offered yet another dimension, joining his vocals with the sound of a live band led by trumpet player Donnie Trumpet.
Aside from that, it has been countless guest appearances. He’s rapped alongside Action Bronson, Childish Gambino, and a bunch of other more- and less-popular artists. An official studio solo album hasn’t yet been on offer. But a major spot or two on a huge Kanye West release like this could be the ticket Chance the Rapper needs for major mainstream attention, enough for his own studio album to get the attention it would need for good sales.
But that’s not the only boost Chance the Rapper has gotten lately. Chance mentioned in an interview on Beats 1 radio that he’ll soon be getting his own Beats 1 show.
Kanye promised the album would come out after the Yeezy Season 3 event. That would have been Friday. Monday seems more realistic at this point. But really, none of the other songs Kanye premiered at the event, nor his fashion showcase, quite lived up to the start of the event when “Ultra Light Beam” blasted out to an anxious audience. He needed more songs like that. Chance’s presence actually seems to guide a Kanye track in a more substantial direction. His refreshing presence makes Kanye’s social commentary more focused.
There’s no telling for sure, but Chance has moved on to other topics on his Twitter account, so “Waves” might be finished. If it comes out as good as “Ultra Light Beam” then Chance the Rapper needs to quickly follow this with an official solo release.
[Photo by Paul Zimmerman/Getty Images]