Chance The Rapper & Jay Electronica Combine For A Video That Is Truly Great
For all of 2016, Chance The Rapper has been breaking new ground. The release of his mixtape, Coloring Book, in May, made history by becoming the first streaming-only project to appear on the Billboard album charts. It did so with flair, coming in at #8. A deal with streaming service Apple Music not only helped to secure the chart position, but may also have helped Chance become eligible to be nominated for a Grammy, also a first for a mixtape.
Subject-matter wise, the project also broached new territory. Coloring Book straddled a line between Gospel Rap and secular Rap in a way that not many projects before it have. Throughout, Chance employed organs, choirs and Gospel chords, while touching on everything from his faith to threatening physical violence if any record labels tried to get in the way of his success.
A song that landed fully in the territory of celebrating God, however, was Chance’s “How Great,” featuring Jay Electronica. Nearly the entire first 3 minutes of the 6 minute song are comprised of a choir singing repeatedly “How great is our God.” Once Chance and Jay Elec commence, their verses are also dedicated to celebrating God.
With such an unconventional song, it is no surprise that Chance’s video for the record is also done purely on his terms. Shot on a camera phone, the video commences with Chance’s cousin, Nicole, leading a choir in singing the song’s beginning. Released via a tweet, Chance tells viewers to lock their phones, as the perspective shifts from portrait to landscape. Jay Electronica joins and, in the end, the audience is left with the same uplifting feeling that the record conveys.