Staff Pick: Chance the Rapper at Nationwide Arena

Andy Downing

There's no more joyous a sound in modern music than Chance the Rapper's trademark squawk — a pronounced, parrot-like exultation that serves as a verbal exclamation point of sorts. (Even if it sometimes falls at the start of a song, such as it does on “No Problem.”)

Exuberance has defined the Chicago MC's music since he first emerged in 2010 with his10 Day mixtape, carrying through his solo work (Acid Rap, from 2013, and last year'sColoring Book) as well as his 2015 collaboration with Donnie Trumpet & the Social Experiment,Surf. But Chance's enthusiasm doesn't supersede his curiosity, and he's continually written tracks that explore those higher, guiding powers, be it earthbound (“Sunday Candy” was written for and about his grandmother) or heavenly (a spiritual element definesColoring Book cuts like the gospel-tinged “How Great” and “Blessings,” where the rapper boasts that he and God are mutual fans).

Even better, Chance is employing whatever lessons he's absorbed in this search, whether it means pushing Illinois governor Bruce Rauner to better fund Chicago Public Schools or turning out verses about cleaning up the city streets “so my daughter can have somewhere to play.” Is it too early to start the Take a Chance in 2020 campaign push?

Nationwide Arena

7 p.m. Tuesday, May 16

200 W. Nationwide Blvd., Arena District