Chance the Optimist...or Chance the Petty Ex?

Chance the Optimist...or Chance the Petty Ex?

I completely understand not wanting to engage with an ex, but running away in order to be the man you hope to be sounds a bit extreme.

Chance the Optimist...or Chance the Petty Ex?

I completely understand not wanting to engage with an ex, but running away in order to be the man you hope to be sounds a bit extreme.

Chance The Rapper has been making headlines all year, but most recently due to him hinting at a collaborative effort with Childish Gambino -- and a separate one with Kanye West -- that he confirmed. Fans grew impatient, and some thought Chance had an album coming this week. He confirmed that was not the case, but he was in the studio working. Then, on the night of July 18th he surprised us with four new tracks: “Work Out,” “I Might Need Security,” “Wala Cam” and “65th and Ingleside.” All of the tracks are unique and half of them are pleasing on the ears, but I’d really like to talk about “Work Out.”

I tuned into the track on Spotify and there wasn’t a description for it, so I didn’t know what to expect. The track opens with upbeat, feel-good sounds before he goes into the chorus. It’s your standard optimistic Lil Chano hook saying, “Today I missed my workout, but it worked out/Now I’m missing work now, but it worked out/Had my first kid, I love how she turned out, I love how she turned out/Even if I’m burnt out.” I figured it would be a cute track praising his fiance and kid, and then the first verse begins.

“Luckily, my ex ugly/I don't eat, so she can't get no lunch with me/I don't reach, so she can't get in touch with me/Can't be buds with me/Don't know what to be/She gon' cuss at me/Told her ‘give it a rest,’ so I keep custody.” This is when I began laughing. How did we even get here? He ends the verse confessing he wishes the best for his exes, and my immediate impression of the song is that he’s flexing on his exes.

Being a successful rapper, philanthropist, Grammy winner, and having a beautiful child all make Chancelor Bennett’s life one worthy of envy. He’s always taken the nice-guy route, though, which is why this song was so intriguing to me. It comes off very sarcastic and dismissive to his ex-girlfriends. It’s like, “Oh, I’m famous, engaged, and I got a kid, my life is good. Oh, but don’t worry, y’all will be good too, I’m sure.” Especially because he continually references how they can’t be in his presence or communicate with him.

He continues that theme in the second verse with “Sorry I started runnin’ when you ran into me/I’m just tryna be the kinda man ima be.” I completely understand not wanting to engage with an ex, but running away in order to be the man you hope to be sounds a bit extreme. Unless you’re afraid of them, it’s childish.

It’s not all slights at exes, though. In fact, in verse three, he throws a wrench in the whole thing. “We all gon' meet up in the up, in the upper room/If I run into em', I'll be ru-running to em'/We could re-run the show, we can re-bump into em'/Maybe we read the wrong one, we could re-jump the broom/If we read the wrong one, baby we jump the broom.” Given his consistent references to God and Christianity, I take this as him saying he will see all of them in Heaven and be happy enough about it that he’d run to them. This last part comes off as Chance providing a glimmer of hope for them.

The Apple Music description is also quite hilarious, as it basically calls him out on flexing by mentioning his engagement. I don’t think this makes Chance a bad guy by any means, but I can see why some of his exes may feel a bit jaded by this song. He politely brags about how good his life is over a happy-sounding beat, while assuring them theirs will work out too. We shall see what else Chance has in store for us and when the album actually drops, but for now, enjoy his new singles.