John Legend & Chance literally and figuratively aim for the skies on "Penthouse Floor"
A funky bassline backs words of encouragement that never turn corny.
Twelve weeks ago, John Legend shared on Instagram a photo of himself and Chance the Rapper in the studio. And now we finally have the creation that likely spawned from that meeting of the minds: “Penthouse Floor.”
Before you assume, like I did, that the song’s title refers to yet another come-hither crusade delivered from Legend to a lover, the lyrics prove something entirely different. They’re, quite literally and figuratively, uplifting.
Over a slowed but still-funky bassline, punctuated with percussive knocks and an unexpected scaling organ that you immediately wish got more love, Legend gives credit where due to survivors who don’t get enough of it and encourages them in the process to keep their eye on the (high) prize. But it’s not nearly as corny as I’m making it sound.
“All this trouble in this here town / All this shit going down / When will they focus on this? / Streets ride up with the TV crews / Look ma, we on the news / But they didn’t notice before this / They float above the city lights / Forget the truth, inhale the lies / Just enjoy the show / They see us reaching for the sky / Just ignore that you survived / Maybe we should go / Go to the penthouse floor.”
Serving as more evidence of his trademark palpable joy, Chance joins the track by opening his verse with a knock-knock joke, before delivering short and fast bursts of lyrics detailing his own success story.
“Handpicked from bad apples and bad eggs / Held back, I had to grab crab legs / And then there were only but a few / Conversations held with patience / What a party, what a view.”
“Penthouse Floor” follows lead single “Love Me Now” off Legend’s upcoming album ‘Darkness And Light,’ due December 2.