Chance the Rapper Named '2016 Game Changer' in ABC Prime Time Special: Watch
With 2016 finally coming to an end, there is plenty of reflection in the media about the year that was -- and during last night's ABC News prime time special 2016 Game Changers, Chance the Rapper took center stage in an interview with Robin Roberts.
In the video clip, which can be seen here, Roberts tags along to the final show of Chance's Magnificent Coloring Tour and speaks to the rising MC about a whirlwind year that included breaking streaming records, accumulating seven Grammy nominations -- including Best New Artist -- without selling a single album, and a slew of activism and community outreach initiatives in his native Chicago.
"I wanted to give the idea of freedom back to artists," Chance says about keeping his music free. "And one of the biggest things is control of how you release your music. So streaming and free releases, I figured that would be a good beacon to have people at least pick up on what I was doing as an independent artist... It's definitely hard keeping that resistance [to labels' advances], but I want to teach people that it's doable." (His manager was less diplomatic on Twitter this morning.)
Roberts then brings up the issues that have plagued Chicago during an alarming upswing in violence and shootings within the city. Chance, through various events and parties -- including his Magnificent Coloring Day Festival in September that broke U.S. Cellular Field's attendance record -- as well as community-based initiatives like his Open Mike nights, has sought to be a positive force for the youth in his city.
"I think a lot of it has to do with legislation; our gun laws, and education, we could definitely use better schooling," he says when asked what needs to change in Chicago. "There's also a lot of really cool programs that already exist, like Young Chicago Authors and YouMedia, just a lot of programs for kids out there that do have that support system and do give kids opportunities to have a safe space to be and grow."
The episode aired last night at 10 p.m. on ABC. And lest anyone think Chance is going to coast through the end of 2016 and ride on his previous successes, forget it -- last night he linked up with fellow Chi-town native Jeremih for a surprise Christmas-themed mixtape, Merry Christmas Lil Mama.