Black History Month – Chance the Rapper
Written by Adela Skowronski on February 4, 2021
Chicago may not be the oldest city in the United States, but its centralized location has made it a prime place for musicians to gather for years. It’s where musicians have historically brought their heritage to jam sessions, stewed things together, and created something new. It’s how Chicago music staples have come about, like the Chicago blues, Chess Records, Jazz festivals, Chicago emo/pop punk, and the development of our rap scene.
Black people were often central to developing these now legendary Chicago styles of music. But when people discuss black artists’ impact on Chicago music, its often solely in the context of the past, and not in the context of how they are still leading the development of music today.
Let’s remember history isn’t just some stagnant, old thing that we mark with ancient events. Instead of looking backwards for Black History month this year, I’ll be taking a look at the present and acknowledging some of the legendary black artists who have come out of this great city. Tune in each week to learn about another great, contemporary, black Chicago musician.
Enjoy ! – Adela
Artist #1 – Chance the Rapper
Chance The Rapper is one of the most distinct rap voices to come out of Chicago this century. Chance started releasing music in 2012, but it was the massive success of his 2016 album Coloring Book that landed him international attention. Since then he’s won multiple awards, collaborated with musical legends, and to this day refuses to sign a record label contract.
In addition to music, Chance has made a huge philanthropic impact on Chicago. He’s donated millions of dollars towards charitable organizations in Chicago, including CPS, Anti-Gun Violence organizations, and more. He even hosted a 3-day music festival called Magnificent Coloring Day where proceeds went to help Chicago’s south side businesses. The festival included big names in music (Skrillex, John Legend, etc), bouncy castles and coloring books. Chance’s age when throwing this massive event? 23 years old.
- 10 Day – Listen here
Author’s favorite Album:
- Coloring Book – Listen here
- 2016 BET Best New Hip-Hop Artist, Best Mixtape
- 2016 Billboard Live Music Awards – Best Concert & Marketing
- 2016 Soul Train Music Award for Best New Artist
- 2017 BET Humanitarian Award, Best New Artist, Best Collaboration
- 2017 BMI Hip-hop/R&B Awards for “No Problem” and “Father Stretch My Hands pt 1”
- 2017 Grammy Award for Best New Artist, Best Rap Album, Best Rap Performance
- 2017 iHeart Radio Best New Hip-hop Artist
- 2017 NAACP Outstanding New Artist Award
- 2017 Teen Choice Awards for Choice Breakout Artist and Choice Song “I’m the One”
- 2018 BMI Hip-hop/R&B Award for “I’m the one”
- 2018 iHeart Radio Innovator Award
- 2019 HipHop DX Award for Best TV Show of the Year (“Rhythm & Flow” – Chance was the executive producer and a judge)
- Nominated for… too many awards to list on this article! Check out the full list here
- Despite having millions of streams on Spotify and touring worldwide, Chance the Rapper is not signed to any label, making him one of the most famous independent artists of our time!
- First artist to debut on Billboard’s Hot 100 with streaming only
- First independent artist to perform on Saturday Night Live (2015)
- In 2014, Chance the Rapper’s anti-gun violence campaign was so successful that it stopped all gun violence for 48 hours straight. No incidents were reported at all during the timeframe of the fundraiser.