April 24, 2018
Socy 398-Topics in Sociology
The Media of Chance the Rapper
In this paper I will be discussing Chance the Rapper, his media and how it relates to the course. Chance the Rapper is a young artist who comes from Chicago, Illinois and has since come on to the scene with his gospel influences and his struggles he faced growing up and created music that is versatile and most importantly, free to all his fans. Chance uses his lyrics to talk about the social issues that we deal with today, and his beliefs about God and the struggles of being raised in a city full of crime that others may be facing as well. By creating music about real life problems, it allows Chance to connect with his audience and influences his fans to download and listen to his music filled with messages of faith with the hope that it will spread to them. Chance’s newly released mixtape, Coloring Book, includes songs that illustrate topics about change of heart, Christian beliefs, and social issues. This relates to the course because he uses his fame and media objectively to stir up emotions, and to point out the significance of his expressive lyrics. Chance the Rapper uses the internet and his vocals, lyrics about change, social issues, and religious beliefs to sway his audience to uncover the unspoken messages of faith, determination, and perseverance that are hidden with the realm of many of our social problems today.
When Chance decided to release his first mixtape online for free download, he chose to allow millions of his fans to listen to his musical talent and uncover his underlying messages within his songs. He knew that he would not make as much money from his music if he were signed with a label, and he was perfectly fine with it being that way(Robinson). Chance wanted his audience to not worry about paying for his music and wanted to connect with his audience on a deeper level. Chance also challenged the music industry because he saw how the industry could lead towards scandal and corruption and didn’t want to be a part of that (Robinson). He expresses his opinions in the song “No Problem” that he wrote and features Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz. Lil Wayne’s part states “And if that label tries to stop me/There gon’ be some crazy Weezy fans waitin’ in the lobby.” The song is explaining that Chance does not want any label companies to stop him from producing and uploading his music online for free.
He does not want a label company controlling his style of music and the way he produces it. Chance believes that signing with a record deal shouldn’t determine if his music is published or not and he believes that he doesn’t need a label to tell him how to produce his music just, so it can be considered “real published music”. Although Chance isn’t making money from a record deal, he is making money by touring, and uploads his music via SoundCloud, various mixtape sites such as Spinrilla, and for free download on iTunes. Having free music is a big deal to listening to an artist’s music because fans don’t have to spend tons of money and they don’t have to worry about not being able to purchase the artist’s album or if sells out before they can purchase it. Because of Chance’s growing fame, this makes it an even bigger deal because he knows that more people will listen to his music because it is free.
Besides making his music available for free online, Chance also interacts with his friends, fans, and followers via his social media accounts. Chance uses his connections through social media to increase his audience and bring in more awareness to his music and messaging (Geek Chicago). His media takes on many forms including great connections with big companies like Apple Music, as well as collaborations with a various roster of artists, from Donald Glover to Lin Manuel Miranda.
At the same time, Chance also lends his voice to some artists, groups, and brands who want to get their name and products out there to the wide public, including local groups like Noname, a Chicago legend whom Chance collaborated with on one of her songs entitled “Lost” Chance also rented out an entire theater so that some lucky followers could see the movie Get Out for free and he has become a master at using Twitter as a tool for running contests, promotions, and giveaways. Chance has used the Twitter platform to advertise secret shows and he created a lot of positive press release recently when he used Twitter to promote and hand out tickets to some high-profile events which he called, Magnificent Coloring World 1 and 2(Geek Chicago), a circus themed event where fans were able to listen to Chance’s mixtapes and see him perform live.
He held a press conference not too long ago to state his position on Bruce Rauner, a Republican politician from Illinois. Chance didn’t do a televised interview like most artists or attend a rally to voice his opinion. Instead, he increased his following by live-streaming the meeting on Facebook Live and Periscope. His live videos aren’t the only type of information that Chance is putting to work on his social media accounts; He’s also shared numerous written pieces and blog posts, photos and graphics, and tons of fan art and videos. It is important to remember that Chance is working hard to putting his unique and powerful digital marketing machine to work by spreading love, sharing positive vibes, and passing along his music every single day through his various social media connects.
Chance the Rapper came from nothing in a city that is full of crime to a blazing trail full of fame where he can use his voice and personal troubles to tell his story. He speaks for all the people who live in cities full of problems such as racism, the poor, drugs, etc. Using his strong vocals, and profound lyrics he conveys his messages to those who may be facing challenge and dealing with these same issues. Chance hopes that those going through what he went through will relate to his music and change their ways just as he has. People who listen to his music online for free and feel all types of emotions for what he puts into his songs can make his music be engaging and relatable. Chance doesn’t sign with a label to allow free access to his music and so that he can create the music that he wants to make with a record label telling him how to record his songs. When music becomes personal and his full of messages about God and serious social issues today, it can dig deep into the roots of rap and provide a style of the music that creates a purpose. When this happens, music becomes beautiful, special, and more importantly, it evokes the audience and fans of artists like Chance the Rapper to keep pushing forward no matter how hard life gets.
Chicago, Geek. “How Chance the Rapper Became a One-Man Digital Marketing Machine.” Geek Chicago, 10 May 2017, www.geekchicago.com/blog-categories/how-chance-the-rapper-became-a-one-man-digital-marketing-machine.html.
Robinson, Lisa. “Why Chance the Rapper Makes Music for Free (and How He Actually Makes Money).” HWD, Vanity Fair, 8 Feb. 2017, www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2017/02/why-chance-the-rapper-music-is-free-and-how-he-makes-money.