“The internet’s gonna go nuts for this one,” warned Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show last night, and it was no empty threat—after weeks left wondering when Chance the Rapper’s new mixtape would come out, we finally have a release date: May 13. After Fallon announced that Chance 3 is now just a week away, Chance also debuted a new single, “Blessings,” on the show, backed by a full gospel choir in addition to his regular band, Donnie Trumpet & the Social Experiment. The song also featured gospel singer Byron Cage and a hook sung by the superb poet-vocalist on the rise Jamila Woods, whose voice should be familiar from previous collaborations with Chance as well as Macklemore.
On “Blessings,” Chance covers a wide range of topics, including fatherhood (“Like my ex-girl getting pregnant and her becoming my everything”) and his reluctance let a studio control his music (Chance 3, like 10 Day and Acid Rap, will be self-released). The performance was oddly reminiscent of Kanye West’s “Ultralight Beam,” on which Chance himself stole the show, but far mellower—in fact, a very excited Fallon may have been the most energetic person onstage for “Blessings.” That should make it especially interesting to hear the studio version when it is released next week.