Who Is Chance the Rapper?

Learning to Rap

“I knew that I was going to be a rapper for sure when I went to my cousin’s studio, when I was a shorty. It was definitely after I got College Dropout. I knew I wanted to rap, I said it before, but I never really rapped before, other than by myself writing shit when I was super-young. Probably going into sixth or seventh grade, I used to hang out with my cousin. My cousin was this rapper from Chicago, Chef Sean, and he’s like a distant relative. He rapped, and that was some shit that was not allowed in my fam, so I remember I used to go sneak to his crib and record when I was in grade school and high school.

“I remember the first time I ever went into his studio, my mom actually brought me there and paid him like 60 bones to record me doing some songs. I had two freestyles and they were both over Kanye West beats, I remember that shit very well. One of them was the Do or Die shit, and the other joint was this old Kanye song called 'Doing Fine.' And I recorded both of them bitches and that shit was ultra-hot. At that point, I was just like, ‘yep, I’m gonna be a rapper. I’m too cold.’

“All of the thoughts I’ve had about different directions to take in my music have been more recent. I’ve always really liked music. Around high school, I learned how to play piano, violin and saxophone, and I was never really too good at it. It was all some school shit, but I found out that I like the more musical part—or better yet, the more melodic part of music around high school. I didn’t really think about going into production or taking any other direction until recently. I like other sides of music for sure.”

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