Chance the Rapper releases his fourth interdisciplinary work, “YAH Know (Feat. King Promise)” in collaboration with Chicago-based visual artist Mía Lee. Chance and Mía recently unveiled the work at The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Los Angeles, where guests were treated to an intimate concert and a special screening of the music video. “YAH Know” demonstrates an exciting new movement of Black creative heavy-hitters using their platform to explore the oft-forgotten cultural nexus of 80s house music (aka the golden age of house music) in the mainstream of 2022. By sampling a track and voice as immediately recognizable as Whitney Houston’s, then reframing it with house-inspired production and arrangement choices, Chance is making a bold statement about the current and future state of hip-hop and popular music.
Conceptually, “YAH Know” is a representation of generations of storytelling, particularly within Black families. It’s the recalling of personal stories about the journey one had to take told by a grandparent or parent in a first or third-person perspective. Mía’s painting shows the characters named “the lady” and “the gentleman” in movement. The explosion in the background represents having to adapt and move forward because of the circumstances that tend to throw one off course. The desolate landscape is for the viewer to fill with their own scene of relatable experiences or the ones they were told in their family. These are the details of the narratives that show vulnerability and honesty while connecting experiences from one generation to another.
“This is definitely without a doubt my favorite project,” states Mía Lee. “Chance really immersed me into the project from the very beginning. 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. But 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.”