Day 219: “You Song” feat. Chance the Rapper – Dedication 5, 2013
At this point, there’s basically no cool person left on earth who hasn’t given Chance the Rapper their stamp of approval. President Obama was such a fan he invited Chance to play the White House multiple times. Kanye more or less handed the reins of his last album over to Chance. Even Drake, who likely sees Chance as his biggest threat for remaining rap’s one true king, was amped when Chance won big at the Grammys this year.
Yet Chance wasn’t always an A-lister, even if his 2013 mixtape Acid Rap immediately vaulted him to the upper echelon of music hype. And he didn’t always have so many fans. And while Kanye may get all the credit as the premier curator in rap because he uses other artists like instruments, Wayne has a good ear for up and comers, too. Sure, he’s always ridden inexplicably hard for artists like Lil Chuckee and Tyga, but he also put on Nicki Minaj and Drake. And on Dedication 5, it was Wayne who gave Chance the Rapper one of his biggest cosigns to date with Chance’s first real A-list collab. It’s called “You Song,” and it’s basically a Chance song. It was received that way, too, coming at Wayne’s perceived creative nadir, during a period when hunger for new music from Chance was high. That it ended up as basically a throwaway on a Wayne mixtape makes sense in the marketing disaster that is Lil Wayne’s career, but given Chance’s already-obvious star potential, it’s a bit surprising. Tomorrow, DJ Khaled is releasing his latest all-star track, typically fertile grounds for iconic Wayne appearances, and he’s hyping it up with his usual bombast. Who will it feature who is deserving of such bombast? Among others, Chance the Rapper and Lil Wayne, of course!
All of that makes this 2013 now-deep cut even more of a pleasure to remember. Chance was very much in his “Eminem at a poetry reading” rap phase, and his verse is a tangle of double entendres about baking muffins (get it) and shit with a girl. He offers up the truly iconic image of his paramour being like “Kool-Aid in a wine glass” and another of her being the “best dressed with your breasts showin’ / like a salad with no dressing.” He extols black pride and also talks about fucking in a restaurant bathroom. It’s a great verse, the rare situation where a guest hops on a track and not only gives Wayne a run for his money but appears to push Wayne to elevate his own performance (usually if Wayne gets out-rapped, which I don’t think actually happens here, it’s because he’s phoning it in).
That performance from Wayne is an uncharacteristically coherent narrative, where he seems to be doing his best attempt at being Andre 3000, giving a lovingly discursive monologue about not being in love but reminiscing over his lover’s ass crack. There’s a fantastic part where he talks about stuttering out the words “I love you too” and another about him taking a bath and goofing around trying to avoid a question on that same topic. The conclusion of the verse is a bit of a disappointment for anyone looking for a “you song” to play their own significant other, but this still might be one of Wayne’s best ever verses about relationships. That’s pretty cool, and shouts out to Chance and co. for getting it out of him.
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