Chance The Rapper, aka Chancelor Bennett, concluded his 2014 European tour at The Forum in Kentish Town. He and his four-piece band had sufficient talent to enchant the 2000 strong, sold-out venue.
Only the second time Chance The Rapper has blessed London with a solo show, I can honestly say he was extraordinary. He kicked off with Acid Rap tune ‘Everybody’s Something’ and instantly the whole crowd were on their feet. The show was full of energy, start to finish and near perfection. A minor lyric blank near the start gave him some extra charm and charisma.
Over the last few months the Chicago native has proved his talent at various festivals and concerts, being one of only two artists to receive a five star rating for his Glastonbury performance. His second mixtape release Acid Rap was made available for free download in April 2013. Having already made a name for himself in the US hip hop scene with his first 2012 mixtape 10 Day, Acid Rap brought Chance’s jazz and soul influenced hip hop to the UK and beyond. Still without a record label, he is intent on remaining an independent artist. This new ideology appears to be taking off with many in the hip hop scene, and although it’s unconventional, it’s a great example of originality and creativity.
Chance’s supporting band, the Social Experiment, consists of seriously gifted musicians: Peter Cottontale on keys, who has produced for Chance, Vic Mensa and Lil Wayne. Greg Landfair Jr. aka Stix on drums and Nico Segal aka Donnie Trumpet on, you guessed it, trumpet, were both part of hip hop band Kids These Days before their split a year ago and have performed alongside Frank Ocean. Nico Segal released a seven-track EP titled Donnie Trumpet last year which is a musically genius record, combining brilliant jazz, Lauryn Hill influences and clever verses from Vic Mensa and Chance. Nico staged some unforgettable trumpet solos throughout the concert. The whole crowd was entranced; it was a great touch and added extra zing to the show.
The majority of Chance’s songs were from Acid Rap or from his recent three-song collection Sox. We were also treated with slow-jam ‘Braincells’ from 10 Day and a rhythmic and truly entertaining version of the Arthur theme tune – ‘Believe In Yourself’. Chance and the Social Experiment adapted and adjusted most songs, varying energy and arrangements to keep the audience on their toes.
The show was rounded off with one of Chance’s finest hits, ‘Chain Smoker’. An irrefutably impressive show, one I will certainly remember and I fully recommend anyone with the opportunity to go and see Chance The Rapper live.