Written by: Josh Zegans
Photos by: Josh Zegans
Philadelphia’s Electric Factory was brought to life during the month of October. With appearances ranging from Franz Ferdinand to Kraftwerk, the venue was filled with concertgoers from all around the city.
On Oct. 22, one of the most notable performers for the month was contemporary hip-hop artist Chance the Rapper. Known for his youthful appearance and trend-setting social media coverage, the artist struck a chord with many young fans, including students at Temple University.
Known for his large influence over the rap music genre in the past three years, Chance the Rapper brought many friends and fellow artists into Philly for the Family Matters Tour: a one-night, festival-style show. Although limited to just one stage, the rapper was able to bring a wide array of genres into Electric Factory. Some of these artists include larger names like Hiatus Kaiyote, D.R.A.M. and Towkio, who is a rapper similar to Chance that brings influence from his mixed racial background to amplify his “beats.” Each were able to amplify the excitement of the crowd prior to Chance’s performance, making fans even crazier than what was expected.
Being an avid concert-goer as well, I trekked out to the concert hall for the Family Matters Tour. I had seen Chance the Rapper’s work prior to the show and had fallen in love with his music. His presence is well known throughout New York, my home state. He has performed alongside fellow rapper Childish Gambino numerous times and the duo is often coupled together for their distinct voices and “goofy” lyrics.
Many people may see rap concerts as excuses to go out and “party,” but each artist tries to bring a unique form of self-expression. Hip-hop music is just as much of an art form as a painting, where the speaker is projecting his views to the spectator. Chance the Rapper is able to harness this power in a way that speaks to the millennial generation. His music relates with themes of self-identity and rebellion, especially in songs like “Wanna Be Cool,” or just making a crowd-pleasing gesture in his set-opening song, “Everybody’s Something.”
The crowd swooned over these idolized songs we hear all over the Internet. While many concerts allow for an atmosphere of raising phones for “selfies” and videos, many kept their phones at-bay in order to preserve an experience without technology. Chance has made it so we don’t have to add a filter to a show that already brings so much of a vibrant experience.
While many hip-hop artists try to idolize a violent drug culture, Chance the Rapper has made a name that disproves the rap stigma. He has made a “clean” name for himself in the rap industry. Although he may talk about inebriation in his songs, his overall message is to make people feel like a part of this world. Chance is here to stay and if possible, try to grab a ticket to the Family Matters Tour.