Words by Ben Freeman
The narrative of Chance the Rapper began as a story of a young Chi-town native. His 1st musical release blessed our ears as a result of him being caught on his school’s premises in possession of weed. Without him being caught on campus with marijuana, he would not have been handed 10 day suspension – this became the time in which the groundwork for his project (That would later be entitled 10 day) would begin.
Fast forward 5 years, 3 mixtapes, and 1 beer collaboration since being suspended, and Chano is a global phenomenon. As an avid user of social media, I’m yet to see any negative criticisms of his most recent studio release, Coloring Book, that has any substance. The people love Chance, but is that any surprise? He’s renowned for sacrificing potential commercial success by not charging for his music, and instead allowing music fans to stream it for free. To many (money-orientataed) musicians, this seems an unthinkable act of naivety. Not only does it prevent him earning revenue from album sales, but it also inhibits him from earning musical accolades which typically go to those artists with the highest sales, as a measure of success.
In recent days, Lil Chano from 79th has entirely annihilated such slander put upon his name. It has been announced that Chance has become the 1st ever artist to appear on the Billboard 200 sales chart… without selling an album. Not only has he charted, he’s also done so with excellent finesse, by breaching the top 10. This is attributable by the fact that Coloring Book has been streamed an emphatic 57million times. Alike the millions of us who love Chance and his anti-establishment attitude towards the music industry, billboard see this as a feat that simply cannot be ignored. According to their calculations, 57million streams equates to 38,000 units sold, standing him at number 8 on the Billboard 200.
The release of his latest work has been met with undisputed critical acclaim. Surely this has cemented Chance The Rapper’s place as the most popular and well respected independent artist in the game today?