Shawn Mendes, John Legend, Nicki Minaj, and More

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Shawn Mendes, John Legend, Nicki Minaj, and More

After three incredibly successful, self-released mixtapes, three Grammys wins, and many years of teasing, Chance the Rapper’s official debut album has finally arrived. The Big Day hit all streaming platforms (a first for the rapper, who has, in the past, favored Apple Music exclusive deals) on Friday. And across 22 songs, the only thing wider than the sonic scope he covers is the remarkable number of collaborators he features.

After opening with a soulful team-up with John Legend (“All Day Long”), longtime fans are finally treated to the Death Cab for Cutie collab Chance first referenced back in 2016 on “Do You Remember?,” which also features Justin Vernon and Francis and the Lights in its credits. (Vernon and Francis and the Lights also lent hands to the LP’s meditative, out-there title track as well as “Town On The Hill.”)

Zero Collective founder Smino appears on the set’s third song, “Eternal,” along with Chance’s father, Ken Bennett. Gucci Mane and Timbaland stop by on the foreboding “Big Fish” and Shawn Mendes pops up just one cut later on the skittering “Ballin Flossin.” Randy Newman (!) offers his charming warble with the rapper on the hopeful “5 Year Plan” and Nicki Minaj partners up for “Slide Around” (which also gets a lift from Pi’erre Bourne and Lil Durk) and the jubilant, album-closing “Zanies and Fools.”

Other guests include CocoRosie and Chance’s brother Taylor Bennett (“Roo), PMadeinTYO and DaBaby (“Hot Shower”), Murda Beatz (“Found a Good One (Single No More)”), and Megan Thee Stallion (“Handsome”). Ari Lennox (“I Got You (Always and Forever)”), John Witherspoon (“Photo Ops”), and Knox Fortune (“Let’s Go on the Run”), CalBoy (“Get a Bag”).

Madison Vain is a writer and editor living in New York, covering music, books, TV, and movies; prior to Esquire, she worked at Entertainment Weekly and Sports Illustrated.

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