Although Chance the Rapper did not attend college, one of his hometown’s most prestigious universities welcomed the “Coloring Book” rapper for a fascinating exchange about art, activism, almost signing with a major label and more.
“I like to attack my music as just myself,” he told writer and Colorlines contributor Bakari Kitwana during their conversation at The University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics. “I don’t try to tell too many narratives about other people. I’d like to think my music is me and I think I’m as vocal as I’m supposed to be at times and as physical as I’m supposed to be,” he explained. “There’s a time to be outside in the streets, and there’s a time to be outside in the tweets!” he said, provoking laughter from Kitwana and the audience.
The fiercely independent artist, who broke streaming records and made “Saturday Night Live” history, also described almost signing with Sony in 2012: ”They were talking about printing up contracts then and my dad called me and was like, ‘Son, I know you’re in New York and you’re doing something really important, but remember: don’t sign anything,’ And I was like, ‘Damn, is he in this bitch?’ And moral of the story: I didn’t sign that shit.”
Check out the full conversation above.