"He said let's do a good ass job with Chance 3, I hear you gotta sell it to snatch the Grammy." Upon first listen, this line from Chance the Rapper's verse on Kanye West's "Ultralight Beam" came across as little more than hype for Lil Chano's forthcoming mixtape. But now, with Chance 3 on the near horizon, the conversation surrounding the verse has grown much, much louder—specifically the Grammy bit.
One of the more outdated regulations upheld by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences requires that a project be "commercially released in general distribution in the United States" in order to be eligible for a Grammy nomination. Of course, this has left great free projects out of the conversation. For rap and R&B especially, this means many classic collections of songs were never even eligible for the highest award in the record biz.
A Change.org petition to, you know, change this is currently circulating and it has Chance's stamp of approval. If this stipulation never existed in the first place, these are some mixtapes that should've been eligible for Grammy greatness.
One thing, though, before we begin—we only included mixtapes of original music, as opposed to more traditional mixtapes where artists just rap over the unchanged beats of others.