Chance the Rapper

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Chance the Rapper
Chance The Rapper 2013.jpg
Chance the Rapper performing live in 2013.
Background information
Birth name Chancelor Bennett
Also known as Chano[1]
Born (1993-04-16) April 16, 1993 (age 22)[2]
Chicago, Illinois, United States
Genres Hip hop
Occupation(s) Rapper, singer, songwriter, actor
Instruments Vocals
Years active 2011–present
Labels Independent
Associated acts

Chancelor Bennett (born April 16, 1993), better known by his stage name Chance the Rapper, is an American hip hop recording artist from the West Chatham neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois.[3] In 2013, he began to gain major recognition following the release of his second mixtape, Acid Rap.[4] Chance is also a member of the Chicago collective SAVEMONEY with frequent collaborator Vic Mensa, and lead vocalist for the band The Social Experiment.

Life and career[edit]

1993–2010: Early life[edit]

Chance grew up as the oldest brother in the middle-class neighborhood of West Chatham in Chicago's South Side, his younger brother Taylor Bennett is also an aspiring young rapper.[5] His father, Ken Williams-Bennett, was a prominent presence in the city: He first served as an aide to former Chicago mayor Harold Washington and then worked for Barack Obama, who was a senator at the time. Williams-Bennett, who is now a deputy chief of staff to Mayor Rahm Emanuel, dreamed that his son might one day hold office.[6]

But Chance was always more interested in the arts, performing in talent shows from his pre-school days through high school at Chicago's esteemed Jones College Prep.[citation needed] Chance showed interests in music at a young age, and in his freshman year of high school at Chicago's Jones College Prep High School,[citation needed] formed the hip-hop duo Instrumentality with a friend.[7] Many of Chance's earliest performances took place at the YOUmedia Lyricist Loft at Harold Washington Library in Chicago.[8] He mentioned in an interview that fellow Chicago native Kanye West's 2004 debut album The College Dropout was the first hip-hop album that he ever purchased and listened to, previously being into soul and jazz.[9]

2011–12: Career beginnings and 10 Day[edit]

At Jones College Prep High School, some of his teachers ridiculed his aspirations to become a musician.[10] Following a 10-day suspension in early 2011 during his senior year for possessing marijuana on campus,[11] Bennett recorded his first full-length project, a mixtape titled 10 Day (also known as #10Day).[10][12][13] In December 2011, he released a song titled "Windows", and publicly announced his 10 Day project.[14] After the song's release, in February 2012, Bennett was highlighted as one of Complex magazine's "10 New Chicago Rappers to Watch Out For."[15] Bennett says he spent "about eight months recording, writing and making connections off of the hunger to put out something."[12] After about a year’s time of working on the tape, Bennett released it on April 3, 2012 and it has since been downloaded over 300,000 times via Datpiff.[12][16] The mixtape was well received locally and would help Bennett make connections with producers such as Chuck Inglish, Kenny Jame$ and Blended Babies.[12] The mixtape would also grab the attention of Forbes magazine, which featured it in the publication's Cheap Tunes column.[17] Prior to writing and recording 10 Day, Chance The Rapper recorded the mixtape Good Enough and The Back to School Pack EP respectively.

In July 2012, Bennett appeared on American rapper Childish Gambino's sixth mixtape Royalty, on the track "They Don't Like Me". Gambino would then ask Bennett to join his 2012 concert tour of North America, as his opening act.[12][18][19]

2013: Acid Rap and major recognition[edit]

Chance released his second mixtape Acid Rap, on April 30, 2013.[20] On DatPiff it has been certified diamond after being downloaded over 1,000,000 times.[21][not in citation given] The mixtape features guest appearances from Twista, Vic Mensa, Saba, BJ the Chicago Kid, Action Bronson, Childish Gambino and Ab-Soul.[22] Acid Rap was strongly praised by music critics and fans alike.[23] At Metacritic, the mixtape received an average score of 86, based on 21 critics, which indicates "universal acclaim."[24] It was also nominated for Best Mixtape at the 2013 BET Hip Hop Awards.[25]

On May 6, 2013, after previously being featured as the hidden track on Acid Rap, a song titled "Paranoia", produced by Nosaj Thing, was released as a contribution to Yours Truly and Adidas originals "Songs from Scratch" series.[26] In June 2013, Bennett was featured in a commercial for MySpace as part of their relaunch, alongside fellow American rappers Mac Miller, Pharrell and Schoolboy Q, among others.[27] In early July 2013, Acid Rap debuted at number 63 on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums due to bootleg downloads on iTunes and Amazon.[28] In August 2013, Bennett performed at the Chicago music festival Lollapalooza.[29]

Acid Rap was listed on multiple 50 best albums of 2013 lists, including 26th for Rolling Stone,[30] 12th on Pitchfork's list,[31] and ranked 4th by Complex.[32] It was also listed as one of NPR Music's 50 Favorite Albums Of 2013.[33]

Chance embarked on his Social Experiment Tour, in Champaign, Illinois on October 25, 2013, lasting until December 19, 2013.[34] He was also a featured artist on a track on Childish Gambino's album Because the Internet, which was released on December 6, 2013.

2014–present: The Social Experiment and third mixtape[edit]

Chance the Rapper performing in 2014.

In March 2014, Bennett appeared in a shoppable online video for Dockers, promoting the brand's spring line, in which Bennett talks his style, love for creating music, and how it feels to live in Los Angeles.[35][36][37] On May 5, 2014, XXL revealed Bennett was included in their annual freshman class, alongside fellow up-and-comers Isaiah Rashad, Ty Dolla $ign, Rich Homie Quan, Vic Mensa, August Alsina, Troy Ave, Kevin Gates, Lil Bibby, Jon Connor, Lil Durk and Jarren Benton.[38] During Fall 2014, Bennett and other artists participated in Verge Campus tour.[39] In November 2014, Bennett was presented Chicago's "Outstanding Youth of the Year Award" by Mayor Rahm Emanuel.[40]

In January 2015, Bennett was listed #7 on the "Forbes 30 Under 30" 2015 music list.[41] In March 2015, Bennett released a short film called Mr. Happy directed by Colin Tilley. Mr. Happy centers around the main character, Victor, who is struggling with depression and attempting to commit suicide. After many failed attempts to kill himself, he discovers Mr. Happy.[42] On April 30, 2015, Bennett gave a lecture at Harvard University's Hiphop Archive & Research Institute.[43]

Just before midnight on May 28, 2015, Surf was released for free on the American iTunes store as an iTunes Exclusive. The album received high acclaim from music critics, receiving an aggregate score of 86 on review site Metacritic, which indicates "universal acclaim", based on 17 reviews.

In June 2015 Chance Performed at the Bonaroo Music Festival in the superjam concert collection. He also made a guest performance with fellow rapper Kendrick Lamar on stage with Earth, Wind & Fire.

On July 19, 2015, Chance the Rapper and Lil B announced that they recorded a collaborative album. The two rappers released a collaborative mixtape on August 5 entitled " Free Based Freestyles Mixtape".[44] The mixtape was highly acclaimed upon its release.

On October 13, 2015, Chance the Rapper released a video for a new song, titled "Family Matters", on his website. The song, which shares the same name as his fall 2015 tour with D.R.A.M., Metro Boomin, Towkio (and Hiatus Kaiyote on select dates), is a rework of the Kanye West song, "Family Business", from his 2004 album The College Dropout.[45][46][47] A few days before this, a video surfaced online of Chance performing a new song live, ending the song by saying the words "third mixtape," leading many to believe the wait might be coming to a close for his long-awaited junior release.[48]

On October 27, 2015, Chance the Rapper premiered a new song featuring Saba, titled "Angels", on the The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. On December 12, 2015, Chance the Rapper performed on Saturday Night Live. To celebrate the occasion, he premiered a new song titled "Somewhere in Paradise".[49]



Chancellor has stated in interviews with XXL & Complex that Kanye West, James Brown, MC Hammer, Prince, Lupe Fiasco, Common, Lil Wayne, Eminem, Souls of Mischief and Freestyle Fellowship, have all influenced him.[50] When asked about the gospel influences in his music, he also has stated that Kirk Franklin is one of his favorite artists, and his favorite composer.[43]

Personal life[edit]

In July 2015, Chance announced that he was expecting his first child with his girlfriend whom he began dating in 2013.[51][52]


  • Acid Rap (2013)
  • Surf (with Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment) (2015)


Year Show Role
2013 The Eric Andre Show Himself
2014 Black Dynamite Bob Marley (voice)
2015 The Late Show with Stephen Colbert Himself
Saturday Night Live Himself
Short Films
2015 Mr. Happy Victor


  1. ^ Kyle Kramer (December 10, 2013). "Listen to Two Recently Unearthed Mixtapes of Early Chance The Rapper Material". Complex. Retrieved October 28, 2014. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ Weiss, Jeff (May 7, 2013). "Chance the Rapper: Acid Rap". Chicago: Pitchfork Media. Retrieved October 27, 2015. 
  4. ^ Alexis, Nadeska (May 14, 2013). "Chance The Rapper Remembers Talking White And Fighting Black On Acid Rap". Retrieved May 16, 2013. 
  5. ^ Bleakmax "Hear Chance the Rapper Join Brother Taylor Bennett on 'Broad Shoulders". Rolling Stone. Retrieved on 20-01-2016.
  6. ^ Obaro, Tomi. (2015-12-04) Why Chance the Rapper Doesn’t Talk About Rahm Emanuel Publicly | Chicago magazine | Arts & Culture December 2015. Retrieved on 2015-12-16.
  7. ^ "Fat Buddha Store: Music Monday - Chance The Rapper!". Retrieved 2015-10-22. 
  8. ^ Madden, Michael. (2013-12-10) Early mixtapes from Chance the Rapper surface online. Consequence of Sound. Retrieved on 2015-12-16.
  9. ^ "Chance the Rapper Drops Acid". Interview Magazine. Retrieved October 28, 2014. 
  10. ^ a b "Chance The Rapper". SX Schedule. Austin, Texas: SXSW. Retrieved 2015-10-22. 
  11. ^ Chance the Rapper (2015-10-26). The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Interview with Stephen Colbert. CBS. 
  12. ^ a b c d e "Chance The Rapper Talks Childish Gambino Cosign, Signing to CAA and New Mixtape". Retrieved October 28, 2014. 
  13. ^ Shah, Neil (October 7, 2015). "Chance the Rapper’s Independent Course". Wall Street Journal (online ed.) (New York City). Retrieved October 27, 2015. 
  14. ^ "Chance The Rapper – Windows – Fake Shore Drive". Fake Shore Drive. Retrieved October 28, 2014. 
  15. ^ "Complex 10 New Chicago Rappers to Watch Out For". Complex. 
  16. ^ "10 Day Mixtape". Retrieved 2015-10-22. 
  17. ^ Leor Galil (April 11, 2012). "Cheap Tunes: Chance The Rapper's '10Day'". Forbes. Retrieved October 28, 2014. 
  18. ^ Todd. "Photos: Chance The Rapper Opening For Childish Gambino, CAMP Tour 2012". Retrieved October 28, 2014. 
  19. ^ "How 20-Year Old Chance The Rapper Has Nearly Every Major Label Chasing Him". Billboard. May 1, 2013. Retrieved October 28, 2014. 
  20. ^ Rytlewski, Evan (May 14, 2013). "Chance The Rapper: Acid Rap". The A.V. Club. 
  21. ^ "Acid Rap". Retrieved 2015-10-22. 
  22. ^ Brady, Erin (May 8, 2013). "Review: Chance the Rapper – Acid Rap". CMJ. 
  23. ^ "Chance the Rapper". Pitchfork. Retrieved October 28, 2014. 
  24. ^ "Critic Reviews for Acid Rap". Metacritic. April 30, 2013. 
  25. ^ Russell, Alex (August 23, 2013). "Here Are The BET Award Nominees". Complex. Retrieved October 28, 2014. 
  26. ^ "Yours Truly". Retrieved October 28, 2014. 
  27. ^ "Video: Chance The Rapper Featured In New Myspace Commercial". Fake Shore Drive. Retrieved October 28, 2014. 
  28. ^ "Chance the Rapper, with 'Acid Rap' Mixtape, Meets the Legal Black Hole Around Unsigned Artists (From the Magazine)". Billboard. August 14, 2013. Retrieved October 28, 2014. 
  29. ^ "Chance The Rapper at Lollapalooza 2013". Retrieved 2015-10-22. 
  30. ^ "50 Best Albums of 2013". Rolling Stone. Retrieved June 17, 2014. 
  31. ^ "Top 50 Albums of 2013". Pitchfork. Retrieved June 17, 2014. 
  32. ^ "The 50 Best Albums of 2013". Complex. Retrieved June 17, 2014. 
  33. ^ "NPR Music's 50 Favorite Albums Of 2013". NPR Music. December 10, 2013. Retrieved June 18, 2014. 
  34. ^ "Chance the Rapper's Social Experiment : Tour Poster" (JPG). Retrieved 2015-10-22. 
  35. ^ "Chance The Rapper x Dockers Spring 2014 Shoppable Video". Retrieved October 28, 2014. 
  36. ^ "Chance The Rapper & Dockers Pair Up For Shoppable Video & Interview". HYPETRAK. Retrieved October 28, 2014. 
  37. ^ "Chance The Rapper x Dockers - Shoppable Video -". Freshness Mag. Retrieved October 28, 2014. 
  38. ^ "XXL Freshmen 2014 Cover Revealed - XXL". Retrieved 2015-10-22. 
  39. ^ Zach Frydenlund (September 2, 2014). "Chance The Rapper to Headline the 2014 Verge Campus Fall Tour – Complex". Complex. Retrieved October 28, 2014. 
  40. ^ Evan Minsker (November 9, 2014). "Chance the Rapper Receives Chicago's Outstanding Youth of the Year Award From Mayor Rahm Emanuel". Pitchfork. Retrieved November 30, 2014. 
  41. ^ Zack O'Malley Greenburg, Natalie Robehmed (January 5, 2015). "Forbes' 30 Under 30 2015: Music". Retrieved January 6, 2015. 
  42. ^ "Chance the Rapper Stars in "Mr. Happy"". Retrieved April 2, 2015. 
  43. ^ a b "All The Best Quotes From Chance The Rapper's Lecture At Harvard". The FADER. May 6, 2015. Retrieved May 7, 2015. 
  44. ^ Young, Alex (July 19, 2015). "Chance the Rapper and Lil B say they recorded an album together". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved July 27, 2015. 
  45. ^ "Chance the Rapper - "Family Matters"". YouTube. 2015-10-13. Retrieved 2015-10-22. 
  46. ^ "Chance the Rapper Announces North American 'Family Matters' Tour". Billboard. Retrieved 2015-10-22. 
  47. ^ "Chance the Rapper Covers Kanye West's "Family Business" in "Family Matters" Video | News". Pitchfork. 2015-10-13. Retrieved 2015-10-22. 
  48. ^ "Chance The Rapper Performs New Song, Mentions Third Mixtape". 2015-10-12. Retrieved 2015-10-22. 
  49. ^ Chance The Rapper - Somewhere In Paradise Feat. Jeremih & R. Kelly | Stream [New Song]. (2015-12-08). Retrieved on 2015-12-16.
  50. ^ "Chance The Rapper - XXL". Retrieved 2015-10-22. 
  51. ^ "Chance the Rapper Oyster Magazine Interview". Oyster Magazine. Brooklyn, New York: Genius Media Group. Retrieved 2015-10-22. 
  52. ^ Stutz, Colin (July 23, 2015). "Chance the Rapper Announces He's Expecting a Baby". (Prometheus Global Media). Retrieved October 27, 2015. 

External links[edit]