Chance the Rapper
I am a huge fan of his music and an even bigger fan of his business moves. For those of you who have been living under a rock, Chance the Rapper is the biggest star in music (I am not here to debate this, its fact). The thing that makes him so great is his subject matter, he offers a clear positive message for the world during a time of anger, rage and misguidance. Chance has given me music I can listen to in the car with my niece and nephews while appearing "hip" to the new music star to the youngsters. I forgot to mention that this unicorn of hip hop is from Chicago and doesn't glorify violence in his music! (That's like a dude from New York not owning a Yankees fitted hat.) While his music is a breath of fresh air, his business is revolutionary. Chance isn't signed to a record label and is showing no signs of ever being on one, even though the president of the United States has urged him to sign one to profit off his artform. What Chance has realized is his worth and the value of controlling yourself. Master P famously said "If someone is willing to offer you a million dollars to own you, what do you think you're worth". Clearly Chance has heard this quote. Chance releases his music for free and chooses to make money off his ticket sales and merchandise during the concerts. Putting him in control of his music from cradle to grave, which no other artist can say they have at this point. My favorite artist of all time Prince, changed his name in part due to the fact that he wanted to control the release of his music how he wanted to. Even today Lil Wayne is fighting to release the Carter 5 because his parent record label, Cash money wont allow the release. So I admire this young man for his ability to control himself, to truly be his own boss instead of a modern day share cropper (Yes, I just equated the music business to share cropping).
Chance was on Jimmy Fallon recently performing a record off his last mixtape with every artist from my IPOD playlist. And as I recently told a very good friend of mine, Chance makes Gospel music but calls himself a rapper. Gospel music is for the soul, it heals and inspires. Chance's music does all of these things.
Take a moment and listen to this amazing arrangement of the record blessings