Drake might have a stranglehold on the charts, Kanye might control the headlines, but no artist, hip-hop or otherwise, has captivated a live TV audience over the past year like Chance The Rapper.
On Wednesday, Chicago's bona fide star closed out the ESPYs with an emotionally gripping tribute to the late Muhammad Ali. The performance marked Chance's seventh national TV performance in the past 16 months, including two stops on SNL, and performances on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, and Jimmy Kimmel Live.
Chance was backed by his usual sidekicks, singer Jamila Woods, fresh off the release of her outstanding Heavn album, and Social Experiment members Donnie Trumpet and Peter Cottontale. Surprisingly, the Coloring Book author painted a musical picture that not many expected, delivering strength and passion not through raps, but through a rocky, vulnerable singing voice.
In the event Chance The Rapper wasn't a household name before yet another impactful late night performance this evening, especially with a GRAMMY-eligible "mixtape" now on his resume, he sure is now.