Chance the Rapper, Chancelor Bennett, not only won an award for New Best Artist last Sunday at the Grammy’s, but also won awards for Best Rap Album and Best Rap Performance. Like other Grammy winners in the past, Chance received positive feedback from both Jay-Z and his fans. What makes the award surprising however is that Chance was never under an official label and did not sell any of his music. The fact that he also beat more established rappers like Drake, DJ Khaled and Kanye West is something people just can’t wrap their heads around.
Chance came from a family that was very involved in politics, and he even mentioned in an interview that he met President Obama several times. Although, it is clear that politics was not really his biggest interest.
In an interview with Sway Calloway on “Sway In The Morning,” Calloway’s YouTube/XM Radio show, Chance said that he raised the money for studio time to record his music from selling marijuana. During high school he was arrested for possession of marijuana.
One of the his most popular mixtapes that really reached critical acclaim was “Acid Rapper.” The is mostly about Chance being on acid and his past drug use. I wouldn’t really say that Chance was trying to justify drug use in this album, but rather he was trying to reach out for change and hope for a new path.
His most recent, and third, mixtape, “Coloring Book”, was released on May 13 of last year. “Coloring Book” received a lot of popularity through its mix of gospel and rap, and as of Sunday night, it was awarded Best Rap Album. The album includes artists such as Kanye West, Young Thug, Justin Bieber, Future, Jeremiah and many others.
Rolling Stone tweeted about Chance being the first black artist to win Best New Artist since Lauryn Hill. Chance the Rapper has clearly gone through a lot to make his music the best, and up until now he has not needed the help of a formal record label to do it.