•You don’t want no problem, want no problem with him•
Chance the Rapper is hitting a venue near you leading into the warmer months. After his huge 59th Annual Grammy Awards night, one of the leading innovators of hip-hop music announced an upcoming tour. He is already set to headline multiple spring and summer music festivals. This list includes Boston Calling, Hangout Music Festival, and Bonnaroo.
— Lil Chano From 79th (@chancetherapper) February 14, 2017
On Sunday, Chance took home multiple Grammy awards. Best New Artist, Best Rap Performance (“No Problem”), and Best Rap Album (Coloring Book) landed in the Chicago native’s lap. This is in addition to his excellent Grammy performance. In our Grammys wrap up, I discussed why exactly the performance was a stand-out. What about Chance makes him so popular?
1. He intertwines rap with gospel & jazz.
Much like his performance on Sunday, Chance doesn’t just rap. However, when he does, the precision is on par with many of the greats. He also incorporates gospel and jazz beats into a lot of his music. It is a softer side of hip-hop that still focuses on pressing issues relative to his life. Born and raised in Chicago, Chance the Rapper focuses a lot on his home city and how he can better it.
His Grammys performance, as shown below, included an entire gospel choir, Kirk Franklin, Francis and the Lights, and Tamela Mann. It was a mash up of “How Great” and “All We Got” off of his 2016, Grammy-winning mixtape Coloring Book. The Grammys signified even more than wins for Chance, as they changed the rules to allow SoundCloud uploads/mixtapes in order to nominate him. This leads me to my next point on why he is so big in the rap game.
2. Chance the Rapper is “Mr. Independent.”
Chance the Rapper’s biggest motto is that he will do his artistry his way in his style. He has no record deal and no major label backing him. He releases his music for free on SoundCloud. Though streaming services have access to it, he prides himself in not “selling” his music. Chance only makes money off of merchandise and touring. That is why the Grammys changed their rules to allow for his nominations. He also brings the softer-sounding side of hip-hop to the forefront, much like some of idol Kanye’s music, in a time of Kendrick Lamar and Future’s gritty, home-city street sounds.
The artistry and poetic nature of Chance’s music sets him apart. It reminds me of A Tribe Called Quest’s lean towards lighter art during the rise of N.W.A. and The Notorious B.I.G.: gangster rap from both coasts snarling at each other through the airwaves. It just adds another flavor and angle to the genre, and that sort of innovation is always appreciated.
3. That doesn’t mean he only thinks of himself.
The gospel music influence attaches itself to Chance the Rapper’s deep faith. It is something viewers witnessed during his acceptance speeches, as he thanked God and his family repeatedly. As someone connected strongly to faith, the gospel ties also relate to his identity and upbringing. Therefore, viewers also witnessed his acknowledgement of those who helped him grow to who he is today.
As he put it in the speech below, just because he is independent doesn’t mean he has succeeded without help. Whether or not Chance is an overall good person is to-be-determined by those close to him. However, Chance does seem to have a good head on his shoulders. As fans, we commend him for his gratitude and understanding that doing it your own way doesn’t mean that you leave everyone else behind.
Chance the Rapper “Spring 2017 Tour” Dates Below:
Tickets go on sale to the general public today (Valentine’s Day) at 7pm.