The Big Day wasn’t Chance the Rapper’s biggest moment, but three years after his debut album’s release, any perceptions of a fall-off haven’t stuck with him.
On the Breakfast Club on Tuesday, Charlamagne tha God asked Chance, “How hard is it to not feed into criticism you may see of yourself online? Because there is a lot of chatter online that they like to say Chance the Rapper fell off, that’s their language.”
“Man. I don’t know,” the 29-year-old replied just after the 41-minute mark above. “To me it’s like, I could do one of two things: I could either agree with it, or I could live my life. If I agree with it, then that means the Breakfast Club fell off, ’cause y’all don’t have people that fell off sitting in your chair I don’t think, usually. And so I feel like I gotta stay on my path.”
The creator of Acid Rap and Coloring Book remembers people telling him he’d lost his fastball almost as soon as he got started. “N***as was saying I fell off when I was in high school,” the Chicago native said, getting particularly animated. “I made four mixtapes! N***as was telling me in high school, ‘Your last tape was better.’ I’m like, ’N***a, I’m 15!’ … I can joke about it, but it is tough, but it’s like, I don’t know, what can I say? Tell people that my feelings are hurt?”
The Big Day debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 and featured Lil Durk, Megan Thee Stallion, Nicki Minaj (twice), Gucci Mane, John Legend, Smino, Death Cab for Cutie, and more. Less than two weeks after the divisive record’s release, Chance wrote on Twitter, “I’m getting this crazy feeling that people want me to kill myself. And I feel like even more than that, some people want me to feel ashamed. Shame is heavy yo. And feeling shame for something that you were once prideful about is super heavy. … I just want to reiterate that I don’t want to kill myself, nor am I ashamed of loving my wife. I think I just wanted to say out loud that I see the vibes.”
Chano assured the Breakfast Club team he’s a lifelong creator who’s here to stay, noting the fall-off narrative reminds him of the type of commodification he’s strived to avoid as an independent musician. “I could listen to people that think about artists like they’re fuckin’ Pokémon cards, like these commodified trading cards that’s like, ‘Oh, your fuckin’ 2K rating just went down.’ Like, fuck them n***as, these n***as is lame as hell!” he said. “They’ve never been on. If I fell off, at least I was on.”
Watch Chance’s full appearance on the Breakfast Club up top, and check out his Monday night reflections on 10 Day’s 10th anniversary on Fallon below.