Chance The Rapper is the talk of hip-hop now being he took home 3 GRAMMY awards on February 12, 2017.
The Chicago hip-hop artist won awards for Best Rap Performance (“No Problems” Ft. Lil Wayne & 2 Chainz), Best New Artist, and Best Rap Album (for his streaming-only mixtape Coloring Book).
With all that being said, Chance has been a hot topic in the Christian hip-hop community at least since his proclamation that he is leaving his old life and putting faith in Jesus Christ.
Today's the last day my old life, last day smoking cigs. Headed to church for help. All things are possible thru Christ who strengthens me.
— Chance The Rapper (@chancetherapper) January 31, 2016
One of his memorable moments of 2016, was when he performed with Kanye West and Kirk Franklin on Saturday Night Live. The performance included Kirk Franklin praying over Kanye West.
Since January of 2016, the Coloring Book-crafter has made historic moves. Documented as an independent artist, his mixtape Coloring Book was the first streaming-exclusive album to chart on the Billboard 200 (#8) and win a GRAMMY.
“I know that people think that independence means you do it by yourself, but independence means freedom,” unsigned Chance said while accepting the award for “best new artist.”
“I make money from touring and selling merchandise, and I honestly believe if you put effort into something and you execute properly, you don’t necessarily have to go through the traditional ways,” the rapper told Vanity Fair. – Quotes via NBC Chicago
So what’s the big deal right?!?!
Chance’s outspoken approach to his faith, status in the rap game, and recent GRAMMY domination has the CHH community buzzing. Is Chance’s faith genuine? I don’t believe we should judge that so quickly (fruit will determine over time). Is his Coloring Book mixtape and the content on it dangerous? Some might think so. Is he a Christian role model? I wouldn’t go that far. Should we pass around his mixtape at your next youth group gathering? Probably not. These are the questions many have but they are not the only reasons CHH is talking about Chance. The following questions will reveal the reasons why the CHH community is celebrating, for the most part.
Did Chance The Rapper make history by being the first artist to win a GRAMMY (over Drake, Kanye West, De La Soul, ScHoolboy Q, and DJ Khaled) with a streaming-only project? Yes. Did Chance The Rapper open the doors for conversations on faith in the mainstream arena? Yes. Did Chance The Rapper bring creativity and substance to the forefront of hip-hop culture? Yes. Did Chance The Rapper inspire many artists to be bold about what they believe while maintaining musical excellence? Yes. Ding Ding Ding, Christian hip-hop won when Chance made history on GRAMMY night. That’s why Chance The Rapper is a big deal. That’s why CHH is celebrating. Creativity and substance is at the forefront of hip-hop culture. Conversations related to Christianity are at the forefront of hip-hop culture. CHH is winning. Pop culture is open to hearing hip-hop with Christian themes. What we think about Chance’s faith claims, sampling of worship music, and overtly Christian bars are a topic for another day.
For now, calm down, relax, enjoy life, and celebrate what Chance’s historic GRAMMY night meant for CHH and the hip-hop community in general. Also, don’t stop praying for Chance The Rapper!
What are your thoughts?