Chance the Rapper and Chiddy Bang: A transition in hype

To say the least, we were all well informed that Chance the Rapper was unable to appear at Wheaton this past Spring Weekend. With his lack of appearance came the slow downward trickle of the hype that surrounded the raper on campus. The quick replacement of Chance with Chiddy Bang was both impressive and necessary in sustaining the same levels of potential adrenaline regarding Spring Weekend as a whole. The attention that was drawn to the performance on Friday night seemed to be just as necessary as the quality of the performer himself.

Although excitement, expectations, and energy may have been higher had Chance been able to perform on Friday, these characteristics are subjective. It is difficult to compare the energy charged behind both Chance and Chiddy due to the circumstances that they had been placed under. However, it is the transition of the energy and hype that propelled the ultimate performance forward from what had been expected of Spring Weekend.

There were many mixed feelings about Chance the Rapper’s appearance leading up to Spring Weekend, and the ultimate disappointing news that he had became severely ill in the week leading up to his performance. Some, including myself, were absolutely thrilled that he would being coming to Wheaton. As a rapper building an increasingly positive reputation in the industry, many were hesitant merely because they had never heard of him or of his work. Unfamiliarity, in this context, reputation does not work well as a fluid motivator in supporting the decision of the Programming Council. Chance’s work is starting to carve a very important path in the music industry, and his fluency in attention and adaptation to both the conventional and his own personal voice and “flow”. Chance’s hype took a large amount of time to fully develop, and just when his hype had peaked, he was unable to perform. This created a massive sigh of disappointment within the Wheaton community, but the potential for a decent replacement was on the campus’s horizon.

In the short amount of time given and taken to find a replacement, Chiddy Bang felt like more of a sigh of relief than a spark of excitement that slightly resembled that of Chance. Many individuals were actually more excited to attend Chiddy’s performance than Chance’s (or so I heard). I, personally, prefer Chance’s work to Chiddy’s, which resulted in an unshakable feeling of disappointment in the advancement to Friday. Since Chance is still developing and Chiddy is just below his peak, perhaps this was the root of my disappointment. A growing artist has a different, infectious energy to both their performances and their work, as their work becomes more of a fluidity of personable voice than a stagnant decline of potential. Others, however, found comfort in being able to fully recognize Chiddy’s reputation and work, which is completely rational.

However, booking Chance to play at Spring Weekend was not a risk on the Programming Council’s part. Chance is a quality performer and upcoming artist that needs to be immersed in before becoming fully distinguishable and reputable to many in the public. I applaud the Programming Council’s hard work and quality yet time sensitive decision-making and commitment to making Spring Weekend possible. Although hype had not stayed consistent in the upcoming weeks (as should not be expected in a situation like this), the transition was successful.