By Monica Pizzo
Chance the Rapper is recognized as one of the newest breakout artists of the past year. He won three Grammys on Sunday for Best Rap Performance, Best Rap Album and Best New Artist. His newest album, Coloring Book, infused with gospel and soul influences, won him great recognition and pushed him into incredible stardom.
The Chicago native, born Chancelor Bennett, dreamed of making music throughout high school. His breakout mixtape, 10 Day, was recorded while he was suspended from school for 10 days his senior year. The mixtape, uploaded to the Internet in 2012, immediately gained attention, making it to the Forbes’ Cheap Tunes list.
After he released 10 Day, Childish Gambino asked Chance to join him on tour as his opening act. This gained him even more attention, and Chance’s journey to fame began.
In 2013, he released the incredibly popular mixtape titled Acid Rap. The mixtape featured artists Childish Gambino, Action Bronson and Vic Mensa. Tracks “Cocoa Butter Kisses,” “Juice” and “Favorite Song” quickly launched Chance into the spotlight.
Later that year, Chance performed at Lollapalooza, despite not having profited off of any of his music. To this day, he continues to be an artist who has never signed to a formal label, making all of his accomplishments even more amazing.
In 2016, he released his most popular mixtape called Coloring Book, the album that would earn him three Grammys in one evening. He is the first person to win a Grammy without selling any music.
Chance continues to publish his music online, primarily on SoundCloud, making it free for listeners to enjoy. In an interview with Jimmy Fallon, Chance said that “trying to fit [music] into a for-sale album is kind of obsolete now.”
“It gives me more space to create and put out stuff,” the rapper continued.
Chance is an incredible example of a musician of today who makes music to share his creativity alone rather than for profit. His incredibly unique sound that takes influence from all types of music showcases his creativity and talent. There’s no wonder he was named Best New Artist.
Featured Photo Credit: Feature photo credit courtesy of Pemberton Music Festival on Flickr.
Monica Pizzo is a freshman journalism major and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.