Build it and they will come.
But will they like it?
"It" is "Magnificent Coloring World," one of four events held in Chicago on Saturday by Chance the Rapper, Chicago’s hometown hip-hop hero whose latest gospel-rap mixtape “Coloring Book” has the masses singing its praises. And "they" are Chance's loyal, day-one “10 Day” fans, who flocked to his website to purchase the unknown.
Where would it be? TBD. What? It’s a surprise! Why? Because Chance, an artist who has based his business model on selling everything but music, can.
A Reddit user got to the point: “I just payed (sic) $85 for two tickets and I have no idea what the (expletive) this is. Channo save me.”
Chance's Twitter teased on Wednesday: “not what you think.”
OK, so, a giant coloring book party? A communal viewing of “Space Jam”? Chance hologram? Kanye?
Chano save us.
An email arrived Friday afternoon: “Chance is excited to welcome you into his world on Saturday.” A second email followed warning that revealing the meeting location, the Pulaski International School of Chicago at 2230 W. McLean Ave., would result in revoked admission.
Would we be kidnapped?
At the 2 p.m., “All Ages Experience #1,” a long line formed outside the promised yellow school buses, nine total, to transport around 600 passengers. In front of us, a daughter who brought her mom said she drove all the way from Ohio.
"It's like Willy Wonka right now," a young fan said to the duo.
The buses took off 20 minutes after 2 p.m. and with every turn, heads raised higher. The bus finally entered a lot with warehouses to the left. Another narrow turn opened up into a parking area with an industrial building lined by porta-potties.
This is it?
After more waiting, with anxious mumbles rising from the crowd, a door opened into a dimly lit warehouse. But in the corner there was a ... shrub? And the ground was AstroTurf. Then lights turned on. And then, a welcoming tune: "Are you ready ... ?"
Projected on a sheet-screen was a technicolor collage: Chance dancing in a talent show, animated birds flying off into the distance, a "10 Day" Letterman, "Edward Scissorhands" and the Joker splattering paint onto museum art.
And then, madness.
The sheets fell down and everyone plunged forward into what was, at first look, a magnificent, overwhelming world. Coloring books and magic markers were spread out on picnic tables. Buckets of ice, filled with Kiwi Mistics (no Flaming Hots), dotted the turf. There was a bounce house. And a blow-up slide. A long line formed for balloon animals. The "Sunday Candy" corner had stands giving out free Reese's and Fruit by the Foot.
To the right of the candy shop was a church, with a line of pews extending back to a dance-floor, white-papered cylinder. Behind was a blank wall, as wide as an oversized chalkboard, which would soon be filled with messages of praise. "Thank you 4 saving hip-hop," read a blue-scrawled message, circled over and over.
Chance the Rapper headlined the Power 92 15th Anniversary Concert at the Chicago Theatre on April 8, 2016, in Chicago.
There were no rules. Just a playground.
The album played through the speakers in this pop-up nostalgia club, as dancers emerged for "Juke Jam," "All Night" and a hefty footwork session in the Chance splattered-portrait area. When the album came to an end with "Blessings," the Chicago Children's Choir was ushered out of a curtain behind the church and added on to the album with a final a cappella chorus.
And that was it.
The crowd exited and after word of the buses running late surfaced, a mass exodus began. In the crowd of those of us who stuck around for the buses, a half-hearted chant popped up: "We want Chance."
A blow-up balloon popped.
"I wish I could've seen him," said a fan who drove eight hours for the experience, "but it seemed to deliver the message he was going for."
"At first I thought it was gonna be cool, but right now I think it's (expletive) stupid," said a DePaul student. "We paid $40, and we were expecting Chance to come out at the end."
"I felt blessed," countered a person who came from the suburbs.
And according to reports, Chance did make appearances at the subsequent events, masquerading in a Benny the Bull costume. Too bad for the first adventurers.
So now, aside from being a Kanye prodigy, busing summer-camp kids to Chicago museums, hosting monthly open-mic events and raising money to buy coats for the homeless, Chance can add immersive-experience creator to his resume. It was up to each "Magnificent Coloring World"-goer to fill in the blanks.
Chance the Rapper is hosting some thing, some where
Chance the Rapper makes freedom sing on 'Coloring Book'
Chance the Rapper's 'Coloring Book' released
Watch behind-the-scenes footage of Chance the Rapper's 'Angels' video
Check out the latest movie reviews from Michael Phillips and the Chicago Tribune.
Dick Wolf, the mega-producer behind the "Chicago" series, says he even has an idea for a fifth Chicago show, but he won't say what it is. What will poor Dick Wolf do when he runs out of Chicago ideas? We are here to save the day:
Check out reviews for all new music releases from Tribune music critic Greg Kot.
Our editors found this article on this site using Google and regenerated it for our readers.
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