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Business As Usual

New week, new paycheck! Chance the Rapper is under a microscope for his relationships and business practices. Chance the Rapper who is the quintessential “Soundcloud rapper” who made it to the top without a major label deal or distribution deal. On the surface Chance or Chancellor has not had any negative publicity since becoming mainstream. Chance does not appear to be a smoker, a drinker, a pill-popper just an all-around good guy. However, that’s not enough for us and when I say us I’m not sure if I’m addressing the Black community, the fans, or the industry. Black-Americans are stereotyped as being “crabs in a barrel” but we know that a crab’s natural environment is not a barrel and with the independent stamp on his back Chance has made some frienemies in the industry when he went on tour and bashed all of your favorite major labels on stage during his performance of “No Problems”. No other entity on this planet will take down a young Black man like the good old U.S.A. Whether through the media or politics this country thrives off of the stunted growth, development, and education of Black men and women. Anyway, people are coming down on Chance as reports of his business practices are rubbing people the wrong way.

It bothers me that people can’t just allow this young Black man to live his life and be a positive example for the youth. Rather than worrying about what Chance is doing and how he’s doing it maybe you could be putting out timeless music or doing something in your community for the youth. Why are people preoccupied with minding someone else’s business? We cannot keep tearing each other down especially if we’re not doing anything to help build them back up. What do you gain out of degrading or downplaying another person? Nothing. Now let’s dive in a little deeper into some of Chance’s business moves. Soundcloud is a platform where anyone can share and stream music…for free. It is no secret that Soundcloud has had some trouble staying afloat of the last several years but Chance wants to help keep them alive. If you don’t have a major label behind you there is no way for truly independent artists to monetize or make money off of the streams. How does that help those wanting to avoid the industry traps? The money situation between Chance and the J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League gives me Birdman/Cash Money vibes. When you eat at a restaurant you tip the waitress not the cooks. There is no way of knowing that the waitress is giving them the money that they’re owed even if it’s the restaurant’s policy for the wait staff to share their tips.

The relationship between the citizens in this country and its government is at an all-time low and for Chance the Rapper’s father to work for the Mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel as his deputy chief of staff and director of the Mayor’s Office of Public Engagement it’s not a good look. The Apple deal already upset a lot of people because it was clear that Chance was strapped for cash so he made a deal with Apple for a little piece of change. That right there reinforced the notion that everyone has their number. The people who are in charge of the industry are white men and they believe that all Black people will “sellout” for a certain dollar amount and Sir Chancellor sold out for a measly 500K. I don’t have a measly 500K but I know Chance knows someone who does! Chance should have never been in a situation to have to take the money from Apple because some of his peers should have loaned or “invested” their own money into Chance the same way Jay loaned Ye that 20 million dollars. Leaders in the music industry have learned from the best and have no problem leading covert lives within the culture because that’s what they learned from the white industry leaders that came before them. It is simply business as usual.

“To the sell-outs, livin it up, One way or another you’ll be givin it up” –2pac (Holler If Ya Hear Me)