Chance The Rapper recently informed the world that the long awaited and aptly named follow up to his highly heralded
album mixtape, Acid Rap, is set to be released on May 13th. For those that listened to his verse on the intro track of Kanye West’s most recent offering The Life Of Pablo, the follow up I’m referring to is Chance 3.
Regarded by many of his fans as an artist of and truly for the people, Chance is quickly being positioned as the voice of a generation. In preparation for Chance 3, promotional posters have been popping up all over, from NYC to LA, a strong attestation of his effect on the people.
Another great method of promo being used is a new petition on change.org in which Chance The Rapper is the poster-child for the cause. The petition, as I type this, is 1,405 signatures away from the desired 25,000. It calls for artists that release music for free to be eligible for Grammy nominations.
Sans any mention of other artists that could have potentially earned a nomination or Grammy for their free releases, it strikes me as a tad fishy that Chance is literally the only artist mentioned in terms of rappers deserving recognition from the recording academy.
Also, Chance 3 isn’t even out yet.
Now look, I like Chance as much as the next guy. Not quite as much as some of my friends, but I really enjoyed 10 Day. I found myself revisiting Acid Rap once I learned to appreciate his “aaah!” ad-libs and played that shit from front to back, often. I liked a fair amount of tracks on Surf, and seeing live performances of some of his new material has nearly brought me to tears. Chance The Rapper is immensely talented, and is only getting better.
With that being said, if you can’t see that this petition is a method of promotion for Chance 3, you’re blind as Ray Charles playing “Pin The Tail On The Donkey”.
If you read the body of text included in the petition, you’ll notice 2 key things that prove my point.
- Although the text kicks off with, “Ridiculously talented artists who are releasing free mixtapes and projects are not getting the recognition they truly deserve..” – Chance is the only artist specified.
- The cover for Chance 3 is the only picture attached to the petition. Helloooooo??!
On top of that, the main problem with the petition is that an actual remedy or method of obtaining the end-goal is nowhere to be found in the written proposal. The presentation’s diminished by the lack of an actual means of attaining the desired goal: to have free music recognized by the Grammy committee.
Do we even want the Grammy committee, who are notoriously far-removed from what’s hot and of merit in the hip-hop community, judging music that is solely for the people and released free as a means of feeding the fans who may not be able to afford it?
Why is it important for Chance The Rapper, an artist who takes pride in releasing his music for free, bypassing the fuckery of the music industry, to win a Grammy?
As someone who respects Chance The Rapper’s craft and holds a disdain towards the Grammy committee (yet, still aims at acquiring a few), it doesn’t make sense to me that a Grammy is even a priority in terms of the music he’s been creating as of late.
If we take the Grammy’s history in regards to Hip-Hop based music into consideration, half the time those that decide who or what wins a Grammy have no fucking clue what the people are genuinely gravitating to and feeling the most.
With music as rich and diverse as Chance’s, it would almost be a slap in the face for him to be nominated for a hip-hop Grammy, which he would more than likely be grouped in judging from the committee’s past. His music is so much more than that.
Extraordinary music doesn’t require a Grammy to validate it as such, and there are many phenomenal artists that can attest to that. If a nomination to open the door for others is your goal, go for it.
What confuses me is the contradiction of purposefully abstaining from involvement in the music industry bullshit only to seek approval and recognition from the same bullshit you are thriving without.
Chance, you’re immensely talented; but you’ve grown bigger than the Grammys at this point. That status has been built completely off the backs of you and your team’s hard work, dedication, and genuine love from your fans.
Chance may in fact deserve a Grammy, but he damn sure doesn’t need one to be what he already is. Being that I highly doubt this petition will have any affect on how the committee handles its business, I chalk it up to being a clever left-field promotion tactic. With that being said, I’m sure that, as lovers of music, we’re all anxiously waiting for Chance 3.