Chance the Rapper at The Forum (15/07/2014)


Summer is an amazing time. People are packing up and jet-setting or going to the immense arenas to see the biggest artists in the world – and good for them; but there’s something uniquely special about watching the still largely unknown artist on the cusp of making the big time.

Chance triggered anticipation from his fans at the Forum after his acclaimed performance at the famous Wireless Festival, a lively hub of urban music. Here, the young artist had provoked amazement ‘fluctuating between compelling raps and admirable melodies’ with such undeniable ease, he left the Birmingham Mail contemplating whether they had ‘witnessed an artist who genuinely might have a shot at musical immortality’.

The final performance of his European Tour was held in London’s very own Kentish Town which guaranteed to attract the cool hipster and alternative crowd, making for an immensely relaxed vibe. Chance can be described as none other than an energetic and talented performer. The audience were captivated by records from his latest mix-tape Acid Rap, including favourites, ‘Juice’and ‘Smoke Again’. Backed by a live band, Chance pays homage to his home-town Chicago by effortlessly drawing on aspects of different genres made famous by the city. He exhibits his skills not only as a R&B artist but also mingles beautifully with jazz and blues. His undeniable skill combined with the live band also allows him to seamlessly control the tone of the performance, inviting the audience to admire the calmer, meditative mood of ‘Lost‘ as well as the jumping, roaring atmosphere created by ‘Favourite Song‘. Truly spectacular!

However, the artist’s songs can be appreciated far more deeply, his style resembles 90’s hip hop, made most apparent by his references to hip hop veterans in his music, including the sample of Slum Village’s ‘Fall In Love‘  used in ‘Everybody’s Something‘ as well as his fond memories of ‘sittin’ in class the first time listening to Dilla’ in ‘Good Ass Outro’. An R&B fan cannot help but feel nostalgic.

A different kind of intimate insight is later given to his fans. They admire the poetical aspect of his music most notably as he recalls the death of his close friend at the height of Chicago’s violence pandemic. It is accentuated in his song ‘Acid Rain’ by his haunting line;

‘I seen it happen, I seen it happen, I see it always, He still be screaming, I see his demons in empty hallways’.

This insight is similarly delivered while listening to his soliloquy at the end of ‘Pusha Man‘, regarding the increase of violence in Chicago.

The intimacy is subtly complimented by the venue. The HMV forum is decorated wonderfully with vibrant wallpapers and modest chandeliers, creating a cosy space to enjoy the show and most importantly guaranteeing an amazing view of Chance. He is quirky and charismatic while spontaneously being humble and insightful, making his performance an amazing way to spend the night. After Chance’s exhilarating gig it leaves one eager to stop and explore the more obscure but nonetheless fantastical events in London.


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