Chance the Rapper has made himself a household name in Rap without a record deal. He has been offered to sign with a label, but so far has chosen to remain independent.
“Label deals suck, that’s just the truth of it,” the Chicago rapper says to The Wall Street Journal. “People believe you have to be discovered by a higher power, who hires you and takes a percentage, but in reality, you have to garner a fan base on your own.”
Chance releases his music for free, creating a following through the Internet. His Acid Rap project was released in 2013 and has amassed more than one million downloads on Datpiff. On Audiomack, the project has been played more than two million times, making it the website’s third highest mixtape. The rapper says that the free model does not mean his music doesn’t have value.
“That feeling of getting something free, it’s a complete turnaround from what the industry feeds us,” he says. “Why charge a dollar for [a song] when that’s not doing anything but making people undervalue music? None of my songs are worth 99 cents. They’re worth a lot more.”
The rapper remembers going door-to-door to pass out his mixtapes when he was younger, as suggested by his father who is a political operative and has worked with President Barack Obama. This experience helped him form his personal business today.
“I think there is a breakdown coming,” he says. “People will start to understand that there’s no need for the middle man.”
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