Chance The Rapper is named among some of the world’s leading innovators on Fast Company’s annual “100 Most Creative People In Business” list.
For his free music stance and strategy, Chance The Rapper can also be called Chance The Disruptor. The independent rapper has bent every other “rule” in the music industry and made it work for him. Business and innovation publication has recognized that and ranked Chance #40 on their 2016 “100 Most Creative People In Business” list.
Fast Company writes:
Rising hip-hop star Chance the Rapper has a unique voice, four acclaimed releases, and a fast-growing fan base that includes Kanye West (who tapped him for a high-profile slot on his most recent album). One thing he doesn’t have? A record deal. Though any label would love to sign him, the Chicago-based musician has always given his music away, including his most recent project, the critically adored album Coloring Book (2016). Chance released his first mixtape for free in 2012, when he was 19 years old, and committed to the idea of giving his music away as a guiding principle for his career. Instead, he makes his money touring and selling a random assortment of merchandise from the usual (T-shirts) to the bizarre (socks, Styrofoam cups).
When asked [again] about why he releases his music for free independently, Chance tells FC:
Me being independent is about me being, you know, independent. It’s about me being free to do whatever I want and create in an open space without walls or deadlines. There are a lot of people who feel like they have artistic freedom in their [record] deals, but for me, the best way to [distribute] my product is the way I’ve been doing it so far.
Chance goes on to reveal that he has thought of pressing up vinyl copies of his music, but can’t because he hasn’t figured out a way to distribute it without having to charge fans for it.
In addition to music, Chance has also partnered up with New Era to produce his own line of Chicago White Sox caps.
Not everybody is a fan of Chance’s free music methodology though. In recent weeks producers have been speaking out against such tactics, saying that it only benefits Chance and not the producers he works with.