Chance the Rapper is having what they call a moment. A few weeks ago, he debuted the gospel-rap clapper “Angels” on Colbert with Chicago rapper Saba. Then, in the aftermath of the Chicago Police Department’s releasing the footage of Laquan McDonald’s murder at the hands of an officer and the revelation of the yearlong coverup, Chance criticized Spike Lee for the latter’s new film Chi-Raq, calling it “exploitive and problematic.” Those comments prompted Lee to respond, accusing Chance of not criticizing Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel because the rapper’s father is Emmanuel’s chief of staff and putting Chance in the realm of people Spike Lee probably shouldn’t have criticized (a realm that also includes Reggie Miller).
It’s all made us anxious to hear Chance’s third mixtape, which he’s begun teasing on Twitter, and from which “Angels” is presumably taken. We got another taste this weekend in the form of “Somewhere in Paradise,” which features similarly embattled Chicago artist Jeremih. The song, which found Chance backed by a full band and gospel choir, mines the same gospel-rap vein as “Angels” and “Sunday Candy,” which he also performed. While the studio version, which dropped this morning, also features R. Kelly, he was nowhere to be found on Saturday night, which means the SNL audience was spared another horrifying on-stage moment from the R&B singer.
You can see the performances of “Somewhere in Paradise” and “Sunday Candy” below.
“Somewhere in Paradise”