Monday, September 26, 2022

How Chance the Rapper Revolutionized Streaming (With a $500,000 Assist from Apple)

coloring book chance the rapper mixtape

*Before Jay Z launched the music streaming service Tidal, black celebrity news and technology journalism rarely intersected. Now, both celebrity gossip sites and technology journalists are buzzing about Chance the Rapper’s admission that he received a $500,000 payment from Apple.

Working as a musician — and actually earning a living — is one of the most difficult jobs in the world today. In 2014, roughly 173,300 people were employed as musicians, with many struggling to make a name and reach some sort of financial stability. Of course, some of the musicians who started from the bottom have officially arrived.

Case in point: Chance the Rapper.

The 23-year-old hip hop artist from Chicago is currently one of the most famous stars in the music industry. Chance the Rapper has also revolutionized the way self-employed and independent musicians do business. Not only is he the first and only artist to win a Grammy for a streaming-only album, but he has also turned down major labels, proving you can make it to the pinnacle of success as an independent musician.

“I wanted to give the idea of freedom back to artists and one of the biggest things is control over how you release your music,” said Chance. “So streaming and free releases, I figured that that would be a good beacon to have people at least pick up on what I was doing as an independent artist.”

However, after it was revealed that Chance the Rapper accepted a $500,000 payment from Apple for two weeks of exclusive rights to his Coloring Book mixtape, some fans and black celebrity news outlets have questioned his status as an independent artist.

According to XXL, since Chance made the risky move to turn down major labels, he’s received seven Grammy nominations. He’s also received worldwide support from artists and fans alike, plus a lot more artistic freedom.

“Grammy nomination announcements don’t usually have a big impact on an artist’s streaming or sales numbers. After a big Grammy performance or a win you’ll see a big uptick, but not before,” said David Bakula, Nielsen Entertainment executive, to Rolling Stone. “We’re in a unique time because of how streaming is changing the way artists release albums and hot it’s changing the album as an art form.”

Rolling Stone also reports that the Chance the Rapper album Coloring Book has already changed both how music is consumed and how it is created.

Despite Chance’s monumental success here in the U.S., he’s reportedly expressed interested in moving to New Zealand.

Millennials have been moving a lot more recently. Approximately two-thirds of young Americans between the ages of 18 to 29 have relocated within the past five years. Chance the Rapper, after visiting and playing a show in New Zealand for the first time, announced his plans to move there and bring his mom and “some black people” with him.

“I had an unforgettably good first time in New Zealand. I’ve decided I’ll be moving here in the next 15 years, and bringing some black people,” Chance wrote on Twitter. “This tweet is a very serious statement and without any humor [behind] it. Black people we are moving to New Zealand.”

 

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