Chance the Grammy Winner

Chance the Rapper is a name that has taken the music industry by storm, and all without a label. It all started during a 10-day suspension from school in the senior year for Chancelor Bennett, who took the name “Chance,” recorded his first mixtape, titled 10 Day. Soon, the music was made available to online streaming services, where it caught the attention of rapper Childish Gambino.

Chance was then offered the opportunity to join the American 2012 Tour as an opening act. Accepting the offer, his name and music spread like wildfire, acquiring a mass of dedicated fans. Then, in 2013, Chance released another mixtape titled Acid Rap, featuring collaborations from Ab-Soul, Action Bronson, and of course, Childish Gambino.

The most popular track on the album, Favorite Song, now boasts of an astonishing 53 million plays. By only releasing mixtapes, Chance’s music had become so popular that he landed a spot as an artist at Lollapalooza the same year.

In 2015, Chance joined a group called Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment for an album titled Surf. Soon after the album was released, Chance performed three songs from the album on Saturday Night Live. On December 15, 2015, he became the first unsigned artist to perform on SNL.

His story doesn’t stop there. In 2016, Chance released a “surprise mixtape” titled Coloring Book, which landed as #8 on Billboard’s 200 Album Chart. The mixtape features artists like Kanye West, Justin Bieber, and Future. Available only by streaming online, it still became a Top-10 hit on Billboard.

One of the mixtape’s most popular tracks, No Problem, shows how, even now, Chance plans to stay as far away from record labels as possible. He even turned down a $10 million label deal, saying, “I have complete control over my music, the same way that I did when I was in high school. I make what I want to make, when I want to make it and with who I want to make it with.”

This mindset is what sets Chance apart from most modern artists. At 23 years old, he is a fully-independent artist with no plans to change.

Chance the Rapper again made history on February 15, 2016 when he earned seven nominations at the 58th Annual Grammy Awards. Because of Chance, the Grammy Awards had to change its rules to make streaming-only music eligible in the ceremony.

It was no doubt a successful night for the artist, who left with three awards in hand, including Best New Artist, Best Rap Album (Coloring Book), and Best Rap Performance (No Problem).

Chance was also nominated for Best Rap Song (No Problem), and Best Rap/Song Collaboration (Ultralight Beam). He received high praise from fellow artists, including Drake, who called his colleague’s wins “well-deserved.”

At the end of the night, Chance acknowledged his victories, thanking his family and his hometown of Chicago, Illinois. “I want to thank God for my mother and my father, who supported me since I was young; for Kirsten; for Kinsley; for all of Chicago. All glory be to God,” he said.

Chance the Rapper’s career seems to have no end in sight, as he was just added as a headliner for the 2017 Essence Festival. In fact, if Virginia locals want to catch a glimpse of the star, they can do so on June 4, when he will be performing at Jiffy Lube Live in Bristow, Virginia.

“Depending on the story that you are telling, you can be relatable to everybody or nobody. I try and tell everyone’s story,” said Chance.