Thursday, April 30th, 2020

Thundercat ft. Ty Dolla $ign & Lil B – Fair Chance

A fair tribute…


Alfred Soto: The drip-drip of the beat accentuates Ty’s multi-tracked melancholy. This elegy to the late Mac Miller is by colleagues still in shock; not a hint of “celebrating a life” and all that rot. Stages of grief can be hell on the rest of us experiencing it secondhand. 

Jacob Sujin Kuppermann: A formless masterpiece — “Fair Chance” floats in on a bed of bass riffs and lingers for four minutes, never quite cohering into a song structure. It feels like a vocal version of a free jazz jam, with Thundercat providing the core loop and Dolla $ign and Lil B taking their designated areas into completely different territories. The former’s Mac Miller interpolations are corny but heartfelt, transmuted on the strength of his voice into a profound tribute. The latter sounds like how the meme of Lil B sounds rather than the actual rapper, a bit smoother than usual but still in his own world. And yet, “Fair Chance” ends up melding together well, a supreme vibe record that works on the strength of its disparate parts.

Ryo Miyauchi: A disparate elegy strung together mostly by the strength of theme but also maintains in loose orbit through the music that swirls like cosmic soup. I prefer Ty Dolla Sign’s almost stream-of-consciousness-level of soul-singing than Lil B’s probably-actually stream of consciousness rap-singing. If any of the three seems off their axis, it only feels more honest of a response to their friend’s death.

Wayne Weizhen Zhang: I’m not familiar with Mac Miller’s music, but I am familiar with the grief that comes from the loss of a friend — and this song captures it perfectly, unfurling with the gentleness and gravity of lightly drizzling rain.

Katherine St Asaph: The title is especially ironic, because anything like this, this porous thatch of guitar lines soaked through with nostalgia and wistfulness and hazy summer — is probably going to feel, for now until who knows when, like a relic of another world. And not just because the track has Lil B. (This already feels like it happened a century ago.) Under normal conditions, or at least under non-blinds-dimmed summer sun, this would be at least a [7].

Nortey Dowuona: Smoothie bass drips down the thinly constructed drums that hold up the wall to Mexico with little guitar titters drill through them as Ben Shapiro takes people on a tour of it, making the wall collapse, as Ty Dolla watches it crumble. Meanwhile, the Based God pulls out the drilling Mexican folx to the other side, allowing them to walk into the town to be greeted by Khalid, who says hi to his new constituents, with Ty helping the new residents settle in, while Thundercat keeps pouring his mango smoothie on the rest of the wall to let the drillers know that it’s safe to come up through the drums to the surface.

Tim de Reuse: The big-name features are just a trick to keep you hanging around as Thundercat weaves his typically gorgeous arpeggi around them. It’s weirdly hook-less for a lead single, though, with no structural direction and no change in energy level from beginning to end; a victory lap in atmosphere establishment without any real meat on its bones.

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