Chance The Rapper is killing the game

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Chance the rap wins Best New Artist at the Grammy’s as well as Best Rap Album.

by Nahom Nega and Michael Solomon

Lil’ Chano From 79th is making Chicago proud.

At last week’s 59th annual Grammys, the hip hop/rap sensation made history, becoming the first ever artist to win a Grammy award without selling physical copies of his music. He ended up taking home a total of three awards (Best New Artist, Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Album).

In fact, Chance has never sold his music. All three of his mixtapes, “10 Day”, “Acid Rap”, and “Coloring Book”, were stream-only albums. He has always relied on streaming apps like Soundcloud to get exposure for his work.

Chancelor Jonathan Bennett’s musical career took flight on April 3, 2012, when he released his first mixtape, “10 Day”. He recorded it as a teenager, and came up with the title when he was suspended for ten days after he was caught smoking weed on campus. The mixtape is loosely based off of his experiences at Jones College Prep High School.

In one of his songs titled “Prom Night”, Chance muses about what senior prom would be like if he hadn’t missed it because of his suspension. At the end of the song, he tries to put all of those thoughts aside and leave them in the past so that he can look forward to his career.

After getting booked at larger venues and gaining more popularity, Chance released his second mixtape titled “Acid Rap” when he was twenty years old. This mixtape marked the beginning of “Chano”’s hallmark: mixing hip-hop with gospel, blues rock, and juke jams. The album received much attention and was even referenced in the famous comedy movie, “Barbershop 2”.

Soon after, Chance began collaborating with well-known artists like Childish Gambino, Tinashe, and even Skrillex.

The most notable artist he’s worked with has to be Kanye West. During his teenage years in the neighborhood of Chatham in Chicago, Illinois, he was exposed to the rap and hip hop culture. The first rap album he ever listened to was Kanye West’s “The College Dropout” which was released in February of 2004. Ever since then, Kanye has been someone that Chance has looked up to in the rap game.

“Thanks Kanye. U put me on rappin.” Chance tweeted back in 2011, prior to the release of his first project, “10 day”.

After looking up to Kanye West for such a long time, Chance eventually became his prodigy. Kanye even offered him a record deal but Chano turned it down because he wanted to remain as an independent artist.

“Kanye’s best prodigy. He ain’t sign me but he proud of me.” Chance sang in “Blessings (Reprise)” a song off his latest mixtape “Coloring Book.”

He successfully turned his dreams into a reality. He eventually went on and worked on a few collab’s with Ye. Meeting Kanye was such a monumental moment for him that he believed that that it meant he’d end up as a success story.

“I met Kanye West , I’m never going to fail.” Chance said in his verse on Kanye West’s “Ultralight Beam” which came out just this past year.

In the same verse on “Ultralight Beam”, Chance predicted the success of his mixtape, “Coloring Book”, and even joked about a potential Grammy:

“He said let’s do a good a** job with Chance 3, I hear you gotta sell it to snatch the Grammy. Well, let’s make it so free and the bars so hard that there ain’t one gosh darn part you can’t tweet.”

In addition to his success at the Grammys, Chance The Rapper has just announced that he is gong on his second tour since the release of “Coloring Book”.

He’ll be coming to Washington, DC on June 4, and Baltimore, MD on June 6. Tickets are selling out fast, so get yours now if you plan on going: http://chanceraps.com/tour/

Chance the Rapper right now is like Michael Jordan in his prime, young and just getting started.