Recently, fans of Chance The Rapper have tried to check the Chicago native on how he conducts business. Though he’s drawn acclaim for wanting to release his music free and direct to the fans, his notable stance on wanting to remain independent with total control of his music and brand has left his fans questioning his motives. This comes directly after a tweet he made on Friday (March 17) regarding his negotiated deal with Apple Music last Spring for $500,000.
The 23-year-old artist took to Twitter to explain the deal that included the digital music platform dishing $500K and financing a TV commercial for exclusive rights to the Coloring Book album. Fast forward two weeks after the release at Apple, and the album became available on several other online outlets, for free.
In his Twitter explanation, Chance writes:
“I never felt the need to correct folks on my relationship with Apple but now that more people have tried to discredit my independence, I wanna clear things up. Apple gave me half a mil and a commercial to post Coloring Book exclusively on Apple Music for 2 weeks. That was the extent of my deal, after 2 weeks it was on SoundCloud for free. I needed the money and they’re all good people over there. I feel like if I didn’t clear it up people would keep trying to discredit all the work we did to make Coloring Book what it became. I think artist can gain a lot from the streaming wars as long as they remain in control of their own product. I just wanna remain transparent. Folks out there without a deal need to know they’re doing everything right just keep at it. If you come across opportunities to work with good people, pick up cash and keep your integrity. I say do it.”
The gist? You can experiment with using corporate clout and cash to expand the reach of your music, and still remain independent. Chance has mentioned in recent interviews the value in artists discovering a way to use the system to serve their music, versus enslaving themselves to the industry.
Despite the opinions of his fans, this has definitely worked in Chance’s favor. The 23-year-old artist, who started out passing around his mixtapes in the halls of his South Side HS, Jones College Prep, has earned himself a triple Grammy Award win in February, despite having sold a single piece of recorded music. It’s clear that it’s only up from here for Chance The Rapper.