From his universally-praised release Coloring Book to his extravagant supporting tour and numerous awe-inspiring television performances, Chance The Rapper has been dominating the hearts and ears of listeners across the country in 2016.
Coloring Book is not only the first project to chart on the Billboard 200 solely through streaming, it’s also about to be the first streaming-only project to be eligible for GRAMMY consideration, after an incredibly effective campaign spearheaded by Chance himself.
Up to this point, Chance has largely eschewed the traditional incarnation of the music industry in every way. Resisting the major label system, Chance has yet to charge money for a project, generating revenue instead through merchandise sales, endorsements, and a rigorous touring schedule.
It’s surprising then, that Chance recently took out a full-page ad in the newest issue of Billboard Magazine, earnestly asking readers for GRAMMY consideration.
Considering his guerilla-style emergence within the industry thus far, it’s odd to see Chance feeling as though he has to play by the rules, albeit in his own quirky, light-hearted way.
Chance himself admitted he wasn’t crazy about the idea, but offered a minimal explanation as to why he ended up caving into industry pressures.
At this point in his career, it’s tough to find fault with Chance considering everything he’s done in the pursuit of artistic freedom, but at the same time, that’s what makes this all feel so weird. Chance has always been one to let his music speak for itself, so why stop now?
It’s possible that this is one of those necessary evils that just couldn’t be avoided if he wanted to have a legitimate shot at being considered for a GRAMMY, and considering the artistic implications of him potentially winning, the end may very well justify the means.
Either way, Chance has yet to lead us astray and has managed to keep his playfully imaginative sovereignty in the murky waters of the current music industry. I guess we’ll just have to trust him on this one.
By Brent Bradley. Follow him on Twitter.
Photo Credit: Twitter