Are U Live – [Chance the Rapper] & [Jeremih] ft. [Valee]

Now that we’re in December, it’s obvious that Christmas is right around the corner. Although there’s no snow on the ground and things feel slightly different with Covid and quarantine, we can definitely use some holiday cheer. When thinking of holiday classics, at least a few years ago, Hip-Hop and Rap music probably wasn’t one of your go-to genres to get in the Christmas spirit, but Chance the Rapper and Jeremih have made sure to flip the script.

The duo did this with the release of their series Merry Christmas Lil’ Mama, a compilation of songs that contains some holiday anthems and some uncharacteristic, off the wall offerings that are even more explorative than any of the Bing Crosbys or Mariah Careys have ever even thought of getting. Out of all these wonderfully spirited records, one that has always stood out to me was “Are U Live” a track featuring Valee who has been one of my favorite Chicago rappers for quite some time.

Valee just seems to bring out a different side of artists that fans never knew existed but crave once they get even the slightest peak at it. While we’ve all heard this track by now, we were luckily gifted a brand-new music video that rejuvenates and breathes new life into the hit, bringing the talents and a few other friends together to ring in the holiday season with smiles, drinks, and dance moves. Our very own Cole Bennett directed this miniature movie, and he does his thing unlike ever before, bring out all the small aspects of their personalities while including some entertaining captions and individualistic animations that truly capture the essence of this song.

Clearly, this video was most likely shot prior to the pandemic, and the joy and energy that can be seen in every single artist definitely bring us back to simpler times before this massive turn of events. As the track starts up, Chance, Jeremih, and Valee are surrounded by a group of friends who are all going wild, dancing, rapping along, and just vibing out along with the trio of talents. While it can be somewhat tough to decipher holiday themes in the record at times, in the video, each emcee is wearing a Santa Clause hat and Cole utilizes holiday-themed transitions between shots that take us from scene to scene seamlessly.

Their chemistry is natural and obvious as they vibe off of one another, dapping each other up, or at least trying to as the captions point out, and at one point, Valee goes missing before being quickly discovered, joining back in on all of the fun. Obviously, the artists constantly rotate line after line in the song itself, so Cole uses a sort of run and gun technique to match this in the music video as decorations and lights drape from the wall and the ceiling surrounding the triple threat of musicians.

While things might not have gone according to plan even slightly this year, Chance decided to drop this visual at the perfect time in order to bring some positive vibes and holiday cheer to fans all over. The single itself is just so infectious and captivating, and although it might not sound even remotely like a typical Christmas song, it’s an absolute bop in and of itself regardless of what critics and Xmas music historians might have to say. Cole does his thing yet again by bringing a visual to life that complements the record flawlessly, and just seeing the smiles and positive energy exuding from the three talents is more than enough to get you in a positive mood as we approach the big day. Whether you’re continuing on your Christmas tradition of listening to Merry Christmas Lil’ Mama as you decorate the tree or you’re just getting in familiarized with the new aged mixtape, make sure you check out the brand-new music video for “Are U Live” to get into the holiday spirit even more.