How Great

Album: Coloring Book (2016)

Songfacts®:

  • This song finds Chance and his collaborators giving praise to God. It follows a similar Biblical theme to "Blessings," and his collaboration with Kanye West "Ultralight Beam."
  • The song's intro features Chance's cousin Nicole, who interpolates Chris Tomlin's worship classic "How Great Is Our God."
  • Jay Electronica carries on the same biblical theme in the second verse. Some were surprised at the New Orleans rapper giving praise to Christ, as he is a practicing Muslim, however Jesus is also a prophet of Islam.
  • Chance said during a Reddit AMA this is his favorite track on Coloring Book: "The setup, the childrens choir, JAY!!!!! My grandmother passed away a few weeks before we recorded and my cousin nicole sang How Great Is Our God and it crushed me, a week later I had her come to the studio. Recorded her and Francis did his harmonizer thing. Its so close to my heart."
  • The stripped-down, black-and-white music video was filmed on an iPhone. As well as Chance, the clip also features his collaborators on the song, cousin Nicole, Jay Electronica, pop group Francis & the Lights and a gospel choir.
  • Chance performed this with Kirk Franklin, Tamela Mann and a gospel choir at the Grammy Awards in 2017. That night, he won the awards for Best New Artist, Best Rap Performance ("No Problem") and Best Rap Album (Coloring Book).
  • Speaking with Teen Vogue, Chance explained how it was Nicole singing the original gospel song at several important events in his life, which inspired him to include her on his album:

    "My cousin Nicole sang ["How Great Is Our God"] at three different, very important events at my church: my daughter's christening, my uncle's funeral, and my grandmother's funeral. Every time it came across, I felt some type of calling from it, but I didn't fully understand what it was meant to be in my life.

    I had her record it, and eventually I put it on the project. It ended up being the song that I performed at the Grammys. I couldn't fully say that it was my planning or my intuition, but I knew that it was important. There's a lot that just comes with betting on yourself."

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