We all know Chance The Rapper is no fan of labels, but on the first night of his Be Encouraged Tour, the artist made sure the labels knew, too. During the San Diego, Calif., stop this past Monday (April 24), the indie rapper made a bold statement amidst his “No Problem” set. On a screen behind Chance and his band were projected two handfuls of mocked label names.
There was a negative spin on some of the biggest label imprints from Atlantic Records as “A Titanic” Records, Aftermath Entertainment spun as “Can’t Do Math Entertainment,” and Def Jam Recordings as “Don’t Join Recordings.” Clearly playing off of the lyrics of the song, the Grammy-winning rapper sandwiched eight satirical label logos between images of three Grammy award statues -- rubbing salt on the already humiliating wound with his historic wins.
Meanwhile at Chance The Rapper's tour... pic.twitter.com/VHbu1TclKI
— RESPECT. MAGAZINE (@RESPECTMAG) April 25, 2017
Chano’s opposition towards labels is nothing new and was never just a hook to a song. Back in 2013, upon the announcement for his first headlining tour around Acid Rap, the rapper admitted he’s too "tunnel-visioned" to take any of the labels up on their offers. “I try to distance myself from [offers] right now, other than pushing this free album," the “people’s champion” began. "There’s a lot of people who are super thirsty right now. It’s dope people want to partner up, but I’m a very tunnel vision guy. I have so much sh-t on my plate all the time that I try and focus on one thing at a time.”
Recently, in his "World’s Best Dad" cover story with Complex, he revealed just exactly what labels have done to try to stop him: “Push me out of headline positions, so their artist can perform or not cleared songs.” Throughout the four explosive years following Acid Rap, the “Angels” rapper has managed to maintain and propel his spot in the game despite the hate that came from a decline of backing to "n----s wanting to make money off of him."
Chancelor’s strategy has proved to reign supreme for the artist as a source revealed to XXL "he’s making too much on his own… He was turning down $5 million advances, and now it’s like $10 million." Not to mention, he’s received support from some of the biggest artists in the industry from Jay Z and “Auntie Yonce” to Kanye West and Lil Wayne, who spits a verse on the “No Problem” track.
He’s managed to utilize his platform to advocate for his hometown of Chicago. After a disappointing meeting with Governor Bruce Rauner on the public education system, Chance donated $1 million to the deficit the city accumulated. It’s safe to say Lil Chano’s trajectory has proved to excel without the backing of a label, so why not put his true feelings on a big screen for everyone to see?
First night of Chance The Rapper "Be Encouraged" tour and he clowning all these labels ------ pic.twitter.com/9gKTUngoT7
— DJ Akademiks (@IamAkademiks) April 25, 2017
This article was originally published on VIBE.