Chance the Rapper is taking over the Chicago music scene, but Chicago has been known for its music for longer than Chance has been around and it’s important to take a look back at the history and influences that brought the city’s scene where it is today.
Music is an inherit part of Chicago’s roots and by the 1990s Chicago had produced a plethora of rising stars that were unlike anything the world had heard. Among those, Common Sense released his nostalgic album, “I Used to Love H.E.R.,” Tung Twista helped popularize the “choppa style” of rap, and later, he teamed with Do or Die and producer Legendary Traxxster to make “Po Pimp,” a seductive vision of balling out of control, according to the Rolling Stones.
Common’s producer went on to mentor Kanye West who had earned industry attention with his work on Chicago’s own Grav’s “Down to Earth” and later formed Go-Gettas, with friends GLC, Timmy G, and Arrowstar. West went on to cultivate and feature several up and coming artists and his incredibly booming success inspired a whole new rap scene in Chicago.
By 2010 West had influenced the city’s music scene in unimaginable ways and the city was filling to the brink with talent. Chance’s appearance comes in with The Cool Kids’ Chuck Inglish appearing on his 2012 debut “10 Day,” along with dTree, Alex Wiley and Vic Mensa, one of Chance’s partners in Save Money.
Two years later Chance cleaned up his themes of struggle and a searching for a greater purpose on his 2014 mixtape, “Acid Rap,” which also introduced several hometown voices that needed to be heard such as Noname and Saba. Now, Chance is at the forefront of the nation’s music scene and is one of Chicago’s proudest stars as he continues to introduce new artists to the world and lead with his music and his life.
Chance has aligned himself with the politically aware, gospel-inflected hip-hop with his critically acclaimed mixtape “Coloring Book“ and has broken boundaries in the music scene, but his roots began where the city’s music began and something about Chance says he won’t be forgetting that anytime soon.