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Paris Beat: Chance the Rapper Rocks Le Zénith in Paris, Brings Crowd Together with Balanced, Uplifting Set

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A fun night with Chance ends in a series of touching moments.

This past Monday (Nov. 14th), Chance the Rapper’s Magnificent Coloring World Tour arrived in Paris. Performing at the prestigious Le Zénith, Chance brought opening acts Jay Prince and Samm Henshaw along for the trip. As the crowd found their seats and some headed to the pit, Henshaw, a singer from London, performed. Soon after, Prince, a rapper from London, performed some of his hits. Songs like “Father, Father” and “Where You Belong” blared through the stadium speakers. Their music was well received. Then Chance crashed the show and proceeded to exceed any expectations that the crowd at Le Zénith might of had.

Chance began with “Angels,” a track off of Coloring Book, and the tone for the show was set, letting everybody know that Chance’s gospel was in good form. During his set, Chance weaved between Coloring Book, Acid Rap, Surf, 10 Day and back again. The surprising part was that no one in the crowd seemed to miss a beat. It felt like everyone there knew the lyrics to every song. Even Chance was surprised. At one point, after performing songs off of Acid Rap, Chance went as far to say something to the effect of, “So it seems like you guys know my Acid Rap stuff pretty well.” The crowd laughed, but his comment rang true for all the music in his set.

The main thing I took away from Chance’s show is that he’s a balanced artist. He can give you music to dance and think to. Most times, you’re doing both simultaneously. Coming into the night, I knew the songs, I heard the projects, but I didn’t quite realize how balanced he was. That’s the beauty of a set list. A testament to this balance was when he went from “Ultralight Beam” into “Mixtapes,” then “All We Got” and “Sunday Candy.” Chance’s “Ultralight Beam” verse off of The Life of Pablo is known for it’s simplistic and uplifting nature. “Mixtapes” features Young Thug and Lil Yachty in a fairly toned down turn up nature (unless you hear it banging through stadium speakers.) “All We Got” is another track, akin to “Ultralight Beam,” that uplifts and speaks to the importance of music. “Sunday Candy,” as fun as it is, stays true to his gospel roots while making you dance.

Having fun was a big part of the show. A seated view at Le Zénith was worth the money, but a chance to stand amongst the crowd was invaluable. The energy in the stadium was exciting. An opportunity to connect with Chance and thousands of others on the floor, in the pit, was truly worth the ticket price. For me, no moment exudes this more than when Chance took time out of his set to address racism in America. In a talk that lasted about five minutes, he pointed out that black men and women were still being racially profiled and murdered, the election was a mess, and inequality still existed, but a change could arise. When he finished speaking, his message of hope was clear and sobering. And I noticed that there was a sea of raised fists in the air by nearly every black person in the venue. It was a strong showing of unity and a reminder of how music connects us together around the world.

Chance ended the show with “Blessings (Reprise).” It was a fitting ending because a song with lines like, “Are you ready for your blessings? Are you ready for your miracle?” could be applied to a career that has seen an improbable rise in the last few years.

The music and video below is presented here for the purpose of scholarship.

Chance the Rapper Ft. 2 Chainz & Lil Wayne – “No Problem”

Chance the Rapper Ft. Ty Dolla $ign, Raury, BJ the Chicago Kid, & Anderson .Paak

Jay Prince – “Father, Father”

Samm Henshaw – “Our Love”

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About Author

Amir Ali Said is Managing Editor at BeatTips. A writer, actor, and filmmaker from New York (now based in Paris), Amir is also the Co-Founder of Superchamp Books and Clock Theory. Follow him on Twitter at: @amiralisaid