June 14, 2018

Mapping the success of need-to-know artist Chance the Rapper

In case you’ve been hiding under a rock, Chance the Rapper announced his Asia tour dates earlier this week, and Manila is one of his stops. The concert will be on Aug. 22 but tickets go on sale June 27. That’s in a couple of weeks so you still have some time to decide if you’ll be going. Honestly, I think you should. Unfortunately I’ll be out of the country on that date so I’m bummed I’m missing out. But you shouldn’t! Chance has been making headlines the past few years and for good reasons. Like many artists, he started by making mixtapes and his audience received them so well that it’s no surprise his debut album was a success. He’s only 25 years old but there’s so much other artists can learn from him. Especially those still starting out. With just months away from his concert, we wanted to give you a crash course on who Chance is and what he’s accomplished so far. So, scroll away and get ready for some quick trivia.

Independent artist

Yup, despite all of his success, Chance is actually an independent artist. He was offered numerous record deals but refused to commit to any of them. Some people say success isn’t attainable is you’re an independent but he disagrees. “It’s only unrealistic because of the conditioning all artists are exposed to by different forms of media creating the narrative that you need to be discovered or put on in order to be successful. We wouldn’t seek out details if [people] knew there were other avenues.” So, if you’re an independent artist, let Chance be your inspiration.

The mixtapes

Before the release of his debut album in 2016, Chance had mixtapes, which did very well. His first mixtape 10 Day was launched in 2012 and had 14 tracks. The following year he released Acid Rap and people are still talking about how good this mixtape is. He also had featured artists like Vic Mensa, Action Bronson, and Childish Gambino. And, probably the most loved song on this album is “Cocoa Butter Kisses.” It’s been five years since Acid Rap but try listening to it now and you will be surprised at how timeless the tracks sound.  

Close to the Carters

Other celebrities may be friends with Beyoncé and Jay Z but Chance considers them family. He even refers to them as Auntie Yoncé and Unc. In his album Coloring Book, he has a song called “All We Got” where he compares a girl to Beyoncé. The line goes, “She like music, she from Houston, like Auntie Yoncé.” How cute is that? If you need more evidence, here it is. In 2016, Jay Z and Beyoncé watched Chance at Philadelphia Fest. It just happened that it was also Bey’s 35th birthday. Chance paused from his set list to sing to her. So sweet.

Part of a band

Aside from his solo career, Chance is also part of a neo-soul, jazz fusion band. In 2015 they released an album called Surf. It was released exclusively on iTunes as a complimentary download. One of the notable tracks from this album is “Sunday Candy,” which Chance performed at The White House National Christmas Tree Lighting in 2016. The music video for this song was also very creative. And they shot it in one take.

Kensli Bennett

In 2015, Chance and girlfriend Kirsten Corley welcomed a baby girl Kensli Bennett. She’s only two years old but she’s already displaying some musical interest. Chance has shared videos of her singing and holding a microphone in a studio setup.

The album

After the success of his mixtapes, Chance finally released his debut album Coloring Book in 2016. With tracks like “Blessings,” “Summer Friends,” and “Angels,” he won Grammys for Best New Artist and Best Rap Album in 2017. The genre of this album was mix of hip-hop and gospel, with choirs singing in the background. Listening to this album is sure to make you feel uplifted.

 

Art by Marian Hukom

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