Chance The Rapper At Metro

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By Ramon Alvarez-Smikle

Over the past year, Chicago has proved to be a hotbed for emerging hip-hop artists. From Kids These Days to Chief Keef, the hip-hop buzz out of the Windy City has continued to grow. But the artist garnering arguably the most buzz is South Side Chicago native Chance The Rapper. Born Chancelor Bennett, Chance The Rapper's ability to mix storytelling with great, almost sneaky metaphors has him leading the charge in the resurgence of Chicago rap. And hot on the heels of his critically acclaimed second full-length mixtape, Acid Rap, Chance seems poised to make the jump to the next level of his career.

On May 25 eager fans packed inside the historic Metro Chicago for the first of two sold-out shows in Chance's hometown. The energy was electric as fans waited through a 30-minute set by rapper Mikey Rocks, formally of the Cool Kids. As Mikey Rocks exited the stage, the anticipation in the crowd grew stronger with each passing second. Chance's DJ Oreo spent the next 10 minutes hyping up the crowd, readying them for Chance's arrival.

Finally, at 8:45 p.m. Chance The Rapper took the stage to wild roars from the audience of 1,200 fans. He opened with "Brain Cells," a track from his debut mixtape 10 Day, a great way to ease the crowd into his high-energy 90-minute set, which took fans through some of his popular tracks.

The energy level of the crowd never ceased throughout the entire night as Chance weaved through "Pusha Man," "Smoke Again" and "Juice." Audience members' hands were in the air for the majority of the night as they excitedly rapped along with the songs, word for word.

The set ended with Chance bringing out his entire Save Money crew to perform an earlier early track, "F*** You Tahm Bout." Not a single hand was resting as Chance playfully danced onstage and ran across the first row, giving high fives to anyone who reached for one.

Obviously overwhelmed by the massive amount of support, Chance took a moment to thank the crowd for coming, and for all they have done for him. He exited the stage to cheers of "encore" from everyone in attendance. The lights dimmed and, once again, the crowd anxiously awaited his return to the stage.

Chance returned to perform four more songs, including "Interlude (That's Love)" and a live version of the Nosaj Thing-produced hidden track from Acid Rap, "Paranoia," which featured former Kids These Days members Nico Segal, Gregory Landflair and Macie Stewart.

It was a great way to end an energetic and fun-filled night, and an amazing first of two homecomings for one of Chicago's rising music stars.  

To catch Chance The Rapper in a city near you, click here for tour dates.

Set List:

"Brain Cells"
"Acid Rain"
"Hey Ma"
"Pusha Man" (featuring Lili K.)
"Smoke Again"
"Everybody's Something"
"Favorite Song"
"Cocoa Butter Kisses" (featuring Vic Mensa)
"F*** You Tahm Bout"
"Interlude (That's Love)"
"Paranoia" (featuring Gregory Landflair, Nico Segal and Macie Steward)
"Everything's Good" (Good Ass Outro)
"Chain Smoker"

(Ramon Alvarez-Smikle works as the GRAMMY U representative for The Recording Academy Chicago Chapter. He has interviewed artists such as M83, Toro Y Moi and Porter Robinson, among others. He has been published on many online blogs and websites over the past year, including 

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