Merry Christmas Lil Mama: The Gift That Keeps on Giving will arrive on all digital and streaming services for the first time on Friday, Dec. 11, featuring two new tracks and 10 previously released tracks from his and Jeremih‘s past mixtapes, including their 2017 SoundCloud mixtape Jeremih & Chance’s Merry Christmas Lil Mama: Rewrapped. But during his interview segment on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, the “Hot Shower” rapper recalled how recording and releasing holiday mixtapes was the two best friends’ holiday tradition and present to fans.
“Every year, me and Jeremih — he’s one of my best friends, another Chicago artist — we would make these Christmas mixtapes and release them on the mixtape circuit,” he explained. “And so now, they’re finally out there for everybody on their Apple Musics and their Tidals and Amazons and all those spaces.”
He also discussed Jeremih’s scary COVID-19 diagnosis in mid-November, when the R&B singer was hospitalized in a Chicago ICU and was reportedly on a ventilator to help with his breathing. After being transferred out of the ICU late last month, Jeremih was released from the hospital on Friday (Dec. 4) and told Billboard in a statement that he wanted to give a special thanks to Chance, 50 Cent and Diddy “for their love and support.”
“He’s made an amazing recovery, thank God,” Chance told DeGeneres. “It’s an awesome thing. We’ve been wanting to put this out for a long time, so we finally get it out there. And all these years later, I have a couple of new songs. It’s a cool feeling.”
He also told the talk-show host about what it was like to reconnect with friend Justin Bieber on their “Holy” collaboration, which debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in early October. But Chance thought the Biebs had a different song in mind when his pal called him up.
“He hit me up, and I was thinking he was calling me about our other song ‘I’m the One’ [by DJ Khaled featuring Quavo and Lil Wayne] ’cause it’s getting close to being a diamond record at this point. So I thought he was calling me to update me on sales. … He’s calling me about another record. He’s like, ‘Yo, I got this brand new song. I don’t care about the old records. I want to make another song.’ I was like, ‘All right, I’m down to make as many as you want.'”
He continued, “So we made another one, this ‘Holy’ record. It was really special to me because me and Justin are close. We’re a year apart, we got married at the same age, kind of like gone through a lot of the stuff together. And the song was about our relationship with our wives, our relationship with our faith. And it’s cool ’cause I think it seems to be connecting with a lot of people. So I think this is definitely one of the most special records that we’ve made.”
Watch Chance talk about “Holy” and his holiday album on Ellen below. You can pre-order Merry Christmas Lil Mama: The Gift That Keeps on Giving here.