On Friday, Chance The Rapper released his self-called debut album, The Big Day.

I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to jump into The Big Day critic fest. Between the ongoing youth-pastor jokes on social media, which some admittedly are funny as hell, and the apparent media race to write the bashiest album review, it didn’t seem like there was any space created for honest, constructive criticism about Chance The Rapper’s debut album.

Then, I took the time to actually read and sit with many of the album reviews written by hip hop’s white-boy writer clubs such as Stereogum, and the commentary feels super harsh. I even tried to go back and find songs on the “owbum” that I absolutely hated. And I couldn’t. I had to step in and say something.

Y’all, The Big Day isn’t that bad. In fact, I think it’s a fire and super on-brand debut for a young newlywed who is learning to balance fame, groupies, God and family. 

The biggest flaw on The Big Day is the curation of the songs, the structuring. It seems Chance threw every song he had in his cannon onto The Big Day, and did so without much rhyme or reason. That’s why The Big Day feels like a hard listen.

Whenever an artist delivers a project that’s too long for me to digest, I make a playlist of songs to my liking. So, in my album review of The Big Day, I took the liberty of reordering the tracklist so listeners can see the gold in Chance’s debut. The tracklist trims the fat narratively and also creates a smooth listening experience that takes you on a journey rather than a sonic game of pinball. Presentation can make or break an album, and I feel that, with a little restructuring, The Big Day is a timeless joint that fully captures and embraces an intimate moment in Chance’s life.

5 Year Plan

Chance raps, “Are you ready for The Big Day? // I don’t know, but you’re well on your way.” So we’re not sure why Chance would place this track in the 15th spot. That’s well after track no. 9, “The Big Day.” This song sounds hopeful and the tone builds as if something big is coming. An elder gives us the prophetic message that, “the time has come.” And Chance talks about long-term plans for himself and his family. Easily an album opener. NEXT. 

Let’s Go On The Run

This feels like an introduction to Kirsten, the lovely lady who’s got Chancellor smitten. “Hey there, lovely sister//Won’t you come home to your mister?//I’ve got plans to hug and kiss ya,” Chance sings on the hook. This track also evokes the feelings of butterflies; you know, the ones you get when you’ve found your soulmate.

We Go High

This is the perfect place for a track named after our forever FLOTUS Michelle Obama’s 2016 speech, “They go low, We go high.” Chance messed up. He’s a young man with fame, and plenty of ladies chasing after him. It happens. “My baby mama went celibate // lies on my breath, she say she couldn’t take the smell of it,” he raps in the opening lines. And this is the song where he looks to God for how to stay the course, to make things right with his girl.


If you really study the construction of your favorite albums, track no. 4 never fails. It’s always heat. Artists always put a certified single right here. “Eternal” deserves this spot. Narratively, the plans are made, he’s met the girl and they’ve had some ups and downs. Here I’m imagining “Eternal” as the proposal. Chance isn’t tryna be the “side nigga.” He tryna make this thing forever. He raps, “We can be Eternal,” which is imagining their future. This song feels like summertime Chi, and showing up to a backyard function or family barbecue with a shiny new rock on your finger. Hugs, kisses and stepping. Also, Smino glides beautifully on this track. This is the jam on the owbum

Photo Ops (Skit)

Gotta love Pops (a.k.a., John Witherspoon). There’s never a moment where his voice doesn’t immediately make you smile. So having him on this skit about brotherhood and family makes perfect sense. We’re in the hours before The Big Day. Whatever personal issues or beefs Chance got with his little brother Taylor or his boys right now needs to go away. Fast! It’s time to get fly and get mentally prepared for The Big Day and smile for the camera!


Yes, after a skit called Photo Ops, there should be a song about looking good. “Baby, I look good. I look handsome,” he rap-sings in that signature raspy voice of his. Chance is feeling himself. He’s probably in the mirror, posing with his boys. He’s all lined up and fresh in his white suit. This track is the one that gets you pumped up to go out in front of all of those people and marry the girl of your dreams. 

The Big Day

The title track should feel special. AND it is special. Chance intimately draws us into the calm, emotional moment before the I Do’s in his singing: “I can’t believe it // Must be the luckiest guy alive.” The song builds with an intense instrumental break, sonically communicating the mental freak-out that is happening while a man is standing at the altar, alone. Is this happening? Is she going to show up? Did I remember the ring? What if I forget my vows? Forever ever ever? Any critic who says this is the worst song ever is trash. It’s art. That’s why I placed it in the no. 7 spot, next to songs that don’t distract from the moment.   

Town On The Hill

I’m crying here. This track is the love song of the album. Kirsten showed up. She’s walking down the aisle. Chance is crying and thanking God. It only makes sense to place this track here as a continuation of The Big Day

I Got You (Always and Forever)

I’ll admit: when I saw “Always and Forever,” I thought it was gonna be a sample of the legendary old-school track by Heatwave, which would have been PEAK BLACK WEDDING VIBES. Nevertheless, this 90s, New Jack Swing groove is that song that every DJ plays at a wedding reception to get everybody — young and old — on the dancefloor. It also centers his wife, as it should since his wife will be at the center of his life from now on, always and forever. “Ever since I kissed her // Everyone seem like they got something to say // Like the day after the big day // Is supposed to be super bad like we won’t stay.” Chance is committed, and he doesn’t care what anyone else says about his relationship with his wife. He also wants her to tune out the critics, too. 

Found A Good One (Single No More)

We’re still in a 90s grind with SWV’s vocals and a subtle juke beat. It is a Chicago wedding reception after all, right? Truthfully, Chance could’ve made this entire song into a juke track and took out the reminiscent children’s choir harmonies, so we could really cut up. 

Big Fish

It was difficult to find a song to follow “Found a Good One (Single No More)”’s juke outro. Here, the wedding reception is dying down and the newlyweds are dipping out to go do what newlyweds do. “Big Fish” sounds like a parking lot pimpin’ track. A riding-off-into-the-sunset-with-the-top-off track.  Narratively, it would’ve been nice to see more of an OG conversation between Gucci Mane — a reformed, married man — and Chance — a newbie in the marriage game. But what they’ve got here still works because the tempo gives us a nice smooth vibe that leads us into…

Slide Around

Another track that slaps. Chance put all of the heat at the end of his album. But, with his original track arrangement, by the time you get to the end, you’re exhausted. These songs become forgettable, because you’ve heard so many songs and so many different types of songs. With this restructuring, “Slide Around” shines. I’m imagining Chance and Kirsten honeymooning, living their best life with the people they love. “Livin’ with some people I’ma die around,” he raps on the hook. Yeah, we’re all drunk and reminiscing on the good times we’ve shared as friends as Chance enters this new chapter with his best friend. 

FINAL TRACK: Sun Come Down

Very Smart Brothers writer Panama Jackson made a good point in his critique. The last voice we hear on The Big Day is Nicki Minaj on “Zanies and Fools.” Nah, bruh. Why wouldn’t Chance be the last voice we hear on an album about his wedding day? That was a missed opportunity, in my opinion. “Sun Come Down” is the perfect outro. “7 PM thoughts in my home // Who to put in my will, who to put in my won’t,” Chance raps on the second verse. That’s deep, and that’s real as hell for someone whose entire early adulthood has played out in the limelight. He ends the verse with inspirational words to his wife, letting her know that people will always create bullshit and drama around them. But as a married couple, they have to trust in their foundation and their belief in God when things get rough. He raps, “And when they go into the comments, we like a comet // don’t look down, don’t look down.”

Here’s what we cut and why:

Suburban white boys would be furious about the songs I cut, but the common theme for this restructuring was that these songs are fun but not relevant to the narrative. 

Roo: Taylor is RAPPING rapping but I’m not sure why it’s so aggressive…? Bro could have hit us with the, I’m not losing a brother, I’m gaining a sister, perspective, and I would have been all ears. Cool song, but not on this album. 

Hot Shower: Dope beat. DaBaby went off. Maybe it could have went on an EP with “GRoCERIES” because what is this song about? (I’m still gone play it though). 

All Day Long: Not bad, but it doesn’t add anything special. 

Do You Remember: I know y’all are mad at me by now, but seriously this album is too long and there are too many slow songs. This one is not about The Big Day so…

Get a Bag: This one hurts because Calboy did his thing and I’m feeling anti-Black right now for cutting him. That’s the thing. These songs are not bad. Maybe Chance should’ve gave this one to Calboy for his debut album. 

Balling Flossin: Somebody on the internets said that H&M can’t wait to get ahold of this track for their in-store playlist and they are absolutely right. I look forward to bopping to this as I stand in the checkout line. But if we are talking about trimming the fat, this song doesn’t fit in my arrangement. Chance doesn’t even start rapping until a minute and 30 seconds into the song. You’re mostly just vibing to the house beat.

Zanies and Fools: The Barbz gon be mad, but one Nicki Minaj feature is enough for this incredibly personal album. Nicki Minaj climatically singing, “it’s possible to me,” makes no sense as an ending on an album about Chance’s wedding. 

4 Quarters in the Black and Our House skits: I have mixed feelings about the skits. I love the nostalgia and the way Chance gives legendary Black actors a platform. But the length of the skits really slowed down the album without adding much. 

As you can see, I’ve cut enough material to make another album. Don’t let the fact that Chance gave too much make you miss out on the actual gems he gave. I’m about to jump back into my re-imagined album right now.