Words and Images by Manuel Frayre
Here I am a 25 yr old man standing in the viewing balcony of The Bomb Factory shredding a tear or two, surrounded by a mob of high teenagers thinking to myself… what I am experiencing right now? I came with a clearheaded and drug/alcohol abstinent mindset to write and photograph a comprehensive review of Chance the Rappers Tour. How intricate could this be? Well to my astonishment, I soon learned that I was faced with a derivative assignment.
While standing there inside a very packed Bomb Factory, I quickly realized that I wasn’t just experiencing one of the hottest tours of the year. Coming in close, behind Kanye, Bey, RiRi and Kudi, I believe this was the best tour of 2016, the best year in current music history. I was experiencing the future of music and culture in front of my eyes.
It wasn’t just the sesame street-like furry and colorful imagery running in front of my eyes that was making every nerve on my face vibrate with emotion, but something deeper. Something far more gratifying. It was like an overflowing entropy of electric frequencies exchanging between one man and thousands of his most dedicated votarists. The room felt it, I felt it. Word by word, I looked around to see all these youngsters whipping of happiness. As if they have waited all of their short comprehensive life to sing those exact words, to hear those melodies and to see the face of the man who gave them the opportunity to feel something real through his art.
Songs like ‘Favorite Song’ and ‘Cocoa Butter Kisses’ got the best reaction out of the long-time listeners of the Chicago rapper. While for me his ‘Ultralight Beam’ verse got me to shed a tear or five, you can call me emotional, I like to call it spiritual. But I was obvious that ‘No Problems’ and ‘All Night’ were the bangers that brought the house down, the entire building was vibrating rather aggressively. 90% of my soul was so enigmatically turning up, while 10% of me was questioning the steadiness of the structure I was currently standing on. Yet, these kids around me did not mind it for one second. I mean I’ve seen kids at festivals risk their own health by standing up for hours at the time, dehydrated and intoxicated just to see their favorite artist up close. These fans were more committed than that, they were not just chasing the perfect snap, they really wanted to be closer to him, to feel his energy more up close.
It all made sense to me then, it is because of that type of interaction that Chano has become what he is now. Skipping all types of regulatory bullshit Labels use to manipulate the music industry. He does not play by those rules, he talks directly to his fans. The Internet generation. It’s a scary powerful formula that exploits the immense power of internet exposure, yet in this case, it’s used for the greater good. At this point whatever message Chance puts in his music, these kids will digest it like the hottest new meme on Instagram.
The entire show felt much like an interlacement of past and present sketches of an acid trip. A disoriented soul making sense of the ideas and imagery presenting right in front of him, where questions about old love affairs and self-worth often confronted his trail of thought. Yet there wasn’t a single sense of fear but a sense of encouragement. Encouragement to solve any mystery presented during this trip. It was like a flashback to the very first moment that Acid Rap and Coloring Book became an idea. The single thought that sparked Chance’s raps. And yes the message itself originated from the use of psychedelics, but newsflash, kids these days do drugs and most of the times without any type of guidance. So in a way, Chano’s music promotes a purpose behind that type of experience. It promotes that so much can be created because of that type of interaction between yourself and your conscience. So many new ideas and lessons and visions that can develop into unique art, art like ‘Acid Rap’ and ‘Coloring Book’. Art like the one we got to experience at the Magnificent Coloring World Tour. Thank you for the Experience Chano.