Chance The Rapper & Lin-Manuel Miranda Talk Fatherhood, Politics & 'Hamilton' Mixtape in 'Complex'

Andrew Cutraro for Complex  
Chance the Rapper and Lin-Manuel Miranda on the cover of the June/July 2016 issue of Complex.

Hamilton mastermind Lin-Manuel Miranda and MC extraordinaire Chance The Rapper join forces as the cover stars for Complex's June/July issue. With the Broadway smash heading to Chicago later this year and a Hamilton mixtape -- featuring Chance, Sia, Usher and other A-listers -- due this fall, the duo traded insights into fatherhood, politics and their legacies as artists.

Both Miranda and Chance (real name Chancelor Bennett) are new fathers and stressed the importance of family. "I have a daughter who’s going to be raised in this world, and my music and my art are powerful tools in getting that to be formed the way I want it to," offered Chance. "So I guess when we talk about legacy, I would do anything to make sure that my legacy lives on and is a healthy one, but I still look at it a little differently. I don’t think the legacy of the music is necessarily what I think about when I think of mine."

Chance The Rapper, Sia, Usher & More to Feature on 'Hamilton' Mixtape

Miranda chimed in, "One of the things Chance and I first talked about when we met was about being new fathers and making the time for that to be the most important part of your life because that goes on. Your family goes on, and I think there’s a real myth that you have to -- I don’t know -- live a fucked-up life to write fucked-up music. I’ve had enough artists as mentors who write the craziest shit you’ll ever hear in your life, but then go home to their families. They leave it in the work, and then go home and spend time with their family and make that a priority. You can go there in your work. I play Hamilton every night: I have an affair; I lose a son; I get into duels -- I get to work out all that shit on stage, and then I go home, and I’ve got the early shift in the morning with baby boy. And that’s really nice. Your art is a place to work stuff out so that you can prioritize your family."

When the topic flipped to politics, Miranda laughed at how his social media followers tried to compare the 2016 election to his Hamilton play. "It’s been really weird to watch Hamilton be part of the discussion because there are so many political quotes in it," he said. "So every time someone drops out, you see the meme, 'Well, he’s never gonna be president now.' I get that tweeted at me all the time, and it’s been very funny to watch left [wingers] and right [wingers] describe Hillary [Clinton] as Burr or [Donald] Trump as Burr." 

Billboard Cover: 'Hamilton' Creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, Questlove and Black Thought on the Runaway Broadway Hit, Its Political Relevance and Super-Fan Barack Obama

Chance also delved into his personal history with Barack Obama and why he co-signed the Prez for the next mayor of their native Chicago. "He makes a lot of great, nonpartisan decisions and he’s obviously spent a lot of time in Chicago on the South Side," he said. "This might sound weird, but Lin can probably attest to this -- when you meet Barack, when you talk to him, you can tell he’s a very good man, you know? I met him when I was really young, and I still have that same impression when I see him nowadays. It would be awesome having a good man represent the city because I feel like we haven’t had that since Harold Washington. Mayor [Richard] Daley was sick too. But, yeah, it would be awesome. There are a lot of people that need him in Chicago and the city, overall, needs it."

Gearing up for his next musical delivery, Chance 3 (which drops May 13), the "Blessings" rapper also discussed sitting next to Quentin Tarantino when he watched Hamilton and how working on the play's mixtape was an "awesome" experience. "Hamilton is revolutionary in terms of writing," Chance said. "There’s so many different pieces and each one hits perfectly as a musical theater piece, hits perfectly as a hip-hop song, and really tells the story. So just listening to the mixtape versions of them -- my favorite artists rapping and singing songs from the theater piece -- that, I love. It was awesome. And then being a part of it was even better."


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