It’s been a week since Chance The Rapper had an amazing night at the Grammy Awards, a feat that came after years of hard work by the Chicago native.
Chance is now on his way to becoming a staple of American music, so if you want to learn how he got here and why you should follow his projects, check our ‘10 reasons to love Chance the Rapper’.
He’s a hard-working guy
Chance got into hip hop in high school where he participated in different music projects. He recorded his first mixtape when he was 17 and in 2012 at just 18, Complex included him on the “10 New Chicago Rappers to Watch Out For” list. Then, he worked on developing his music until he released his first big project ‘Acid Rap’ and the rest is history.
Chance was a smart cookie from the beginning and knew about the importance of networking and a having a good team behind you. On his early days, he had the support of his manager Pat Corcoran; booking agent, Cara Lewis (behind tours for Eminem and Kanye), and publicist Dan Weiner (Childish Gambino). His first big project also included collaborations by Action Bronson, Childish Gambino and Vic Mensa.
By the time Chance released his acclaimed ‘Coloring Book’ in2016, he had appeared on multiple TV and radio shows and collaborated with the likes of Kanye West, Bieber, Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz. All this shows that hard and smart work and doing things little by little can go a long way. By this point he didn’t need an official label to back him up so he signed a deal with Apple Music which released the album exclusively on the streaming platform. It was the first album to chart on the Billboard 200 solely on streams and the first streaming-only to win a Grammy.
He just said no to 10 million dollars
Thanks to all this hard work, Chance has never been tempted to officially sign with a big label and it has recently been reported that he is turning down $10m offers from different ones. Some would say he is doing this to stay independent and be creatively free, but this far in the game, would a label help him in the big scheme of things?
Does Great Collaborations
Checking Chance’s discography, it’s amazing to see that at his young age he has already worked with big names such as Kanye West or Justin Bieber but another good thing about Chance is that he always go back to his roots and works with other Chicago artists like BJ the Chicago Kid, Saba, Vic Mensa or Towkio. In other occasions, he has embarked in projects with other up and coming artists like Tinashe, Snakehips, Anderson .Paak or more recently amazing soul singers Eryn Allen Kane and Yebba which shows he likes taking risks when it comes to his music.
Doesn’t take himself too seriously
We have established that Chance is a great guy, but we had to add that he has a great sense of humour. Last year for example, he starred in a Kit Kat campaign called Chance the Wrapper, do we need to say more?
In another occasion, Chance created a ‘Bathtub’ playlist for Apple and decided to go one step further to promote it, singing along to its songs while taking a bath for us to see.
Thoughtful about his fans
Chance wants every fan to be able to see him in concert so he has made his priority to make the tickets for his shows affordable and if this didn’t cut it he is also going after the resellers. Go Chance!
Boy next door
Chance is a happy dude and an always smiling fella, but for a little while he had some minor troubles due to the life he was leading. He had moved to LA and experienced the “Hollywood life” but realised it wasn’t his thing and was affecting him badly on different levels. He decided to move back to Chicago and work on his music and had a normal life. Once back in Chicago he also had a kid which he has said helped him getting back on track.
P.S. BTW he is also one of us and fangirled over Beyoncé on live TV.
Talks openly about his faith
Chance has stated that having his little girl helped him go back to his faith. After the blessing, he wanted to put all that he had learnt and felt back into the world through his music. One of ‘Coloring Book’ main themes is Christian faith and as he says on the mixtape “I speak to God in public”. With this album, Chance wanted to use his faith to spread a message of positivity, love and self-improvement.
To close the circle, he gave this amazing performance along gospel legends Kirk Franklin and Tamela Mann at the Grammy Awards.
— Chance The Rapper (@chancetherapper) February 13, 2017
Chance has talked multiple times about his daughter and how much she has inspired his music. He even used a picture of him holding her for the cover of his latest project.Just head to his Instagram for more cuteness overload.
Giving back to the community
We know the love Chance has for Chicago so he has tried to give back to his hometown. In 2014, he actively fought to combat violence in his city and promoted the “#SaveChicago” campaign which sought to stop gun violence over Memorial Day Weekend and saw Chicago go 42 straight hours without a shooting. He has also organised open nights for young Chicagoans and raised 100,000 dollars for coats for Chicago kids.
We would not be here if it wasn’t for Chance’s amazing music. He started to gain recognition after the release of ‘Acid Rap’, but apart from his solo career, he is also a member of the collective Save Money and the band The Social Experiment. In May 2016, Chance The Rapper released his biggest project ‘Coloring Book’ which shot him into stardom. The mixtape achieved what seemed impossible and became the first streaming-only album to ever receive and win a Grammy nomination.
Kanye West, fellow Chicagoan and one of Chance’s biggest music influences, once said that Chance is one if his favourite people. What a feat for a young Chance, whose first ever album was a copy of The College Dropout.
After this compelling list, we hope you have become a fan. Head over to @CelebMix to share more about your favourite artists with us.