Before we continue this article I want to drop a disclaimer…so here it is.
DISCLAIMER: The opinions in this article are mine and not necessarily the opinions of the Dead End Hip Hop staff…or they might be. I don’t know. OH, and before you @ me on Twitter...just know that won’t change my opinions.
Aight boom. Recently I’ve noticed a trend regarding Chicago’s Chance The Rapper. Chance is a very diverse and multi-layered artist that combines the sounds of gospel and really really soft rap with heavy Christian themes. He’s collaborated with Young Thug, Justin Bieber, had a standout verse on Kanye’s “Ultralight Beam” and…wait, why am I giving an introduction, I’m sure you already know him. He’s everywhere. Which is partially why I’m writing this article.
Recently a report came out saying that music platform Soundcloud basically had 50 days to live…and EVERYONE was panicking. “Oh my God, what are we gonna do now?! What about the music?”. But…not even 24 hours later, Chance…Chance, out of all of the people…stated that Soundcloud was here to stay. This seemed a little fishy to me. First of all…if Soundcloud was REALLY in trouble wouldn’t we have heard about it sooner? More importantly…how does ONE rapper with a net worth of 9 million…that isn’t Diddy, Jay-Z, Drake or Kanye…how does one rapper save a platform that big with just a phone call?
That leads to a couple of theories.
- Chance has more power than we thought.
- The whole thing is a set-up and Soundcloud was NEVER shutting down in the first place
This brings me to another point. There’s really no nice way to say it, but Chance The Rapper is an industry plant. His level of popularity was planned ever since he before he dropped Acid Rap. His dad worked with my President, and his dad grew up with/knows Spike Lee. I knew he would be this big. Look at him. He’s marketable. He smiles. He laughs. He has an adorable daughter. He’s Christian. His music is safe. He wears OVERALLS. Women love him. He won awards while being “independent”. He’s essentially the anti Kanye. And this is exactly why his popularity has skyrocketed.
All of those things I mentioned are precisely why I don’t buy this corny good guy image that he’s forcing. Every time he does something he’s making sure you know. Whether it be “saving” Soundcloud, donating to a school or something like that. He apologized to the labels he dissed. He apologized for liking a picture on Instagram (???). Whatever he does (mostly positive) is immediately broadcasted and eaten up. It’s like he’s some super hero……..so like I said, the anti Kanye. I’m not a fan of him being put on a pedestal for stuff like this, his false independence, his safe good guy image that’s completely fake. If other rappers can do good for people in silence, why is he so different. Why are people subject to having to deal with watching his every move?
Nobody else thinks it’s weird that Chance was EVERYWHERE on the blogs in 2012 despite barely anyone ever hearing of him? He wasn’t independent then because he was signed with Creative Arts Agency (Home to George Clooney, Will Smith, David Beckham among others). Chance wasn’t independent then. Chance is not independent now. You can’t sit here and tell me that anyone backed by Apple (a company worth 700 BILLION) is an independent artist just because they aren’t signed to a label. Chance The Rapper’s album Coloring Book was streamed on Apple Music for 2 weeks before it was “free”. That’s not independent. If you’re being backed by the biggest tech company in the world, how can you expect not to sell a ton of records and win awards. He isn’t a trailblazer or example for other independent rappers, but he is a marketing GENIUS.
I was a Chance fan for a long time. But I’m even more a fan of the culture. I understand artist development, because Chance hasn’t always made music like this, music with strong Christian themes, but I understand. Music is all about branding, how you market yourself. Chance has shown that he’s soft spoken, friendly, a nice guy. He’s a rapper who won’t push the envelope. you can listen to him in the car with your parents, even the unclean versions. He’s what Childish Gambino was supposed to be. He’s what Drake was in 2008. And after he got the Kanye push and co-sign, it was over. Chance was catapulted past hip-hop and into pop cultural stardom.
I know what you’re thinking. “He does all this good stuff for people, he saved Soundcloud, why should we care? Go get some money, hating ass nigga!”. Yeah, f*ck me, right? I’m not hating on Chance. I still enjoy his old music. I believe he’s overhyped and his false, independent savior image is a detriment to the culture. This has been set up since the beginning. To me what sets him apart from rappers like Kendrick (let’s just use him) is that Kendrick pushes the envelope while giving you 100% raw raps hit your soul and throughout his career he has unapologetically dropped music for the culture without sacrificing his image. One of my issues with Chance is that he’s done a complete 180 musically, which I understand and a complete 180 with his image. He also got off drugs, and I’m happy for him but you can’t tell me that him being sober is gonna turn him into this complete cornball…something is up.
In the words of Joe Budden: ” You can’t fool a real nigga, you can fool all of them who aren’t paying attention, but you can’t fool me.”
………Y’all know this is just my opinion, right?