On Sunday, Chance The Rapper posted a simple message on Instagram: “Good Ass Job,” in big block letters on a pink background. For longtime Kanye West fans, the three words have special and nostalgic significance, as the rapper has long promised to use the phrase as the title for his fourth album. In a 2003 MTV News interview, the Chicago rapper stated, “my third album is going to be called Graduation. And the fourth is Good-Ass Job.”
The title was never used. West’s fourth album, recorded in the wake of a broken engagement and the death of his mother, Donda West, would be the formally inventive 808s & Heartbreak. West didn’t return to the titling convention he’d laid out after that; each of his five albums since Graduation have had standalones, and Good Ass Job laid dormant until Chance started teasing a collaboration project with his idol back in May 2016.
“The main thing we want to connect on is this project called Good Ass Job,” Chance told Zane Lowe on Beats 1 in 2016. “That’s a thing we talked about a long time ago, and I think everything we’ve been working on together is a piece of it.” This followed Chance recycling the phrase on West’s The Life of Pablo opener, “Ultralight Beam,” though in that case Chance was invoking it to tease his next solo project: “He said ‘Let’s do a good ass job with Chance 3.’” The phrase had been kicking around Kanye’s greater universe since as early as 2001, when he produced and rapped on Rhymefest’s “Good Ass Job.”
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In September, Chance continued to expound on the idea during a sitdown on Power 106’s “The Ted Cruz Show.”
“Good Ass Job, that is something that’s just been a dream for me,” he shared. “I’m a Chicago kid, so I’m a super ‘Ye fan, and I used to like watch all the YouTube videos and him speaking, and I remember watching a video a long time ago where he was explaining, ‘You have your college dropout, then you go back after your late registration, and then you finally get your graduation, and then after you graduate you have to go and get a good ass job.’”
West recently revealed to Fox 32 that he’s in Chicago working on a new Chance project. Time will only tell if his unused album title will finally be put to good use. A rep for Chance The Rapper did not respond for a request for comment.