Chance the Rapper is redefining what home means to him. On his latest single “Yah Know,” which features Ghanian singer King Promise, the musician channels Eighties house music through a sample of Whitney Houston’s “How Will I Know” while pondering ideas of liberation, freedom, and protecting his own peace.
“Let me take y’all back like Marcus/When Europe was still in the darkness,” he offers in an impromptu history lesson. “The boats was big as the arc is/The cargo was gold-tipped spears and it sold by the load.”
“Yah Know” thematically juggles Chance the Rapper’s recent infatuation with the African diaspora. The concept is centered in the accompanying self-directed music video, which initially premiered during a recent art exhibit hosted at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art with Chicago-based visual artist Mia Lee. The video captures Black storytelling in various forms and across generations, highlighting Chicago footwork dancers that mirror artists from the continent in a connection of lineage. It also features appearances from Lee, King Promise, and Vic Mensa.
“Chance really immersed me into the project from the very beginning,” Lee shared in a statement. “Felt very much like a real collaboration because we were pretty much making the pieces of the project at the same time. Like while he’d be in his studio finishing verses I was in my studio painting.”
Lee’s piece showcasing the characters of “the lady” and “the gentlemen” functioned as a centerpiece for the “Yah Know” exhibit, depicting the couple being forced forward by unanticipated circumstances. She added: “We got to really talk consistently and just have these really open conversations which led to us telling stories about our family which inspired the piece that I made – aside from the song just being very very fire on its own.”
The single, which will appear on Chance the Rapper’s forthcoming project Star Line Gallery, marks the fourth in a long string of singles. Earlier this year, he previewed the record with “Child of God,” “A Bar About a Bar,” and “The Highs & The Lows” featuring Joey Badass.