For a guy so justly famous and successful, it’s still weird to think that Chance The Rapper has never sold a single album. But releasing his uniformly lauded mixtapes 10 Day, Acid Rap, and Coloring Book for free has certainly paid off for the Chicago rapper, actor, and philanthropist, as he’s not just starring in movies, guesting on multiple records, having wily fugitive alligators named in his honor, donating millions to good causes, and occasionally selling you a candy bar, he’s also now a professional “nostalgia consultant,” and part-time antelope.
Running down his multi-faceted pursuits on The Tonight Show on Tuesday, Chance told Jimmy Fallon that his pal, Lion King star, and occasional collaborator Donald Glover/Childish Gambino got him a gig on the recent Lion King remake. Chance told Fallon how thrilled he was to act as director Jon Favreau’s designated expert on “what 90s kids liked” about the original movie. (Favreau presumedly went to other sources in choosing the video cutscene, uncanny valley vibe of his GCI reimagining.) Apart from all that, Chance revealed that he was also in the movie, not that anyone will pick his very recognizable voice out of various backgrounds where he—as he demonstrated—did his best chewing antelope impression, among others.
Speaking of reveals, Chance also chose Fallon’s Tonight Show as the venue to finally unveil the cover art, release date, and title of his long-awaited first album (that you have to actually pay for). Not that there wasn’t some negotiating going on, with Fallon whipping out his phone to prove to the no-nonsense Chance that he had, in fact, pre-ordered the previously untitled record from Chance’s website. That verifiably done, Chance first let Fallon show off the cover—a striking photograph of a hand holding up a transparent CD dappled with raindrops (or diamonds)—then, choosing a camera for maximum effect, he announced:
My name is Chance the Rapper and I will be releasing my debut album on July 26, entitled The Big Day.
(That sound you just heard was millions of people clicking “purchase” on Chance’s website. Assuming they have the volume turned on.)
And while we all now have to actually give Chance money to enjoy his work, the rapper told Fallon that his nonprofit foundation Social Works will continue to make good use of the revenue. Acknowledging his previous donation of a cool million dollars to Chicago’s public schools, Chance revealed that he’s recently donated another million to Chicago mental health services after realizing, as he put it, that mental health issues affect a “higher frequency in my friendships or relationships.” “It’s just closer than I thought it was,” Chance explained, providing yet another reason to order The Big Day in advance of the big release day.