Chancelor Bennett, commonly known as Chance The Rapper is a 25-year-old rapper from Chicago, Illinois. He has always been interest in music and art in general. The rapper was already part of a duo and performed on stage in high school. His career began on the internet, more precisely on Soundcloud and Youtube.
In 2011, he created the rap collective SAVEMONEY alongside many other chicagoan rappers such as Vic Mensa, Joey Purp, Towkio, and Kami, just to name a few. SAVEMONEY had a huge impact on the youth of Chicago, motivating them to be more creative and break down the barriers of rap and art altogether.
Chance is known for giving out his music for free, still to this day. He is also one of the few unsigned rappers in today’s music industry.
At 18, he dropped his first mixtape 10 Day in april 2012, it was streamed close to 600,000 times.
10 Day (2012)
The name of the record is inspired by Chance’s real life, as he went through a 10-day suspension back in high school for possession of marijuana. The mixtape features other chicagoan artists such as Nico Segal and Sulaiman.
A year later, Chance dropped Acid Rap, the mixtape that finally got him some recognition from the public as well as his peers.
Acid Rap (2013)
Acid Rap is widely known thanks to tracks like Cocoa Butter Kisses featuring Vic Mensa and Favorite Song featuring Childish Gambino.
The mixtape was certified « diamond » on the website Datpiff, cumulating over 1,000,000 downloads. It was also ranked 12th in Pitchfork’s Top 50 albums of the year 2013. Chance’s first nomination ever was for Acid Rap at the BET Hip-Hop Awards’ Best Mixtape of the year.
After that very well-received mixtape, he got the opportunity to go on tour with Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. He then fell into drug addiction. « Last year I got addicted to xans, started forgetting my name, started missing my chance » he raps in Finish Line (2016)
In 2016, Chance came back after a few years of complete silence and released Coloring Book.
Coloring Book (2016)
Chance’s third mixtape changed his career forever. He gathered many big names of the industry such as Lil Wayne, Kanye West, Justin Bieber, 2 Chainz, Young Thug, Future etc, as well as other artists from a smaller scene like Saba, Eryn Allen Kane, Noname, Knox Fortune and even the Chicago Children’s Choir.
Coloring Book tackles a lot of subjects, from love, friendship to mental illness and religion.
This record, that merged hip-hop and gospel, won the Grammy for Best Rap Album in 2017, making it the first streaming-only album to ever get a Grammy. That year, Chance was nominated for six other categories and took home two more Grammies for Best Rap Performance on No Problem featuring Lil Wayne and for Best New Artist.