Chance The Rapper’s Manic, Manifold Excellence
If you want to understand how Chance The Rapper unifies disparate worlds, understand this: He recorded a song with James Blake and then brought Justin Bieber on stage while performing it at Coachella. The Bieber appearance will be the most talked-about part of Chance’s whirlwind performance, but pick just about any moment if you’re looking for highlights. Chance chose to put “rapper” in his stage name, but he did everything Sunday — rapped at blistering pace in his own wildly unusually cadences, sang in that appealingly grizzled rasp his verses often veer into, wiggled with the joyous showmanship of Cab Calloway. He did all this in front of the Social Experiment, a live band that actually made his show more kinetic rather than undercutting the oomph as rappers’ live bands often do. The combined effect was a sense that Chance’s potential is endless and that he’s a new breed of performer for a new generation. This is what the hardest working man in showbiz looks like in 2014.