Chicago’s Chance The Rapper knows he can win without a major record label’s support. The hip-hop newcomer recently talked about blowing up in the music biz with an independent grind.

According to Chance, he has turned down opportunities to rub elbows on teams like Kanye West‘s G.O.O.D. Music.

“It’s not easy at all, definitely not telling Kanye [West],” Chance said referring to the opportunity to possibly sign with Yeezy. “It’s definitely hard keeping that resistance, but I want to teach people that it’s doable without. … I wanted to give the idea of freedom back to artists and one of the biggest things is control of how you release your music. So, streaming and free releases—I figured that’d be a good beacon to have people at least pick up on what i was doing as an independent artist.” (ABC)

This week, Chance hooked up with R&B singer Jeremih for their new Merry Christmas Lil’ Mama mixtape.

Released early Thursday, Merry Christmas Lil Mama is a collaboration between Chance and Jeremih and includes nine original tracks with holiday-themed titles (“Snowed In” and “I’m Your Santa,” among them), samples, and flourishes. The very first song, “All the Way,” begins with the iconic “you’ll shoot your eye out, kid” line from A Christmas Story and samples Art Mooney and His Orchestra’s “Nuttin’ for Christmas.” (“All the Way” also includes a spoken word riff from Hannibal Buress.) (EW)

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Last weekend, Chance graced TV sets on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” broadcast.

His biggest part was rapping in a music video in the vein of the 1987 Run-DMC holiday classic “Christmas in Hollis.” In adidas track suit, black fedora and fat gold chain, Chance traded lines with Kenan Thompson about this Christmas being the last of the Obama presidency. Later, in a scene about bad comedians staging a jokey re-enactment of Christ’s birth, Chance popped up as the actor playing all three wise men with the help of two lifesize puppets. (Chicago Sun-Times)

Recently, Chance reacted to landing a Grammy nomination for the upcoming awards ceremony.