Chance The Rapper Missed Out on $20 Million Apple Music Deal

“If ['Coloring Book'] was [finished] on time, I would’ve got 20 million.”
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When the praises go up, the blessings clearly come down as Chance The Rapper unraveled the intricacies and history of his dealings with Apple Music on the latest episode of The Joe Budden Podcast.

“I had already had Coloring Book made,” Chance said, responding to Joe Budden's accusations that Chance was not an independent artist because of his relationship with Apple. “Actually, let me give you a little more foresight into it. The whole Drake-Apple deal, which I feel like is closer to what you think my shit is, they offered to me first. Drake had a deal with Apple for a long time where he was their main artist, and he put up a couple projects on [Apple Music] for exclusives. And they gave him way more money than they gave me! But I get it, Drake’s a way bigger artist than me.

“They offered me, a long time ago, to do two projects with them. It would’ve been Surf and Coloring Book, but they wanted a solo Chance project and I didn’t have that at the time. I was working on Surf. Surf is a project I made with my band, and I’m not even really on all the tracks. So you could understand why they wouldn’t want that… or throw the money that they gave to Drake at that. So, I made Surf, and I still was able to convince them to put it up for free in [the iTunes store], which was the first time they ever did this. This is before Apple Music came, but they told me in the meetings, ‘There’s something that we’re gonna drop that’s gonna be crazy. It’s gonna take the old iTunes library, it’s gonna put that shit in the trash.’ And it was Apple Music—I didn't know about that shit at the time. I finish Coloring Book..."

"...Right on time," Joe Budden interjected.

“No, it was too late. 'Cause if [Coloring Book] was [finished] on time, I would’ve got 20 million. But, it was off time, so I got $500,000 and the $500,000 was in the midst of what they called the ‘streaming wars,’ so all these different platforms were fighting to put content on their [platform] for a certain number of weeks first…

"Basically, they wanted to do a two-week exclusive, which they did with a bunch of artists, with me. Me being the best person you could do it with, because my shit hadn’t been on TIDAL up to that date. My shit hadn't been on Spotify or Apple Music up to that date. They came to me, they said, ‘Here’s some money,’ which I used for advertising, ‘and we’ll put you in a commercial, and two commercials during the NBA finals.’ And that was what it was.”

Timing certainly is everything. Though Chance The Rapper may have missed out on a $20 million payday, he did take home a few GRAMMYs for Coloring Book and does get to boast about Surf being the first album made available for free on iTunes. Also commendable is his allocating the $500,000 he earned for the two-week exclusive in advertising, which likely netted him more than his initial budget.

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