Chance The Rapper took home three GRAMMY awards in February for a project that was never made available for purchase—to date, Chance has never sold any of his music—but that hasn't stopped people from questioning Chance's independence since Coloring Book premiered on Apple Music last May.
In an attempt to finally end all of the chatter about his relationship with the technology giant, Chance took to Twitter on Friday to "clear things up."
To recap: Apple Music approached Chance about premiering Coloring Book and making the project exclusively available for two weeks, after which the project could be made available for stream anywhere, and in exchange, Chance was offered $500k and Apple agreed to produce a TV commercial to promote the release.
Having laid out a substantial amount of money for his Magnificent Coloring World Party—which despite being a success resulted in a loss of $250k—Chance was in need of funding and wisely accepted their offer.
Granted, not every artist is going to receive a similar offer for their future releases, but Chance believes as long as control is maintained, there is a lot for artists to gain in the ongoing "streaming wars" between Apple Music, Spotify, Tidal and others.
For several years, Chance has staunchly defended his decisions to not sign with a major (or with Kanye) and not sell his music—though, it is unfair to call Coloring Book a "free mixtape" when revenue is earned through streams that are generated by paying subscribers.
However, in a recent interview with Complex, Chance admitted that he's considering the prospect of selling his forthcoming debut album, a decision that might irk fans who are not used to paying for his music but is a necessary move for an established artist. There isn't a lot of money to be made in selling music, but when your main revenue source is merchandise, it can't hurt to diversify your portfolio.
Given that Chance has preached independence from day one, the questions surrounding his deal with Apple Music were somewhat justified. Hopefully, now that the specifics of his one-off deal are out in the open, everyone can get back to championing the Chicago native's good will and outstanding work.