My last article on Chance the Rapper talked about how he had achieved mainstream success without being signed to a label or having physical copies of his albums sold. In September this year, Forbes released their list of Hip Hop’s Cash Kings and Chance the Rapper had a spot on the list earning $33 million in just a year.
Chancelor Jonathan Bennett known as Chance The Rapper made his breakthrough with his second mixtape “Acid Rap” which has been downloaded over 1 million times on DatPiff, and since then Chance’s approach to his music business has been somewhat unconventional, releasing albums strictly digitally and for free, making his money mainly from online streaming services, merchandising and touring.
A major figure to look at behind Chance’s success is his manager Pat Corcoran, who when interviewed by Complex magazine talked about why they refused to sign with major labels and adopt the traditional music business module. He was trying to take a different approach with Chance’s business, rather than settle for an already failing format
The traditional system of making and selling music was good for the times it was made for, but now, there is a transition that is taking place in the music industry because as we are well aware of, change is constant and one should know how to be proactive concerning change in whatever one is doing. I truly admire people who question the norm and dare to take a step into non-conformity.
I hope to see more of this happen in today’s music industry, artists taking matters into their own hands by being more creative in their business models, like Jay-Z said in the song ‘’The Story Of OJ” from the album 4:44 ‘’Y’all is still taking advances huh? Me and my niggaz taking real chances’’. That line keeps hitting me every time I hear it. I understand that at times signing a deal can be beneficial if played well, especially because labels can offer more resources to help build your brand. Most times it comes with a heavy cost which a lot of artists battle with their whole careers.