15 Unsigned Rappers Who Should Get a Deal After SXSW

Chance the Rapper

Affiliations: Save Money
Previous Releases: #10Day
X-Factor: Thinks like a songwriter.
At SXSW?: Yes

Last year's #10Day tape was locally acclaimed. The tape came about when Chance was suspended for a weed-related offense from Jones College Prep in Chicago, the school he attended until last year. Some songs were written during his suspension, and many were recorded later on about it.

The release was consistent, but a few of the songs were a cut above. "Juke Juke" updated a familiar "Between the Sheets" sample and gave it some adventurous drum programming, while "Hey Ma" was a sincere "Dear Mama"-style maternal salute, initially produced by another artist on this list. Chance was already exhibiting some of the talent that has driven him to being one of hip-hop's most sought-after new artists. But his recent material—particularly songs "Juice" and "Acid Rain"—show the rapper's undeniable talent is just now beginning to mature.

His live shows are high-energy, he can sing and thinks about hooks and songwriting as much as rapping. And his rapping? Technically proficient, but purely as means to an end, and what's exciting about his career at this moment is that he is just now beginning to figure out what that end is.

Video That Sold Us: Chance the Rapper "Juice"

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