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Chance The Rapper Biography
Chancelor Bennett (born April 16, 1993), known professionally as Chance the Rapper, is an American hip hop recording artist from the West Chatham neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois. In 2013, he began to gain major recognition following the release of his second mixtape, Acid Rap. Apart from his solo career, he is also a member of the Chicago collective Save Money, alongside frequent collaborator Vic Mensa, and has experimented as the lead vocalist for the band The Social Experiment. In May 2016, Bennett released the mixtape Coloring Book, to further critical acclaim.
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 a Chicago rapper. His father, Ken Williams-Bennett, was a prominent presence in the city: He served as an aide to former Chicago mayor Harold Washington and worked for then-Senator Barack Obama. Williams-Bennett, who is now a deputy chief of staff to Mayor Rahm Emanuel, dreamed that his son might one day hold office.
In his freshman year at Jones College Prep High School, Chance formed the hip-hop duo Instrumentality with a friend. Many of Chance's earliest performances took place at the YOUmedia Lyricist Loft at Harold Washington Library in Chicago. 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.
2011–12: Career beginnings and 10 Day
At Jones College Prep High School, some of his teachers ridiculed his aspirations to become a musician. Following a 10-day suspension in early 2011 during his senior year for possessing marijuana on campus, Bennett recorded his first full-length project, a mixtape titled 10 Day (also known as #10Day). In December 2011, he released a song titled "Windows", and publicly announced his 10 Day project. 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." Bennett says he spent "about eight months recording, writing and making connections off of the hunger to put out something." 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. The mixtape was well received locally and would help Bennett make connections with producers such as Chuck Inglish, Kenny Jame$ and Blended Babies. The mixtape would also grab the attention of Forbes magazine, which featured it in the publication's Cheap Tunes column. 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.
2013: Acid Rap and major recognition
Chance released his second mixtape Acid Rap, on April 30, 2013. On DatPiff it has been downloaded over 1,000,000 times. The mixtape features guest appearances from Twista, Vic Mensa, Saba, BJ the Chicago Kid, Action Bronson, Childish Gambino and Ab-Soul. Acid Rap was strongly praised by music critics and fans alike. At Metacritic, the mixtape received an average score of 86, based on 21 critics, which indicates "universal acclaim." It was also nominated for Best Mixtape at the 2013 BET Hip Hop Awards.
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. 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. 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. In August 2013, Bennett performed at the Chicago music festival Lollapalooza. Acid Rap was listed on multiple 50 best albums of 2013 lists, including 26th for Rolling Stone, 12th on Pitchfork's list, and ranked 4th by Complex. It was also listed as one of NPR Music's 50 Favorite Albums Of 2013. Chance embarked on his Social Experiment Tour, in Champaign, Illinois on October 25, 2013, lasting until December 19, 2013. 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 Coloring Book
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. 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. During Fall 2014, Bennett and other artists participated in Verge Campus tour. In November 2014, Bennett was presented Chicago's "Outstanding Youth of the Year Award" by Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
In January 2015, Bennett was listed #7 on the "Forbes 30 Under 30" 2015 music list. 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. On April 30, 2015, Bennett gave a lecture at Harvard University's Hiphop Archive & Research Institute. 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". 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. 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. 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".
In 2016, Chance co-wrote and appeared on Kanye West's album The Life of Pablo on the track "Ultralight Beam", and also co-wrote "Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 1", "Famous", "Feedback", and "Waves". According to West, the album release was delayed because Chance The Rapper wanted "Waves" to be on the album. As well, Chance was featured on a track titled "Need To Know" from hip hop duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis's album, This Unruly Mess I've Made. The following March, Chance was featured on Skrillex's remix of Hundred Waters' "Show Me Love". Chance met with President Obama at the White House on April 16, 2016, to discuss My Brother's Keeper Challenge initiative with other musicians included Alicia Keys, Busta Rhymes, Janelle Monáe, J. Cole and so on.
On May 12, 2016, Chance's third mixtape, Coloring Book (previously known as Chance 3), was released, streaming exclusively on Apple Music. The mixtape was met with widespread acclaim from music critics, receiving an average score of 90, based on 20 critics, which indicates "universal acclaim", from review aggregator site Metacritic.
On his relationship with Kanye West, he expressed contradictory views saying "Kanye was there when I tried out for the talent show, the first time I knew a kid who passed away, the first time I got suspended. But still, every time I talk to him it feels foreign."
Chance has stated in interviews with XXL & Complex that Kanye West, James Brown, MC Hammer, Prince, Lupe Fiasco, Common, Lil Wayne, Esham, Eminem, Souls of Mischief and Freestyle Fellowship, have all influenced him. 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.
In November 2014, Chance was named Chicago's Outstanding Youth of the Year and received the award from Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Chance has actively fought to combat gun violence in his hometown and in 2014, along with his father, promoted the "#SaveChicago" campaign. The campaign sought to stop gun violence over Memorial Day Weekend, and saw Chicago go 42 straight hours without a shooting. Chance met with President Obama at the White House on April 16, 2016, to discuss My Brother's Keeper Challenge, an initiative of the United States Federal Government to promote intervention by civic leaders in the lives of young men of color to address their unique challenges and to promote racial justice, with other musicians, including Alicia Keys, Busta Rhymes, Janelle Monáe, J. Cole and so on.
In July 2015, Chance announced that he was expecting his first child with his girlfriend Kirsten, whom he began dating in 2013. In September 2015, Kirsten gave birth to their daughter. In October 2015, Chance revealed to Ebro Darden, of the HOT97 morning talk show "Ebro in the Morning," that his daughter's name was Kinsley.