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Chance the Rapper: The Voice of A Generation

“Are you ready? Are you ready? Are you ready?”

Nadia Starbinski, Staff Writer

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Chance the Rapper is bringing a little color to the world. His overwhelming success as an unsigned artist has shocked the music industry, and the fame he has gained is a direct result of his inspiring story and powerful lyrics.

In today’s age, when you think of the rap genre, you think of stereotypical lyrics drenched in the unkempt culture of sex, drugs and gun violence. Chance has taken everything we know in this sex-driven millennial generation and completely switched the tables.

If you don’t know who Chance the Rapper is, he is a 23-year-old rapper from Chicago. Unlike other rappers, Chance refuses to sign with any record label, even though he is one of the biggest artists in hip-hop right now. He recently beat out Drake and Kanye for best rap album at this year’s Grammy Awards.

He explained while on the Ellen show why he hasn’t signed with any label, saying, “I’m just trying to be an example for all the young artists that are becoming artists every day and working on their craft and trying to help them avoid the pitfalls of the upper management in music and the non-music side of music.”

What does this mean for the audience? His music is free.

It is rare for independent artists to have any commercial success, but Chance the Rapper took that stereotype and threw it out of the window with his release of “Coloring Book” in 2016. “Coloring Book” can be marked as Chance the Rapper’s true claim to fame. Everything about the project was flawless, from the cover art to the gospel-sounding production to Chance’s signature ad-libs.

“Coloring Book” was a project like no other. It is one of the first that I have heard to fuse gospel music and rap seamlessly, and it doesn’t sound forced our phony. This mixtape remains transparent from top to bottom and is beautifully crafted and inspirational to all.

Chance the Rapper, born Chancellor Bennett, raps to my generation, who is now grown up and in the phase of becoming adults living in the real world. He also raps for older generations who have grown up and gone through many changes. Chance’s music is so enticing because it speaks to the heart of its listeners and tells them something that they don’t often hear.

Instead of taking a very real and tangible approach to speaking of love and drugs, Chance is able to talk about the less innocent side of life with abstraction. In a way, he’s able to enter the listeners mind and evoke the very thoughts and emotions that they had when they did the things he talks about.

Not only is he changing the music industry – he’s changing this generation as a whole.

His humility is admirable and the ferocious faith he unfearfully exposes to the public in every performance is rare in his genre. Having the opportunity to watch him perform live, I have to attest to his absolute appreciation for his fan base and unfailing love for God and his miracles.

Understanding the evolution of his own career, he owes all of his success to the city of Chicago and Jesus Christ. In this, he is constantly giving back to his community and helping to inspire today’s youth.

In a generation of political dispute, human rights violence and news channels displaying nothing but grief and distress, Chance has brought to light his positivity and continuously shines. His music is loaded with art that is—whether intentionally or not—perfectly suited to be devoured by college-aged young adults who are finding their place in the world and needing encouragement, faith-based or not.

 

I don’t make songs for free, I make ’em for freedom

Don’t believe in kings, believe in the Kingdom.”

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William Paterson University's Official Student-Run Newspaper
Chance the Rapper: The Voice of A Generation