How Becoming a Parent Changed Chance's Approach to Making Music

"I just can't be at the studio all night because I have a daughter."

It isn't easy being a hip-hop parent.

Speaking as a non-rapping parent of an almost-nine-month-old daughter myself, parenting in general—whether you're in your early 20s and sitting on millions or you're in your early 30s and driving a Ford Escape—is really fucking hard. 

From something as relatively minor as what time you're able to go to the gym (if you're even granted the opportunity) to something as important as your general outlook on life, like it or not, becoming a parent completely changes everything. 

Just ask Chance The Rapper, whose daughter, Kensli Bennett, is set to turn two years old next month.

During a recent appearance on NPR's What's Good with Stretch & Bobbito podcast, the Chicago emcee discussed how becoming a parent has changed his approach to music and what it took for him to fully understand what is most important in life.

"I try to be deliberate, more intent about things that I say," Chance began, adding, "The content itself has changed, rapping as if I know she's going to listen. But also, I just can't be at the studio all night because I have a daughter."

He continued: "I'm more conscious of my time and I've come to understand that—and I think I understood before she was even born—art is awesome, art is beautiful because it's a reflection of life and it describes life and shows life in its beauty. But it's just a reflection. The real thing is my daughter. I understand what is most important now."

Chance is far from the first rap artist to have an epiphany about the impact of his content and schedule (recording, touring, etc...). In a late 2016 interview with The Breakfast Club, New York emcee Dave East acknowledged the impact his career has on his daughter, in particular, his lyrical content. 

"I know in a minute she's going to be in school and people going to be like, 'You heard what your father said?' So I really got to be conscious of what I do now," East said.

While Kensli is obviously Chance's top priority and number one responsibility, she is far from the only child being positively impacted by his work. In March, Chance convinced the folks at Live Nation to donate $1 million to Chicago Public Schools.