Chance the Rapper has made a name for himself as an independent artist, but he admitted that it’s still difficult to turn down deals from people like Kanye West.
“It’s not easy at all, definitely not telling Kanye,” Chance told ABC’s Robin Roberts of remaining independent and declining Kanye’s contract offer. “It’s definitely hard keeping that resistance, but I want to teach people that it’s doable without.”
That independent freedom, Chance explained, has a lot to do with why he has always given away his music for free. “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.”
The conversation also covered Chance’s love of his hometown Chicago and his stance on the city’s horrible rate of gun violence. “I think a lot of it has to do with legislation, just, our gun laws and education—we could definitely use better schools. But there are also a lot of really cool programs that already exist, like Young Chicago Authors and just a lot of programs for kids out there that do have that support system and do give kids opportunities to have a safe space to be in and grow.”
There’s no denying Chance had a massive 2016. Take a look back at his year with ABC’s Music Mogul feature with Chance above. You can also get into the holiday spirit with Chance by checking out the rapper’s holiday favorites including tracks from Kanye West, DJ Rashad, and the Jackson 5 that he played as a Christmas mix for BBC’s Huw Stephens below. There’s even more where that came from courtesy of Chance and Jeremih’s Merry Christmas Lil’ Mama mixtape.