With seven Grammy nominations, three wins without a signed label and three mixtapes under his belt, Chancelor Bennett, the Chicago-based rapper better known as Chance the Rapper, is truly changing up the game. As an independent artist, Chance the Rapper does not sell his music. He makes his money from touring and merchandise. By releasing mixtapes, Chance the Rapper has managed to redefine the lines of the music industry.
Most followers assumed that after the success of Chance’s second mixtape, Acid Rap, that he would sign to a label; however, he turned down several major companies including Sony and maintained his own musical integrity to allow his music to remain free.
By not signing to a label, Chance has the creative freedom dictate what he produces. His latest mixtape, Coloring Book, for example, focuses on themes regarding his hometown of Chicago, growing from childhood to adulthood, battling drug addiction and his own religious experience.
The young rapper began his career at the age of 18 with his release of his first mixtape, 10 Days, which was written after a 10-day suspension for marijuana possession. Chance the Rapper’s progress can be seen throughout each mixtape, from 10 Days which features a West Coast, Chicago style and upbeat lyrics to Acid Rap which is riddled with themes of sex, drugs and love to his most successful Coloring Book that features heavy horns and gospel undertones.
Now the 23-year-old artist is focusing on his tour, new projects and his philanthropy. There is no question of his generosity as he often hits the streets of Chicago to help the youth, specifically. For example, he often sets up open mike events to get young artist recognition, he has run twitter campaigns known as #SaveChicago which led to 42 hours without any gun violence, his own project ‘Warmest Winter’ raised $100,000 for the homeless in Chicago, along with several other charitable projects.
From his music to his overnight success, to his philanthropy, Chance is changing the game for the better. Chance has many years ahead of him and at the rate, he is going, Chance will likely go done in music history as one of the best.