Chance the Rapper’s long-awaited new project, The Big Day, hit all streaming services on Friday afternoon (July 26). Labeled as his debut album, the LP follows his Grammy-winning mixtape Coloring Book, as well as earlier tapes Acid Rap and 10 Day.
The Big Day offers an abundance of star power, spanning multiple genres, from start to finish over the album’s 22 tracks. Shawn Mendes, Nicki Minaj, Bon Iver, Megan Thee Stallion and DaBaby are somehow just a handful of the guests that contribute to the project. Familiar collaborators Nico Segal, Peter CottonTale, Nate Fox, Greg Landfair Jr. — also known as Stix — and Francis and the Lights also have their contributions littered throughout the body of work.
To mark the album’s release, Billboard is ranking all 19 tracks — excluding the three skits that appear on The Big Day — and breaking down some of the highlights from Chance the Rapper, as well as a few top standout guest contributions.
19. “Hot Shower”
?Chance admirably tries on a lot of different hats throughout The Big Day — unfortunately, this one doesn’t quite fit. DaBaby continues his winning streak with a strong verse, but it isn’t enough to pull the whole track together.
18. “The Big Day”
The title track got a brief teaser on social media in the weeks leading up to the album, but fans finally got the full taste of the Francis and the Lights-assisted cut on Friday. The problem here is Chance’s expletive-riddled rant that appears seemingly out of nowhere in the middle of the song. There’s hardly any lead-in, and 10 f-bombs really don’t matchup with the rest of the song’s “Oh my God, think it’s the greatest day of my life” vibe.
17. “I Got You (Always and Forever)”
Chance taps into his ‘90s rap vibes here, though it doesn’t stick the landing. Not all of the similes make perfect sense, either: “We treat the bad advice like bad breath / Either give a compliment or a couple mints, depends what we have left.”
16. “Town on the Hill”
The Big Day’s penultimate song — skits excluded — sees Chance delivering his praises to God. “You thought I didn’t know Your worth,” he sings time and again on the brief track. Credit Francis and the Lights, Peter CottonTale and Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon for the smooth vibes here.
15. “Found A Good One (Single No More)”
You can get the gist of this track from its title. Chance previously mentioned that he wanted the album to sound like the music he danced to on his wedding night, and this certainly fits the mold. It’s not the project’s most substantive song, but it’ll keep you moving on the dance floor.
14. “Slide Around”
Nicki Minaj guests on The Big Day twice in the album’s final six songs, first appearing in “Slide Around” with Lil Durk. Future still takes the cake for Gucci footwear-related lyricism with “Thought It Was a Drought,” but Chance and company give a solid showing here.
13. “Get a Bag”
Lido flips James Taylor’s “Only One” for “Get a Bag,” and the result is another upbeat, light-spirited dance track to make listeners nod their heads. It’s a nice one-off song, but isn’t the most memorable cut from the album.
12. “Let’s Go on the Run”
The piano-based, early 2000s rock-inspired cut is aptly named: the first half of the song feels destined to accompany a future rom-com. You know, the one during which the protagonist sprints to tell the romantic interest how they really feel just before it’s too late? That one! The song provides a follow-up collaboration between Chance and Knox Fortune, who previously worked together on “All Night.”
11. “We Go High”
Chance builds off the famous Michelle Obama quote here to candidly depict some prior struggles in his relationship with now-wife Kirsten Corley. Chance’s spin on the quote evokes a more spiritual high ground as opposed to the former First Lady’s moral high ground, but the message remains: “When they go low, we go high.”
10. “Zanies and Fools”
Like many superstars in the rap game — Drake and J. Cole included — Chance has developed a tendency to end his projects on a high note, ending Coloring Book and Acid Rap with “Blessings (Reprise)” and “Good Ass Outro,” respectively. “Zanies and Fools” starts on a sentimental note before opening up to a bouncy ending to the album, featuring a strong contribution from Minaj.
9. “5 Year Plan”
Chance looks ahead to the future in this back-half cut that sounds relatively similar to the “We the People” track he did a few years ago in partnership with Nike. “5 Year Plan” also offers up one of the more thought-provoking lyrics from the project: “Why ain’t no apples in Apple Jacks?”
Get ready to groove. “Eternal” is the type of track that immediately gets people out of their seats and onto the dance floor. Chance and Smino shout out Steph Curry and Kobe Bryant, respectively, while Eurostepping their way to a silky smooth hit.
7. “Big Fish”
It’s always fun when Chance allows himself to puff his chest a bit and fully commit to a braggadocious verse. Here, he and Gucci Mane compare themselves to big fish in the pond in one of the former’s most enjoyable flex tracks since he teamed up with Busta Rhymes on “Hello” back in 2015.
6. “Ballin Flossin”
This feels like Chance’s follow-up effort to Coloring Book’s “All Night,” and is just as — if not more — catchy than its predecessor. Good luck trying to get this one out of your head after giving it a few spins. Expect to hear “Ballin Flossin” at the remainder of your parties this summer.
Can Megan Thee Stallion miss right now? Hot Girl Summer continues as the Houston-born rapper elevates the album’s halfway mark to another level with her 16 bars. Save this one for after the kids go to sleep.
If you correctly predicted CocoRosie to be on Chance the Rapper’s debut album, please collect your winnings. The duo’s feature is brief but poignant, then giving way for brothers Chance and Taylor Bennett to shine on their respective verses. Older brother Chance has said in the past that he wanted Taylor to gain his own buzz before collaborating, but it’s clear that that time has long since arrived, with the latter going toe-to-toe with big bro on the hot track.
3. “Do You Remember”
Grab a slice of deep dish and head over to Wrigley Field before giving this one a spin. Chance has always shown deep love to his native Chicago and gotten nostalgic about his younger city days more than once (see: “Summer Friends,” “Paranoia”). “Do You Remember” offers a lighter, simpler take on his youth in the Windy City, and Chance, as per usual, shines on a bouncier beat.
2. “Sun Come Down”
The gem in the back half, Chance’s verses on “Sun Come Down” perfectly complement that track’s stripped-back beat, allowing him to shine to his full potential. He turns in some of his most honest lyrics of the project, kicking off the first verse with “Please don’t let my death be about my death / Please don’t make no movies about my death.” During a time of rampant biopics about famous musicians, it’s good to know where Chance stands on the matter.
1. “All Day Long”
The Big Day kicks off with a tried-and-true “And we back” and an accompanying signature “Igh!” Both adlibs are as recognizable as Chance’s ‘3’ hat, and function here in the form of lights dimming in the theater right before the show starts. Chance wastes no time showcasing his lyrical ability here, turning in some of his strongest bars of the project. He dances his way through two verses, tapping John Legend for the chorus on the pre-Surf Social Experiment reminiscent track.