“The Man Who Has Everything”- Chance The Rapper
On Nov. 29, Chance the Rapper unexpectedly released two new tracks, “The Man Who Has Everything” and “My Own Thing,” featuring Joey Purp, to keep up the hype for his upcoming album. “The Man Who Has Everything” is a reflective song, in which Chance takes a step back to look at a litany of issues ranging from the racial strife currently plaguing the country to prepping for married life and fatherhood.
The song incorporates soulful sampling, eerily reminiscent of tracks from Kanye West’s first album, College Dropout—this makes sense, seeing as Chance is West’s self-proclaimed “best protégé.” Chance raps smoothly in a low, monotone voice, a tool he has used in his more reflective songs since his Acid Rap days. For most of the song, the beat takes a backseat, as Chance lets some thoughts off his chest, but that’s not to say that the chorus doesn’t play a prominent role in the record, as the sample softly sings: “Love me forever, that’s all I ask of you.” The subject of the song remains unnamed, adding an element of ambiguity to the song. Songs like these don’t necessarily exemplify Chance’s fun side, but they showcase his message, as he reflects on his life and the lives of those around him.
“Christmas Song”- Phoebe Bridgers
Phoebe Bridgers, a young and successful Los Angeles singer/songwriter, has decided to fully commit to the Christmas season and release a new track, aptly titled “Christmas Song.” The song is actually a cover of a 2008 song by McCarthy Trenching, an Omaha-based band. Unlike most Christmas songs, however, this track is far from cheerful. It tackles the loneliness one might feel during the holiday season.
The instrumentation is low and somber, and Bridgers’ voice comes into the forefront, soothingly detailing what it’s like to return home for the holidays and be surrounded by those you love, yet still feeling somewhat distant.
The chorus delves into these feelings, as Bridgers sings: “You don’t have to be alone to be lonesome.” The song is depressing, but it addresses issues that many may feel coming home for the holidays. It’s a very 2018 song and somewhat relatable, as everyone can associate with the feeling of returning home for the holidays and seeing greatly missed friends and family, all while grappling with the struggle of leaving loved ones for the winter break. Bridgers delivers a quality song about the downside of holidays and how some things may just be out of control.
“Excited” – Saba
This has been an important year for Saba: His sophomore album, Care For Me, was released in April and is still considered by many to be one of the better, if not the best rap album of the year. Saba has kept up his winning ways, releasing a song a week. His fourth single in four weeks, “Excited,” draws listeners in with a vivacious flow and pumped up lyrics.
The cover photo for the single shows Saba seated in his car, contemplatively looking out the window. His face, reflected in the side mirror, reveals a deeply focused Saba, excited for what’s to come. The energy is reflected perfectly in the song, as Saba is clearly having fun recording the lyrics. The beat is bouncy and fun, as Saba discusses the fun he has with his life and recent success, and how he can’t be held down.
In fact, he goes as far as waving goodbye to anyone who might want to hold him back. The flow is both rapid and engulfing, and listeners can’t help but share the artist’s joy. Unlike his most recent album—a moving, coming-of-age story that details his life and the death of his friend—this track is just about taking a breath, enjoying where you’re at, and being excited for the future.
Featured Image by Chance the Rapper