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Screencap via YouTube

Long live artist mascot puppets.

Noted overalls aficionado and erstwhile GQ coverboy Chance the Rapper kicked off the week by releasing a video for “Same Drugs,” the warbling, John Legend-infused sixth track off of last year’s Coloring Book mixtape. Instead of tapping Legend or any of the song’s other collaborators for a guest appearance, though, Chance brought back the same wide-eyed puppet he introduced during September’s Magnificent Coloring Day concert to sit next him at the piano for the video’s performance.

It’s been almost exactly 13 years since Kanye West’s Dropout Bear graced the cover of The College Dropout and put rappers’ recurring mascot puppets on the map, and it’s nice to see one of his most promising protégés so ably carrying that legacy forward. The puppet served as a silent, observant listener for the song’s first half before swooping in to perform the Eryn Allen Kane vocals, and Chance spends the balance of the song gazing lovingly into the eyes of what looks like the creature from those GE ads that pull insistently at your heartstrings if you’ve had one too many glasses of wine.

As a light snow falls during the outro and Chance walks off the set, the camera pulls back to reveal that everyone else—camera operators, costume designers, and the like—is also a puppet, and our man Chance stands out conspicuously among them. In a song about the sadness and loneliness that accompanies growing apart from once-familiar friends, the metaphor is a little on the nose, but like the bartender in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, we love puppets! A little stray heavy-handedness doesn’t mean we enjoyed it any less.

Watch Now: Get Inside the Studio with Chance the Rapper

February 6, 2017
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