While other rappers are busy feuding with each other, making the most controversial headlines of the year, there is one young up-and-coming hip-hop star, slowly taking over the game. No, he doesn’t have any big shot “godfather”, neither does he hold a lucrative record deal with any major or minor record producing company. But he is so talented with such a large commercial following, that even the Grammys had to recognize him as a force to reckon with.
In 2017, the world will meet Chance The Rapper, a man who has been nominated in multiple categories for the biggest night in music – the Grammy Awards 2017.
Real name – Chancellor Bennett, he released his first “mix tape” Coloring Book in May of this year, at the age of 23. He uses only streaming services to get his work across, especially through his SoundCloud account. His work has come at a brilliant time in the industry, because the Grammys only just started considering streaming-only albums for each of their categories. In fact, Coloring Book has earned a nomination under Best Rap Album.
His brilliance isn’t only self-contained. He has also worked with some of the biggest names in the industry – Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz for No Problem and Kanye West for Ultralight Beam for The Life of Pablo. He relies solely on his talent, the game and loyal fans who worship his music. It’s not that big labels don’t want to work with him, it’s that he doesn’t want to work with them. For an artist, that is only a dream come true because you get to let your creativity flow to the full without a hint of commercialism and forced deals that record labels bring to the signing table.
Chance’s first album was called 10 Day which he wrote during a 10 day suspension in high school. His song Windows was what brought him recognition and a steady fan following. His next album was Acid Rap which was downloaded over a million times. That a huge feat for someone who hasn’t been advertised anywhere else except on his own artist page. His biggest break came when he got the chance to perform live on Saturday Night Live and also with Kanye the night that Life of Pablo dropped. And let’s not forget that cute moment backstage when Beyoncé acknowledged him and he totally freaked out. When you have the biggest names in the industry who got your back, why would you need a record deal, huh?