It’s all fun and games until Chance the Rapper lobs some uncomfortable emotional truth

“Baby Blue” is the fourth single from Action Bronson’s solid debut major label effort, and for the most part, it’s a breezy kiss off to an unpleasant ex. Despite a chorus referring to Bronsolino’s old flame as a bitch, the song mostly eschews misogyny in favor of emphasizing a disconnect between Bronson’s sense of self-worth and the mistreatment he suffered through.

Despite the subject matter, “Baby Blue” is never morose. Over jaunty piano, the large, Albanian MC from Queens creates a snapshot of unrequited and unappreciated acts of affection, and captures the sense of satisfaction striving for self-improvement after a breakup provides.

“Baby Blue” features a brief verse from Chance the Rapper, who I generally find phenomenal. At first, the 20-something rapper seems to be entirely vindictive, wishing non-sequitor ill will on his ex. However, shortly after expressing a desire to see rats defecate in his ex’s kitchen, Chance provides a painfully salient look at the emotions involved with electing to remove someone from your life.

“I hope your tears don’t hurt, and I can smile in your face
Cut my losses, how Delilah changed my locks to a fade
I hope you happy, I hope you happy
I hope you ruined this shit for a reason, I hope you happy,”

It’s interesting enough that the a song, which includes a joke about, “white snake in underwear sauce” includes a biblical allusion, but it’s even more interesting that the emotional climax of a mischievous diss track is a desire for a mutually beneficial break up, so Chano doesn’t feel the guilt that comes from hurting someone. It also adds a poignancy to the everything preceding it, because it establishes that the relationship was something of value to be ruined and the only justifiable reason to cause its ruin would be true happiness.

This song is hardly overlooked or under-appreciated, but I think it displays an amazing amount of pathos for a song built around a Mark Ronson-produced, Billy Joel-esque piano groove that dares the listener to imagine Action Bronson nude in a Lamborghini.

Author: Ben Hohenstatt

I was born April 7, 1992. I'm a reporter in Alaska, and an alum of Auburn University. I am an avid fan of music, Chicago sports teams and pop culture in general.

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