Chancelor Bennett, known by his stage name, Chance the Rapper, is a rapper, singer, songwriter, and activist from Chicago, Illinois. Born in Chicago, Illinois, Chance the Rapper released his debut mixtape 10 Day in 2012.
The aptly named mixtape was recorded while Chance was serving a 10-day suspension from high school for possession of marijuana. He began to gain mainstream recognition in 2013 after releasing his second mixtape, Acid Rap, which gained critical praise.
He then released his third mixtape, Coloring Book, in 2016, which garnered further critical acclaim and attention. It earned him three Grammy Awards, including the award for Best Rap Album; upon winning, it became the first streaming-only album to win a Grammy Award and peaked at number eight on the Billboard 200.
His debut studio album The Big Day was released on July 26, 2019. Alongside his solo career, Chance the Rapper is a member of the Chicago collective SaveMoney, and is the vocalist for the band the Social Experiment; they released the album Surf in May 2015, led by trumpeter Nico Segal.
He is also involved in social activism in the Chicago community where he resides. Chance's father, Ken Williams-Bennett, was an aide to the late Chicago mayor Harold Washington and then-Senator Barack Obama.
Chance personally met President Obama in his youth and discussed his aspirations to be a rapper, to which Obama responded with "word." Chance's interest in music began with Michael Jackson, who he exclusively listened to on cassettes until the fifth grade.
Growing up, Chance's parents were constantly playing music, including Billie Holiday, Sam Cooke and other artists in the jazz and gospel genres. He began listening to hip-hop after hearing "Through the Wire" by Kanye West on the radio while walking through Hyde Park, Chicago.
After finding out the song was on West's debut album The College Dropout, he purchased the album, making it the first hip-hop album that he listened to. Chance the Rapper considers West a huge influence on him and has said that he was inspired to begin rapping by West.
Chance the Rapper is Christian and refers to Jesus in many of his songs. He believes that God is to thank for his blessings and success and has attended multiple dates for Kanye West's Sunday Service.
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