The year 2016 was huge for Chicago’s Chance the Rapper. He released the mixtape Coloring Book, won three Grammy Awards, collaborated with Kanye West on his album The Life of Pablo, met with the President of the United States, and appeared on Saturday Night Live.
The year 2017 will also be big for him. Chance kicks off his spring tour on April 24 in San Diego, California. From there he’ll visit Dallas, Boston, New York, Atlanta, and many more cities in North America. His tour ends June 17 in Dover, Delaware.
After that, he plays several musical festivals including Lollapalooza in Chicago in early August. Then, on Oct 3, Chance the Rapper will perform at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles.
Basically, it’s Chance’s world and we’re all living in it. Yet, how much do we know about Chance? I mean, besides the fact that’s he’s awesome. Below, we look at ten interesting facts about Chance the Rapper.
1. Chance has yet to release a solo studio album. It may be a distinction without a difference, but his major releases have technically been mixtapes. He did make a studio album with Donnie Trumpet called Surf. Chance appeared on the album as a member of The Social Experiment.
2. Coloring Book is credited with two big firsts. Coloring Book was not only one of the best “albums” of 2016 but it was responsible for two major firsts. It’s the first album to chart on the Billboard 200 based solely on streams. It’s also the first streaming-only album to win a Grammy Award.
3. Chance the Rapper is independent. You probably know this if you’re a struggling artist trying to get noticed. You might not know this if you’ve spent all your free time streaming Coloring Book. Chance the Rapper isn’t signed to a label. He makes music on his own and streams it for free. His highly-publicized deal with Apple, for $500,000, did not jeopardize his independence. It was just a two-week distribution deal.
4. President Barack Obama is one of the people who inspires Chance. I mentioned the meeting Chance the Rapper had with Barack the President in 2016, but the two were connected long before that. Chance’s father, Ken Williams-Bennett, worked with President Obama when he was a senator.
5. Chance isn’t afraid to ask for help. On March 27, 2017 Chance tweeted that he’s looking for an intern. He’s looking for someone with experience “putting together decks and writing proposals.”
6. Chance’s great-grandmother marched with Dr. Marin Luther King, Jr. His grandmother volunteered for Harold Washington. That’s probably why Chance told a reporter: “I guess activism is in my blood.”
7. Chance is generous. In March of 2017, Chance promised to donate $1 million to Chicago Public Schools. Chance is a Chicago native who attended Jones College Prep High School.
8. Chance’s daughter’s name is a portmanteau. Chance’s daughter, Kensil, is named after Ken and Lisa, Chance’s parents. “Yeah, Ken and Lisa put together,” Chance said in an interview.
9. Chance is a prolific collaborator. Despite being born in 1993, Chance has already appeared in over 50 songs by other artists.
10. Chance has been Xanned. In 2016, Chance admitted that he abused drugs. One of the drugs he abused was Xanax. He told GQ magazine: “I was a Xan-zombie.”