Chance the Rapper performs intimate set at Lincoln Hall for DePaul students

“Even better than I was the last time,” is the opening line of Chance the Rapper’s heavily-praised 2013 mixtape “Acid Rap,” and also how he chose to kick off his show for DePaul’s Winter Concert at Lincoln Hall Jan. 23. It seems fitting for the Chicago native _㐠shy of being 21-years-old _㐠who, in the last , has seemingly outdone himself at every turn.

The thing that makes Chance one of the most exciting hip-hop acts of late is his honesty, both with his fans and himself. That trademark openness was in full view at Lincoln Hall, especially when he chose to address the audience between songs.

“I’m high as f— right now,” he said after the third or fourth song. Besides the presence of a stool for him to sit on occasionally, he hardly seemed inebriated, springing into action during songs like “Pusha Man,” “Cocoa Butter Kisses,” and “Juice” as an encore. He was backed by a full band during much of his set, which added a unique layer to his performance of more revealing, sentimental songs like the second half of “Pusha Man,” an indictment against the gangbanging way of life.

In the middle of the show, Chance was joined by another local artist, R&B singer Jeremih, to croon alongside him. The pair meshed well together, imploring the crowd to “turn up” multiple times _㐠their advice was well-heeded. The view from the balcony revealed a sea of people, heads bobbing and arms bouncing. At times, the crowd even filled in the blanks for Chance when he seemed to forget lyrics, but this could’ve been a showmanship tactic on his part as well.

Overall, the performance was exactly what one would hope for from an artist like Chance. His music is genre-blending and nonconformist, and that vibe carries over in his live act. He is shamelessly theatrical yet unflinchingly emotional at times.