Chance the Rapper and Joey Bada$$ have both been working their way towards momentous comeback albums in the first half of 2022.
As they both recently ignited rollouts for their forthcoming LPs, the two reunited for a trip to Italy in April that finally brought two of the 2010’s mixtape kings together.
Joey’s 2000 album — yes, a sequel to 1999 — was set to release on Friday (June 17), but experienced a delay due to sample clearance issues — most likely to avoid Drake’s cultural takeover with his surprise album Honestly, Nevermind. Although fans will have to wait a bit longer for project’s release, Chance the Rapper still went forth to deliver he and Joey’s new single “The Highs & The Lows,” which had been nearly two months in the making.
Just as he has done with his previous 2022 tracks, “Child of God,” “Wraith” and “A Bar About a Bar,” Chance accompanied this release with an art or visual piece. This time, as opposed to being displayed in a Chicago museum or gallery, the portrait by Yannis Davy Guibinga of a man floating in the sunset sky will be displayed at Art Basel — a yearly, international art fair that originated in Switzerland and will take place in Paris this year.
“The Highs & The Lows” tackles the issues that its title fittingly presents. In between Chance’s modestly sung “You gotta take the highs with the lows” hook over an elegant piano beat, Chano and Joey pour their hearts out about the trials and tribulations that have plagued their life. The opening verse goes to Chance, who spits about his different reactions to obstacles that come his way, such as “when the bread gets low” or “shoulders get cold.”
Some days I hold a grudge, some days I Holy Ghost her
Some days I just ghost her, some days I’m supposed to
The crib feel like a gunfight, but them strollers, that’s the holster (Huh)
We can make amends over old memes and mimosas
My mama know I ain’t make my bed, but I’ma lay in it
Whether it’s sandpaper, suede linen
Whether I’m alone or Creole lady marmalade-ing it“The Highs & The Lows” — Chance the Rapper featuring Joey Bada$$
On the song’s second verse, Joey reveals how difficult it is not to “relapse” on his “vices” and his struggle dealing with criticism. His poignant flows truly highlight how tough it is to battle your inner, insecure thoughts.
My word is bond like James, yo, I couldn’t complain (Nah)
‘Cause even when I did, n****s really couldn’t feel my pain (Uh)
That’s the type of shit to drive a n***a insane
Wanna be numb, now your thumb back flickin’ the flame
Back to square one, tryna overcome what you became
Like they was right, I guess you’re never gon’ change, I guess you never gon’“The Highs & The Lows” — Chance the Rapper featuring Joey Bada$$
The visuals attached to the song take us through the duo’s Italy trip, where they go full tourist and ride riverboats and sight-see. To cap off the music video, Chano unveils the beautiful portrait used for the song’s cover art.
With this masterful release of “The Highs & The Lows,” the track list for Chance’s upcoming untitled album is beginning to round into form. Chance’s return to peak raps has only just begun.
As we cross our fingers for a full length project in the near future, check out Chance and Joey’s new collaboration below!