He’s a New Man, He’s Sanctified

“He said ‘let’s do a good ass job with Chance three, I hear you gotta sell it to snatch the Grammy.’”


He’s a New Man, He’s Sanctified

“He said ‘let’s do a good ass job with Chance three, I hear you gotta sell it to snatch the Grammy.’”

It began with a mixtape, similar to how he did. Trying to find inspiration for a project I was working on, one of the 8tracks playlists I listened to played a song that I knew was “love at first listen.”

It was in this moment, I knew I had fallen in love with Chance the Rapper.

“Call me Chancelor The Rapper, please say “The Rapper’

The story of Chance the Rapper takes his name literally, it all started with a chance. Growing up in a middle class neighborhood, after a run in at his high school, he was suspended for carrying weed for 10 days. It was around that time Chance recorded his first mixtape called “10 Days” that the world responded positively to.

Complex named him one of “10 New Chicago Rappers to Watch Out For” and the mixtape was downloaded 300,000 times off the app Datpiff. It Forbes put his mixtapes on their Cheap Tunes column, and producers took an interest in him along with Childish Gambino, a rapper he’s collaborated with frequently.

Fast forward, and Chance the Rapper releases his second mixtape “Acid Rain,” which gets downloaded one million times and includes appearances from some of the most popular artists in his field. Rolling Stones gives it three out of four stars in a review that reads:

“But it’s the density of wit, ideas, and verbal invention that makes this one of the year’s defining hip-hop releases, whether Chance is rapping about God’s cell phone battery, racial politics, or merely unleashing thick clusters of rhymes: “Chance, acid rapper, soccer, hacky sacker/Cocky khaki jacket jacker.”

He has yet to be signed to any label. The mixtape receives universal acclaim and gets nominated Best Mixtape at the BET Hip Hop Awards. His songs get used in a Nike commercial, a commercial for MySpace, and music magazines start to pick up on his talent including the Rolling Stones, Pitchfork and Billboard who name “Acid Rap” one of the best albums of the year.

Then the reception to mixtape three is a nothing but praise. In spite of his popularity, the musician refuses to sign to a label yet and continues to release mixtapes. “Coloring Book,” or “Chance 3” come out on Apple Music as a stream-only album and gets streamed a whooping 57.3 million times, debuting as number 8 on the Billboard 200 being the first to chart just on streams. Critics adored it, and Chance ended up getting five Grammy nominations out of it, and winning three, the first person to get a nomination and win from a stream only album.

“I used to be worse than worthless, now I’m worth hooks and verses”

Chance the Rapper is the shit.

His music is worthy of the praise — as blend of rap, spoken word, poetry, and gospel it’s really something anyone’s heard before. In a review by Pitchfork on “Coloring Book,” which it rewarded a 9.1 out of 10 rating, the publication called it, “one of the strongest rap albums released this year.” With the reviewer, Kris Ex, writing, “When music comes like this — personal and panoramic, full of conversations with God, defying hip-hop norms while respecting them, proving that the genre can still dig deeper into its roots — it needs to be contextualized as what it is. This is an ultralight beam; it’s a God dream.”

This is the story of a guy who was driven to have a music career in spite of what everyone else told him. This is the story of a guy whose father hoped to see him in office, and whose teachers ridiculed him for wanting to be a musician, now singing a verse on the opening track of his inspiration and mentor Kanye West’s album “Life of Pablo.”

Chance the Rapper’s music is something on its own, and he is an entity and inspiration to people everywhere.

“Are you ready for your miracle? Are you ready for your blessings?”

It’s just music that makes my heart sing for Chance, but it’s more than that. The guy’s at triple threat working as a musician, producer, filmmaker, and actor. He’s produced a short film with Vice called “Mr. Happy” that tackles the issue of depression, life, and suicide. While also appearing on more light-hearted shows such as his role in a series of Kit Kat commercials and even an appearance on “The Eric Andre Show.”

Besides that, Chance has taken his prolific status as a way to help his hometown of Chicago, including working to combat gun violence in the area with the help of his father (who works as an aide to the current mayor of Chicago)b y promoting the #SaveChicago campaign to go 42 hours in Chicago without a shooting first during memorial weekend, then again on #May23.

As well, on April 16 Chance the Rapper met with President Obama in the White House to discuss the My Brother’s Keeper challenge that would promote intervention by civic leaders in the lives of young men of color to address their concerns and challenges.

“Don’t you color out, Don’t you bleed on out”

It’s been awhile since I first heard “Same Drugs” on that playlist that began my adoration for Chance the Rapper. From then to now, my heart is still inspired by his passion and drive in everything he does. The Grammy’s are coming up, and I catch myself obsessively looking through articles wondering if it’ll be his name winning each of the categories he’s nominated in.

Chance the Rapper, keep on being you. Don’t you color out, don’t you bleed on out.