Chance the Rapper's Hella Hectic Christmas Music Week

Posted by Billyjam, December 22, 2016 06:00pm | Post a Comment

Topping off an incredibly successful year, that included recently nabbing seven Grammy nominations including Best New Artist and Best Rap Album for his critically and commercially acclaimed 2016 album Coloring Book, Chance the Rapper threw himself into the Christmas music spirit this past week. The 23 year old Chicago born and proud rapper has had a hella productive past five days in the Christmas music spirit that began with his viral hit performance of "Jingle Barack" on SNL, included a special Christmas music DJ set (and interview) at BBC1 radio yesterday, and topped it all off today with the surprise release of a Christmas mixtape with fellow Chicago artist, the Def Jam singer/producer Jeremih. Posted to Soundcloud this morning (two days later than initially planned) under the title  Merry Christmas Lil' Mama, it's a (free) nine track mixtape of newly recorded tracks with some mic guests joining in the festive musical mix. It's a real nice laid back 32 minute mix too, which you can hear below, with such tracks as "Chi Town Christmas," "I'm Your Santa," "Snowed In," "All The Way (feat. Hannibal Buress)," "The Tragedy (feat. Noname),"  and “I Shoulda Left You (feat. Lud Foe)."

Last week the Windy City 2016 breakout star was in New York at the NBC studios rehearsing for the final Saturday Night Live of the year (Jan 14 2017 is next episode) on which he did a few songs. He performed both “Finish Line/Drown” and “Same Drugs” off his Coloring Book album with support from Francis and the Lights and Noname respectively. He even infused some extra Christmas spirit into his set with the newly added lyrics: “Jesus, it’s your birthday…..happy birthday, Jesus.”

Then of course was his SNL cast collaboration of “Jingle Barack” which was his parody (more in style and spirit than in actual music/beats) of Run-D.M.C.’s 1987 holiday classic “Christmas in Hollis” (recently reissued for RSD on vinyl picture disc). The Barack Obama tribute video clip below featured clips of the outgoing president plus a quick clip of Trump with Kanye, and Chance decked out in a style from a decade before he was born. He was joined by the SNL cast including Kenan Thompson and Leslie Jones (she's a good rapper!) plus SNL host Casey Affleck (as Jesus) breaking.

Chance the Rapper's Christmas Top Five

1: The Jackson 5 "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town"

2: Kanye West "Christmas In Harlem"

3: DJ Rashad "Itz Not Rite"

4: Donny Hathaway "This Christmas"

5: Chance the Rapper "Merry Christmas (feat. Alex Wiley)"

Yesterday (Dec 21st) Chance the Rapper (aka Lil Chano from 79th) was over in the UK where he stopped by Huw Stephens BBC1 radio show to chop it up and be guest DJ selecting Christmas songs. See the his top five above that he played as well as chatting with the BBC radio host about a variety of topics including been at a Sam Smith show at Glastonbury, his approach to the economics of music sales (he famously gives away music for free), and the honor of playing the ESPYs where he did a tribute to the late Muhammad Ali whom he compared to his pops. As reported last month by the Irish concert production company MCD, Chance abruptly cancelled the last three remaining dates of the European leg of his world tour. He didn't however go into why he had cancelled  these dates during yesterday's relaxed radio session but did note how "2016 kinda sucked" in which he referenced "the elections" and how "a lot legends passed away." But overall he kept it upbeat and festive, even saying "Happy Christmas" rather than "Merry Chritmas" as they do in England: something that he first heard in a Harry Potter movie. "Christmas is my favorite time of the year" he said adding how, along with Thanksgiving, before playing a selection of songs spanning several decades and including one for one of his musical heroes, "for little Michael,”  as he said in reference to The Jackson 5 version of “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town.”

Chance the Rapper "Jingle Barack" on SNL (2016)

Chance the Rapper on BBC1 with Huw Stephens (2016)

Chance the Rapper + Jeremih "Happy Christmas Lil Mama" Soundcloud (2016)

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