Chance The Rapper - 2016 Beats 1 Interview with Zane Lowe

Song Rating: 7.32/10

Song lyrics:

Quick links
Part 1. 0:00 to 10:00 - Releasing Coloring Book, making of All We Got & demo
Part 2. 10:00 to 20:47 - Faith, Francis And The Lights & working with Kanye
Part 3. 20:48 to 30:57 - Waves and Nina Chop demos & being independent
Part 4. 30:58 to 40:28 - How Great w/Jay Elec & Juke Jam w/Justin Bieber
Part 5. 40:29 to 50:01 - All Night, Smoke Break, Chicago & fatherhood
Part 6. 50:02 to 60:53 - His father, touring, No Problem & unreleased music Part 1. 0:00 to 10:00
Zane Lowe: So this is Conway Studios, off of Melrose, in Los Angeles. Youve been here before.

Chance The Rapper: Yea this is where we did a lot of the Surf album and a lot of songs for Coloring Book.

ZL: Thats right, Pharrell does some recording here as well as Beats 1 and this is a place with rich history and so were here today to talk about music and its the first time weve had a chance to properly sit down and meet and hang out. It feels good to finally meet you and especially now that youve dropped this amazing record and the reviews are coming in left, right and centre and I dont know if you pay much attention to those things, if anyones even given you a headline I mean theyre universally acclaimed.

CTR: Thats dope, I mean I havent read em all but I did see a bunch of them that were really nice and broke it down in a cool way.

ZL: You seem really well, very healthy obviously there was some concern and you had to come out and say look Ive been under the weather, you were hospitalised at one point, I think you said it was pneumonia, like what was that about?

CTR: I dont know, I just get really sick I think I need to like, just take better care of myself, I just, I try and push it as far as I can

ZL: I wondered if it was a creative consumption, the stress

CTR: Yea you know that and also I get tonsillitis a lot, I dont know I just get sick very easily, Im just like Mr. Gla**, I dont know. I was sick and Im getting better.

ZL: Whats the pressure like when it came to finishing the record, like how close did it come to the moment when it was finally released on that Thursday evening American time and when did you actually hand it in?

CTR: We were to the limit, like we were able to still turn in the album to our friends over at Apple on time, or a little bit behind time actually cause

ZL: Well what is time actually these days anyways?

CTR: I know! Its a new idea to me also I think just turning in music for somebody to try and post it in a certain time and space. Ive worked with end dates before like I had announced Acid Rap but we were in the studio until we posted it.

ZL: And it was self-imposed

CTR: Yea, so it was kinda the same thing with Coloring Book it was just a little more stressful because of, I think the environment that we created in that studio because there were so many different people working on it and everybody was sleeping at the studio, we had all the inflatable beds there. It was like twenty people all living out of the studio space, along with me and my girlfriend and my daughter and I think that, there was a lot of, you know, just fatigue and tension and you know, I think adrenaline of all of it like boiling down, minute by minute and, like the last time that we played it before we turned it in we were like its perfect, its cool.

ZL: Hahaha I just think lyrically like the way you opened up Acid Rap you talk about how raps made you anxious and acid made you crazy. And then on this one you go straight in youre like talking about fatherhood and marriage and its like wow, what a difference two or three years can make. Have you had enough perspective since you released Coloring Book to be able to realise the journey that youve been on? I know you threw it all into the album but now youve had a week or so to process that and you see how much life has changed.

CTR: Yea, I think thats the scariest part is not having the album to focus on as much because all of the real world problems arent there you know. So me, you know, not paying attention to my health for months on months on end, you know, its like all in your face or you know what Im saying, your relationships, or

ZL: Youve got real life to deal with now!

CTR: Yea! Real life is like

ZL: You had a great excuse before! You could go three days without answering a call now its like, whats your excuse now Chance?

CTR: Exactly.

ZL: Haha, lets talk now about the themes of the record a bit, and the one that really jumps out to me, you know, is the relationship between art, music, faith and devotion right and the way that you brought church and religion to the record and were gonna talk about that. But I want, you know, first of all on this record one of the first major statements that you make you know is that musics all we got. Now, this is something that weve all thrown around in various conversations because, either be in a lighthearted way like musics all I know, its all Im pa**ionate about but this has more urgency to it and I wonder you know what the deeper meaning was, to you with that lyric that you and Kanye share on that opening track.

CTR: Well that, music is all we got is Kanyes lyric, right? So that record [All We Got] is perfect because it wasnt the first record that we made for it but just like Good Ass Intro it ended up being kinda like the thesis of the project right. So, I had made a lot of records and I have a record called Finish Line that was gonna be the intro, and

ZL: Thats crazy to think about that now

CTR: Yea its, that was a weird sequencing, Im glad thats not how it ended up being, but that record is so much of the record because it talks about faith, it talks about, you know, theres other blessings in the world and on the album but, you know, at the end of the day music is what we have, you know what Im saying, and you know were blessed at all times but you know, waiting on your blessing or thinking that your blessing is in an album is not what it is, you know what Im saying? Its, there is no higher miracle in this project or in any of the material things in the world, but the materials do exist. So the music is what we have, and I remember I flew out to L.A., this was only like two months ago and I met up with Donnie Trumpet and Nate Fox who made most of the music that I make and they, actually I wanna play it for you. So I had, I dunno how its gonna sound in the interview but we had, they had a record that they were working on with

ZL: Were gonna record this anyway so we can put the real audio through

CTR: Ok, perfect. So, I was working on, or they were working on this record with Grace Weber who I am in love with, both musically and otherwise shes the best, and she, they had written the song for her for her album and she, and they played it for me and it sounded like this at first

Chance plays demo version of All We Got

CTR: Actually I havent heard this in a long time! Right? Crazy! So the kicks were so different and it was so dancey

ZL: Yea, totally! Its way more uptempo and way more dancey

CTR: And, I remember when it got to this part where it says woah, woah, woah, uh, uh, uh, uhhhh, uhhhh but I heard this and was like this is, this is it.

ZL: Just that moment

CTR: After that I was like thats exactly what I need. So I was out here because Kanye had called me when I was in Chicago and said I wanna help you in whatever way I can and

ZL: This was, what was the timeline of

CTR: This was two months ago

ZL: Whoa so your work on Pablo is done

CTR: My work on Pablo is done and Im working on my project now. I put a lot of time and effort into that album and learned a lot and gained a lot outta that and, but I think that there was a lot that Kanye had to do on his front, the same place that I am right now, where he was like ok, all my personal life and all the other things that I need to do

ZL: I need to let it go, I wanna get back in the process

CTR: Exactly. So he hit me and he said I got you, I want you to come out for four days. And so like I said I got in, I went straight over to Nicos spot and they played me that record and I was like yo, I know this is for Grace, I need this. I need you guys to help make this work for me. And I asked them if it was ok if I brought it by Kanye. They said cool. So we all went over to Kanyes spot and within a few hours of sitting around and having all these deep conversations, cause thats what Kanye does is he, he does lectures and sh** and theyre all, theyre all like very insightful and important and helped me out a lot and, but after about two hours of being there

Chances phone rings

CTR: Aw sorry, my baby mamas FaceTiming me, Ill take it later. Ok I will real quick

ZL: Go for it

CTR: Lets see, aw my babys in it too. Hey, Im in this interview right now can I call you back babe? (Oh Im sorry) Its ok love, bye. Um, now I cant remember cause shes gorgeous.

ZL: Exactly, exactly! Haha and therein lies the perspective of life, and therein lies, all of this is total bullsh**

CTR: At all times haha

ZL: So youre hanging out with Kanye, hes giving you the deepness

CTR: I almost forgot, so he basically asked us to pull up the track, we pull it up, he starts doing his Kanye dance to it and hes like Ok, enough with it, take off all the drums. So Im like Ok, I dont really know what, what that means but well take off the drums. So now its just horns, synth and Ye says uh, pull out the MPC. So they bring out this MPC, almost like in like the gold suitcase, like from Pulp Fiction-

ZL: Ahhhh! Like Indiana Jones

CTR: like with just the [?]. And they put it on the table and he records drums in a way that Ive never seen before he does everything live off the MPC. So, all of his patterns that you know hes-

ZL: So hes recording it like an organic drum kit, [?]

CTR: Exactly, but that makes, you know. As it plays now, the drums arent like mixed separately its like, all the kicks, all the hi-hats everything are at the same level and sh**. But he does it literally in one take, so from top to bottom he goes, you know, he just stands there and just plays through it and plays all the drums that you hear on the track as they are now. And then less than 5 seconds after he does that one take through he goes through and freestyles over it.

Part 2. 10:00 to 20:47
CTR: Theres this guy named Francis Starlite, whos

ZL: Francis And The Lights

CTR: Francis And The Lights, my god

ZL: Who by the way, vocally on this record shines and adds a texture of emotion that is just out of control

CTR: Thats the one perpetual thing through the album thats just, is him and, Ive heard a lot of sounds with harmoniser right, so one of my favourite things that I see on the internet is people commenting on the album as, you know, whenever they talk about this vocal sound that hes created they call it auto-tune. Or they say this sounds a lot like Bon Iver. Justin [Vernon, of Bon Iver], who Francis worked with and showed a lot of this musical styling to uses a very similar harmoniser effect. But theres a very special thing that Francis does that he called prismiser, I love it, and its gonna be on Kanyes album and its on Franks album but this prismiser thing that he does, he sings and takes a vocal and then very similar to a vocoder he, instead of being singular keys he builds chordal sounds around it, so it sounds like a choir. So when you first hear Yes vocal come in it sounds like fifteen cyborgs all singing in auto-tune, but really its one vocal with Francis saying, ok this is the third and the fifth and the seventh [?]

ZL: And he can play any note

CTR: Yea and he just builds a choir around it and it sounds like

ZL: Is that what happens at the end of All We Got as well so when it changes

CTR: Thats him. So let me play you this freestyle that I got cause this is still crazy to me to this day

Chance plays second demo of All We Got

ZL: How long have you known Francis for?

CTR: So me and Francis met in, I wanna say 2013, maybe 2014, right after I dropped Acid Rap, Ive always been a fran, a fan of Francis. These are those loud a** drums he put on here.

ZL: [?]

CTR: You know what Im saying? This is just him, at the board, like this, like... So this vocal is solo right? And then... music is all we got!

ZL: Freestyling

CTR: Yea, like just off the top. Bom bom BOMBOM. But this whole sound is like my favourite thing. Because it resembles the choir sound that Ive been trying to get but it also makes it kinda futurist at the same time. You know? And, thats I think one of the encompa**ing ideas of the whole project cause that sound is on, Francis is credited on Summer Friends but he also did all of the Kanye vocals on it, he also does the end of Same Drugs theres a whole part that he does and even though its not him playing on How Great my cousin Nicole came in and sang this lead vocal from How Great Is Our God and my homie Peter came in and did Francis prismiser effect with his same harmoniser and preset that we learned from him and sh**, and really makes it sound like a whole new thing

ZL: Its like new church hall almost, it sort brings a whole like you said modernises something which has been around for as long as

CTR: Exactly. I mean thats the whole process of this thing is like putting God back in, you know, God back in our hands

ZL: Lets talk about this real quick because whats interesting to me is when you think about artists, when you think about musicians in general, religion has always played a very strong part in peoples lives. Theres no mystery that faith in music and faith in God go hand-in-hand a lot of times. I can think of a lot of artists who are very religious but they guard it, they guard it privately for themselves probably cause they feel it should be a personal experience. And Im sure thats the case in rap too, Im positive of it. You know, you are, the devotion is on display on this record. Thats really unique if you think about it, youre not hiding anything, its very very open, you really are serving a purpose here.

CTR: Yea, I mean since I, I think, I mean all of this music that came from me moving to Los Angeles was a catalyst, I moved out here at the beginning of 2014 and stayed here only for about four of five months but in that time, I felt like I was kind of losing my God a little bit you know. And that separation got, I kind of got rid of the feeling by filling every morning, literally filling my whole neighbourhood with this Kirk Franklin sound we had the craziest speaker system, we used to have this giant house in L.A. called, uh, we would call it Coy Castle. Its this big dumb a** mansion that I shouldve never rented, we had the craziest speaker system in there and every morning starting at 6 am Id wake up cause Id be on Chicago time and wed crank Kirk Franklin through the f**ing whole neighbourhood and that I think, and from that, you know, that was the time I started making a lot of this music two years ago and it kind of carried through and led me to understand, to know that my next project was going to be founded in God and founded in my faith. But I never really set out to make anything that could pretend to be New Gospel or pretend to be The Gospel. Its just I think music from me as a Christian man. I think before I was making music as a Christian child and like, and in both cases I have imperfections but I think there was a declaration that could be made out of going through all of the sh** that I went through in the past two years.

ZL: Having been a Christian child and having been a Christian young man, what do you think, and this could be taken as a question, Im interested in your perspective even if its just a short one. What do you think God means to kids these days from your experience?

CTR: Thats a really good question. I still think that God means everything to everyone whether they understand it or not or can really see for themselves where they find God, you know. But I dont necessarily, I know for a fact that, you know, were not pushed or promoted to speak about God with fervor. I dont think that theres anything that really allows us to do it. But I think the new generation in the forward is all about freedom and all about the ability to do what we want and, you know, were not free unless we can talk about God.

ZL: No youre all in, youre all in. Youre all in.

CTR: Like lets go!

ZL: And the thing is when Kanye came out and said that Pablo is more of a gospel record then it is anything else and I think hes, that a**essment was correct in that there are definitely gospel feelings to that record. You know did you guys discuss it when you were talking about the importance of bringing back the community in that sense or at least audio-wise and sonically the community, did you talk of that together?

CTR: Yea. Well I think me and Kanye both in the experience of working on The Life of Pablo both were able to grow and take things from it. And when I first came in, like I was two years ago, I was blasting Kirk Franklin. You know what Im saying, I was blasting Fred Hammond, I was blasting Byron Cage and in that space Kanye was working on his album but he was also allowing me to play my album in front of all these people. And we had conversations about faith and had conversations about God. And I think when Kanye said that he was making a gospel album he did not mean gospel the genre at all. Hes talking about literally the gospel in terms of telling a story. And repeating a historic happening and documenting it. And I think a lot of people kind of got lost in the fact that he had said it was a gospel album and I also rapped a whole bunch of historically Christian bars on that, right. But I think that the making of my album and the making of his album were very separate but connected in that we had a lot of good conversations together you know.

ZL: You seemed very connected on that record. I mean would you, I mean it feels good to me. Would you guys work on something together in that ilk? Have you talked about working together on something thats even more gospel related and bringing that faith together on record?

CTR: I think that the main thing that we wanna connect on is this project called Good Ass Job. Like thats a thing that we talked about a long time ago and I think everything that weve been working on together has been sort of a piece of it, whether we were together in the room or not I think my intro for Acid Rap was called Good Ass Intro and theres a sample from his Get Well Soon mixtape and in a lot of ways All We Got is the same thing. It wasnt necessarily that we sat down and wrote together in a room or that we bounced ideas in a traditional way. I literally like sampled Ye. I literally took what he gave me in a session of freestyles and and sat with it and worked with it and worked with it and he had given me all the pieces that I needed to make what I wanted to make. And so, I think moreso than like making a traditional project or making a traditional faith-filled project or anything like I think he just wanted to help me make the dopest sh** that I could make.

Part 3. 20:48 - 30:57

CTR: You wanna hear this original version of Waves I made for Ye?

ZL: Yea!

Chance plays original version of Waves

CTR: I had this big choir and this crazy arrangement for it, he took out all the choirs. He kept my verses but changed everything else.

ZL: Thats crazy! Thats crazy! Woooo! Thats crazy

CTR: Aint that funny?

ZL: So he came in and went no, no, no

CTR: No no no no, yes. That was it. It was like no no no no no. yes. Actually I also have a very funny verse from the Nina Chop song

Chance plays original version of Famous/Nina Chop

ZL: By the way, Swizz, this beat—unreal

CTR: Oh yea he went crazy! It was so funny cause I hated this beat when I first got it from him and then I was like, and then when we flipped it and I heard the final version I was like he was right this is way hotter than what we were doing

Chance plays his original verse from Nina Chop

ZL: I feel like you and Ye is like too good (Chance laughs) its like it has to be some truth thats told here. Cause its great that theres a collaborative nature to your relationship but

CTR: Its unfair isnt it?

ZL: Lets talk about the way that you released this record and the way that youve released records in the past. Much has been made of this independent streak and I think because even though were moving into a new world some of the old traditions have come with us. When did you as an artist, or in fact even just as individuals realise that free for everybody was the path that you wanted to take, that this was the point of difference for you?

CTR: Thats a good question Zane, haha. Well I think that the free part of it is more of an attention-grabbing thing and something that people can use as a marker to kinda track what Im doing. Right? I mean since day one, since I was you know, fifteen, sixteen pa**ing out mixtapes outside of my highschool I always gave them away for free and Id get in trouble with my pops cause hed work to get this money and then Id spend it to make these and literally give it away. I would always explain though that I wanted to get it to as many people as possible. I think after 10 Day when I decided to make Acid Rap a mixtape and really like a really free mixtape, and really went away from a lot of the deals I was being offered it was kind of to throw out a beacon and let everybody see what could come of a free artist. And I wanted people to a**ociate those words and to see, you know, an independent artists independence

ZL: Truly independent

CTR: And just so you know its, I dont, it was never, you know, I wanted to look like, I was very special doing these things or like Im the only one that could do these things really. Its all about demonstrating the abilities of a person with, you know, a good team around them and an idea of where they want to go.

ZL: Youre still on the outside looking in and having success on your own terms, what does it look like to you because youre one of the only people that really is, from your standpoint.

CTR: Yea. I mean, sometimes it looks like a sweatshop. And, and I hate a lot of parts of it. But one of the things, if I can shoutout Kanye one more time that he helped me with, was the understanding that you cant look at these companies as entities. You know? These are all individual people making decisions and when people make wrong decisions you put a pressure to get that person pushed out but you dont completely down a company or an organisation. So, with that being said I dont agree with the way that labels are set up. I dont agree that anybody should sign 360 deals or sign away their publishing or do, or take most of the infrastructure thats included in a formal deal. But Ive learned to not be like, you know, f** this company and f** this company, even though a lot of those people tried to make it really hard for me to release my project.

ZL: How do they do that? How do they make it hard, when youre independent, take your business to the point where if one more label tries to stop me. That it becomes a hook.

CTR: Well heres the thing, most people are signed, right? So, say, say you make a project and theres twelve Universal artists on it. And then not only do they find out after the fact that youve recorded with these artists and that you plan on making videos with these artists, but they find out also on top of it that you plan to release it for free. So thats when you get phone calls where people are trying to tell you that they own your friends, or that you cant make any decisions without them being a part of it. And you, you know. I only use Universal as an example because those are my people and they helped me get the project done. But, you know, for the people that arent named, you know, there is that kind of interference that happens when youre trying to push something out that people feel like they own. You know? Or trying to give something away that people feel

ZL: Yea its a lot of investors coming in after the fact

CTR: Its a lot of suits and ties of people that dont know how the f** to play notes telling you the value of what youre making or whatever youre doing.

ZL: Have you ever been tempted and I only raise it because there have been little hints along the way I mean even on the new record theres a couple of moments where you talk about you know Kanyes best prodigy, he never signed me and I wondered if that was ever on the table. And I think its Angels where you say f** it, maybe I should sign to OVO was that that record where you said that?

CTR: Yea that is, thats, yea I mean Ive had, everybody has had that conversation. Weve had all the conversations. And whats funny is that some of those conversations still keep coming back. But with Kanye, it was cool because he did offer me a deal but still worked with me diligently, you know, after knowing that that wasnt what I wanted to do. And I used the word prodigy because I cant really, I wouldnt go as far to call myself Kanyes protégé because I didnt have that experience that some of my best friends got working right underneath him. I think that the word prodigy is cool cause like, I was just a kid that he knows, that, and I am still a kid and am still growing and dont you know, fully understand how everything works and my potential or what Im going to do. But Im, I had the insight of Ye being around me at the point where Ive kind of already decided a path to be like Yo, you should sign. No youre not gonna sign? Cool, lets get this money.

Part 4. 30:58 to 40:28

ZL: Yea. You could sell music independently, its not like one goes without the other, there are a lot of independent artists who have sold their records and have sold them at a very competitive price in order to survive but also to not feel like youre causing anybody financial disservice as a fan. Why the decision not to sell this record still?

CTR: I think in part, a big part of it is that we are at such a crucial time in terms of music, I mean before, I know its being highly publicised now, this, this, you know, the what is it the National Recording Arts and Sciences, I dont know what theyre called, but those guys had been having a conversation I think up to at least a year ago about changing some of the verbage in their rules and how theyre inclusive of, um

ZL: Awards, charts, all that kind of stuff. And theres been changes in streaming on the charts as well

CTR: Yea, so the charts are already changing, theyre including streaming. I still dont necessarily agree with, how they, its something like every 1,000 streams is a sale

ZL: Is like one purchase

CTR: Or something? I dont know, I dont really care about that. But at least theyre making that move and I think the Grammys started making the move I think about a year ago they started voting on it, I dont know cause I dont really, Im not on Grammy board anymore, but they uh

ZL: But you were!

CTR: Yea, back in the day! But they originally, or the wording is that they cant nominate a project unless its released, unless its a commercial release, right?

ZL: Right. And does it qualify now that youre on streaming?

CTR: No. But thats the thing, because of this timing I think it was important to have these mixtapes be trilogised and be a thing that existed. Regardless of how the revolution goes, you know, I know that I was not on the bus when everything was changing. You know what Im saying? And I was like f** it, Im still dropping mixtapes. Now whatevers next, I dont really know, Ive kind of, am a little turned off from making music right this second cause Im still sick and sh**, and I just did a project. But like, you know, I know that I did the three projects exactly how I wanted to and that they were mixtapes and thats where I came from.

ZL: Trilogys perfect. Does it feel like now that cap has signified the end of that particular era for you, in some respects?

CTR: I think for sure. Like I mean I wouldnt necessarily say that Im not making anymore mixtapes cause I, I like making mixtapes I might make a tape with Jay Electronica soon, I might make a tape with anybody, let me stop doing that.

ZL: Im excited.

CTR: Thats cool, and itll be awesome but I think for sure that mode of projects was its own thing.

ZL: Yea for sure.

CTR: And I had to make certain statements because I was in the climate that I was in but will, like we were just saying, when 10 Day came out they didnt count streams. And

ZL: Things changed so much even since then.

CTR: Yea and I think everything will continue to change but I think we do have to think about being inclusive in terms of artists that dont necessarily have a label attached to them or want to release music commercially cause that doesnt have anything to do with artistic excellence, which is what they celebrate you know and because its you know where this is the sh** moving forward, you know its gotta move forward but let sh** change, you know what Im saying?

ZL: Lets talk about Jay Electronica for a second

CTR: Yea, lets do that for a minute.

ZL: For a few minutes!

CTR: For a few minutes!

ZL: We talk about about Jay Elec. I mean, a guy whos sorta opens the door, comes into the room for a hot second lays waste and then disappears again. So to have him on a song as powerful as How Great is it still your favourite song on your work, its really unbelievable man, you know real emotional, powerful piece of music. What I really love about that as well is just talking from a total rap nerds point of view for a second is that you almost chameleon-like adopt his flow for a minute in the beginning

CTR: Oh yea completely

ZL: Deliberately, you know to create a synergy. I love that. I was listening to it and was like is that Jay Elec? at first and you were like da, ba-da, ba-da, ba-da that sort of like tripping flow that he does.

CTR: What is it? Im trying to remember like, oh Candyman, Candyman, spit me a dream. What is it? Blow a chunk of the levee out and spit me a stream. Yea so thats, yea, but no Im probably - I mean, somebody could fight me for it - but I feel like Im Jay Electronicas biggest fan.

ZL: Haha now were all in that line!

CTR: But its, Ive always been, you know what Im saying very, for as long as I can remember like back to high school, I was Jay Elec, very tough. And hes a very well-read, well-educated dude and-

ZL: When he speaks its totally believable. Cause hes at that point in his life where, what hes talking about hes lived. Thats unique.

CTR: Definitely. I mean, theres a line in his verse on the project where he says, he says, Jay Elec wouldve never made it, O son of man, O son of man. Who is the angel that stood on Earth with a foot on water and a foot on land? Who is the angel that rode a Harley from the projects to the parliament? And then that line Im like who is that angel? cause you know hes dropping mad, spiritual text references, these are joints that you really have to look up, you might need somebody you has a degree in that sh** to really know what the f** hes talking about. The last line about riding a Harley to the house of parliament, I mean thats not a reference thats his life hes talking about himself like that sh** really happened. And I dont know when that happened or what that means but like thats Jay Electronica talking about some really, crazy spiritual sh** that hes taking over and sh**.

ZL: Hes really one of the greats and I think in many respects as frustrating as it is for us while we sit around and wait around for more music it just adds to that, you know

CTR: Well I think this was The Prestige, if anybody knows what Im talking about I think, or at least the beginning of the third Act, like hes in that space of like, you know, he had a song that I used to love where he has the sample, its like Elijah Muhammad where he talks about, like a king has to, has to leave the people and go away and wait til he can come back and manifest, its written, his time.

ZL: Lets talk about Juke Jam on the record, which is, which is one of those songs which, Ive been reading a lot of press and reflections about the record and that ones bubbling up as people continue to analyse the album and pick their favourites, cause are going so deep on this on the thinking process or thought process. And Juke Jam is one of those songs that people are feeling.

CTR: Yea, and I love that. Isnt that weird though? Cause its, well I guess its, well that record is like very, very Chicago and like almost, you know, excluding, you know I was kind of worried that people wouldnt really connect to the record cause its, you know, about a specific place that I think even certain Chicagoans dont know about Im actually sure of certain Chicagoans dont know about.

ZL: Can you tell us more about it?

CTR: Yea, I mean when I was a shorty we used to go to this spot down the street from Avalon Park called The Rink and it was a roller rink but really it was a... Have you ever seen ATL? Probably not.

ZL: No.

CTR: So theres like a movie called ATL and they go to Cascade and its like, its the same thing in that movie its just like a place where like I did actually get into my first fight and got my first juke and, like, I, theres obviously a giant roller rink on the floor but its about whats happening out by the lockers. Thats like, thats like the world that we was in.

ZL: I think its cool that youve involved Justin Bieber in that song because you two have a friendship that goes back and there was a key moment, I remember, reading about when you know you guys were on the same stage at Coachella and that was like a defining moment for both of you because what it did was it opened up the parameters of what was actually the perception of the two of you. It was like why is Chance f**ing with Justin Bieber? and then why is Justin Bieber on stage with Chance? and like how does it work? And like, it was kind of cool.

CTR: Yea thats my f**ing boy, like hes the sh** and hes just very dope at everything that he does, at writing, at singing, hes an amazing vocalist.

ZL: How did you guys even meet? Like how did that happen?

CTR: How did me and Justin meet... Me and Justin met actually after we made Confident so I wont say that me and Justin were friends when we made Confident but I was a fan.

ZL: Of course you were, you wouldnt have jumped on if it wasnt.

CTR: Exactly. And we met at Coachella and hung out all day that day before I went on stage and it wasnt til, like right before I went on stage that he was like

ZL: That was the day you met?

CTR: That was the day I met him, we sat backstage and sm- and chilled

ZL: Hahahaha

CTR: And, just chilled, and, then right before I went on stage he was like you want me to come out for a song? and I was like yea lets have a dance battle. And we did

ZL: Thats crazy

CTR: And he crushed me. But only cause I was so tired, Id been performing the whole day

ZL: Real tired, like tired!

CTR: Im cold, in real life! I probably just yelled on this microphone and sh**

ZL: Its a cool record, I really dig it, I really like it. But you know what I also like is the fact that getting away from the famos for a second, and talking about, I wanna talk about some of the new people on the record too and you know the fact that youre always looking out for people that are gonna bring a different shade to what you do, a different vibe to what you do. You know Knox being a cla**ic example.

Part 5. 40:29 to 50:01
CTR: Yea, so I mean, Knox Fortune is one of my favourite producers, hes like been in the background and produced on a lot of records that I worked on and a lot of records for my friends, and we you know, have a bunch of collaborations that didnt really see the light you know. But that one, that record [All Night] was so dope because I had it for like a week before he touched it, and it was just me talking on the record saying All night, I been drinkin all night, I been drinkin all night. And he was like yo let me touch that and brought it back and it was, you know, I mean hes, hes Chicago, so

ZL: What is it about Chicago man? Like, I mean its definitely one of the creative capitals in the world for music, you know you could put it right next to sort of a Manchester or a Liverpool, now of course people talk about Toronto having its moment, but you know there are places, Berlin, there are places where music lives. Why Chicago, why is it, having grown up in it?

CTR: I think, I mean one its like just a very cultured place, like you know we have, you know Chicagos a big city but its in the middle of Illinois. You know what Im saying? And like, all of the suburban areas around us like kind of like create this wall of like, you know, inclusive sound and sh**, and I think on top of that obviously its just weve never had a music industry and I think because there was no industry or big labels posted there it gave everybody a lot of air to like make what the f** they wanted to make. And bred a lot of you know, just awesome talent across all genres.

ZL: Theres one really funny lyric in there that made me smile on that song where you were like, you just wanna talk politics and Chicago sh**

CTR: Yea yea

ZL: And that was just funny to me because its like, ok you just released this records thats like totally dedicated to Chicago, all anyones gonna wanna talk about is Chicago and now, youve opened the flood gates, this is it, this is your time, Chicagos the new favourite, here you go and already its like youre already over it! Hahaha

CTR: Yea! Well, like that song, to me, is the best song that Ive ever written because its such an awesome concept. The idea behind it is that Im at this party and theres women all over me and, you know, theres professionals in suits all over me, and, haha, people that are telling me theyre my cousin and sh**, and in my mind all everybody wants from me is a ride home. And I think thats just such a funny, stupid, concept, but to build off of it and to kind of make it connect in a way that, you know, Now, oh now you wanna chill, now you wanna build you know what Im saying? Now you got the bill. Its, its

ZL: Gas money, cash money

CTR: Exactly. All of that sh** is a fun concept I think because I do get f**ed up at parties and get paranoid and I think its just really funny to bring it back to just everybody wanting a ride... Oh you my cousin? No you wasnt hahahaha

ZL: You made a record that is really a love letter for Chicago, its a positive, uplifting, listen for a city thats been well documented either by the conventional media, front-face media which I call like the real kind of, how would I call it, like a modern media like Vice have gone out there and done a piece on it, youve got movies that have been made about it I mean, theres a story about it being told right now. Youve done it in a way thats uplifting, which kind of contradicts everyone elses take on it. And I wondered what the challenges were in creating such an uplifting, positive-sounding record during such a tumultuous time.

CTR: Yea. Well I mean theres definitely a challenge to it because it goes against public perception but its not a stretch. I mean, Chicagos beautiful, people there are beautiful, events happening all the time, like beautiful music being made and, you know, there are like very dark shadowy parts of it and I think rather than, you know, Vice documentary-style pointing at sh** and being like isnt this weird, its kind of like being, you know, just shedding light in all of those areas. Like, you know, we talk a lot about 79th on the record because I want people to walk down 79th and sing 79th in a way that doesnt necessarily go with whatever Spike Lee made in Chiraq you know what Im saying? And its not a lie, you know what Im saying, its not like, you know, this this terrible, dystopic, place. Im from there, you know what Im saying, and Im like the happiest, again, like Im happy.

ZL: What was it like growing up there?

CTR: I mean, its kind of hard because it was all I knew for so long, I didnt start travelling til I was like nineteen or twenty but like, its super communal. Super small. Everybodys a person away from knowing someone. Everybodys cousin is somebody elses cousin. My mom graduated from Kenwood and I know like everybody in Hyde Park because of it. My dad graduated from [?] by my house because of it, was the block club president. So like Im very intertwined in this city in terms of like, knowing people and knowing areas and sh**.

ZL: Is there a movie to be made, I know like you were very vocal about you didnt like the way Chiraq presented the city, but is there a movie to be made and is it something you could see yourself being involved in, or in fact are involved in for all we know?

CTR: I mean, Im not, hmm. Thats a good question. I think that the media that I make now is dope for Chicago and I think there are amazing filmmakers in Chicago that could make some type of think-piece. Im not, I wasnt critical of Chiraq for the simple fact that I thought I could make a better movie. I just didnt think that that was any type of representation of the city it felt like it was written about somewhere else, some fantastical place and then they just put it in my city. But, I think, my main goal right now is you now making music and Ive kind of been getting into theatre a little bit like you know, I want to write some type of think-piece for the theatre but

ZL: Would you do that on script-level as well as musical? On multiple levels?

CTR: Yea, I mean like I really like screenwriting like thats not something that Im foreign to at all.

ZL: And how many would you say that youve tried or attempted to write?

CTR: Two

ZL: So youve finished two?

CTR: Yea, theres one thats about a Halloween party and then theres one thats like an existential, like I dont know its like an up in the air thing where theres like this guy... I dont wanna talk about that one, I don t know that Im actually making that one but the first one

ZL: Halloween party stupid, so we can call that by name

CTR: Well call it The Stupid Halloween Party

ZL Thats so fire, thats the sh**, what an awesome name!

CTR: Haha no if I wouldve named it that

ZL: Back on the table, cause of the name

CTR: Lets go!

ZL: So as we sort of go through, this has been fun by the way

CTR: This has been awesome. Im chillin, I keep forgetting were in an interview

ZL: I want to talk about family, because were both family men. Ive got kids, you have a newborn, how old now?

CTR: She just turned 8 months on Monday

ZL: Congratulations

CTR: Yea

ZL: So this is, youve documented this on the record which is again now, a lovely tone on the album, the honesty, and just the vulnerability and the heartfelt nature of it. And I read somewhere actually in an article that the cover artwork is a painting of you looking at your daughter as well. So, how has that experience been for you becoming a father?

CTR: I mean, its the greatest happening of my life and, you know, feels a lot like the beginning of my life

ZL: Right? Its hard to think about what you did before! I have no idea

CTR: Yea its crazy, tripping. But I mean it definitely comes with all, you know, a lot of hardships and sh** you know and I think its well documented on the album. One of my favourite records is a song I made with Future on it called Smoke Break and I think Future was perfect for it cause hes a father too and that record, I remember I started making it and my girlfriend came in and she didnt like it at first, now its her favourite song. But the song talks about, you know, its another song that uses d** as a metaphor for relationships or s** or whatever but you know, there really is a whole turning point in terms of your priorities and your schedule and we really did lose for a second, you know, the respect of time for ourselves and the respect of time to just take a break, put the baby down for a second and like, enjoy each others company.

ZL: Having been in and around, somewhat of a political environment, albeit local body politics, in that situation and your dad working with Barack Obama when he was a senator and being exposed to that and I think that it makes sense now listening to your music and the way that you talk about Chicago from the point of view of Chicago as it comes from a community-driven place. What does it mean to you, or what do you think it means to a generation right now because I mean in essence I think a lot of artists are saying things that people probably look to politicians and policy makers to say. You know, and then in some respects those things arent really that forthcoming from a lot of political circles, it seems to be in particular chaos right now internationally, politically.

Part 6. 50:02 to 60:53
CTR: Yea, I think there was always... you know, I think the word politics you know, sounds dirty to me, when I even think about it. But I never really saw my dad as working in politics, like whenever he, whenever I went to his job or he talked about what he was working on, I always saw, you know, that same idea of being a good man and working on projects that will help people. So when my dad took any job it was always kind of a state director position, or a head of community outreach, it was always about building a bigger communal space, networking with all the, all the, the heads of religious organisations, of community initiatives, being in contact with and always on with people that are trying to make a difference and being, spearheading, really, a lot of initiatives.

ZL: You must be proud man, do you know what he thinks about the record you just made and the music you play?

CTR: I hope so, Im proud of my dad like thats what, thats whats so funny is he says hes proud of me all the time and thats like, thats a dope thing coming from somebody that moves sh** in the physical you know what Im saying. Versus like, I mean I do try and do physical sh** but like I, my sh** is like a lot more

ZL: Well you have to get physical now, we have to talk about the road bro. Because the album is done. And its been a minute, do you think about it? Are you in plans?

CTR: Definitely. So I mean like, touring the music is going to be so easy just in terms of like the sound and pure audio of it and the sequencing of the show.

ZL: It will be you and The Experiment?

CTR: Yea. Its always gonna be me and The Experiment. That just works. You cant, you cant say, if it aint broke. Do you know what Im saying.

ZL: Is it gonna be The Experiment and extended family?

CTR: Probably. Yea. The last two shows I got to play with Francis And The Lights. People wont know that unless you were at those two shows but like, you know. And I know Francis is about to drop his album so I probably shouldnt even say that cause he probably wont be with me but still, you know.

ZL: Put it out there.

CTR: You know like Ive always wanted to bring a bigger theatre feeling to Chicago. And when I say theatre I mean specifically like a Broadway sense like New Yorks theatre scene strives, thrives because they have Broadway and they have like a row of theatres and a very uplifted theatre scene. And I think

ZL: Is this something that will permeate through your terrain do you think?

CTR: I think its on the other end of it just because its a stagnant thing. I want to build a building that people come in to like see, you know like an attraction? Like the worlds biggest [?] thats on the road somewhere and people drive to go see that.

ZL: How hard are you gonna tour this record, fans are gonna want to know. I mean youve been to Europe, youve been around America, you havent been to Australasia, you havent been to probably Asia?

CTR: So well be in Asia, Australia, New Zealand - can I say New Zealand and Australia or is that the same thing?

ZL: No theyre not the same thing

CTR: I knew theyre not the same thing, I just wanted to check with you Zane

ZL: Yep! We categorically confirm we are not the same thing! But were friends!

CTR: And so, so New Zealand as well as Australia. Definitely gotta go back to Europe. And I think a very important thing that were trying to work out right now is being in Africa outside of being in South Africa.

ZL: Amazing.

CTR: And then maybe well do something in America too. Possibly.

ZL: I hope so! You imagine making this record...

CTR: Wouldnt that be sick though?

ZL: ... just to not...

CTR: Make everyone else travel for it? Thats the new thing is, you gotta travel for music. Thats why festivals are dope cause people go out of their way to go see a festival, but thats the same sh** I was just talking about.

ZL: Whens the touring gonna start? Do you know?

CTR: I do know. I guess when this comes out the tickets will probably already drop so September.

ZL: I got a couple quick fire things to get through before we get up and out of here then lets get some fresh air. So number one, you mentioned something the other day when you were doing your Reddit questionnaire you mentioned about the Childish Gambino mixtape, is that ever gonna see the light of day?

CTR: Yea, I know for a fact that its gonna come out by fall, I think

ZL: Hes all nervous now I put him on the spot

CTR: The thing is, I dont wanna say too much, Donald is like my older brother and like, I can say some sh** that will get me in trouble. Hes working on his TV show so I should say that first. And Atlantas amazing, hes out there right now finishing up the TV show and the tape is not done, or close to being done. But it will come out.

ZL: Youve got some skin in the game.

CTR: Yep.

ZL: No Problem, we have to talk about No Problem because it is without a doubt one of the best songs of the year within the framework of the album.

CTR: Thank you.

ZL: I think I played it for like thirty minutes straight when we played it on Beats.

CTR: You did. And thank you for that.

ZL: Thank you.

CTR: I got a lot of tweets about it they said they liked that.

ZL: No the songs incredible obviously brining 2 Chainz and Lil Wayne into it and creating such a really great chemistry on that record. It isnt always easy when youve got you know guest bars coming in, sometimes it can feel as though its been sent in my tape or whatever, or digitally. Tell us about that song, tell as what that song means to you and, people have never heard you talk about it.

CTR: Yea I mean that song is everything that its supposed to sound like, its supposed to sound like the smash record that came from the other, you know what Im saying? Its supposed to feel like what this year is supposed to feel like when we take a chance on the other and f** with, you know what Im saying, some dope sh** that came organically. And it is banging on the doors of all of those labels and letting them know, like, literally and figuratively, like dont tweak. Stop trying to stop what Im doing, you know, Im over here, youre over there, do your thing. But like in both ways dont keep doing it.

ZL: But, Im gonna say it over the biggest hit record of my career to date

CTR: Yea, well I mean thats the way that you say some sh**, I mean I cant say it quietly in an email or like its, I think that it meant the most to me to have, you know, to have Wayne come on there and speak what he spoke

ZL: Great, great verse too

CTR: Yea, I mean it still f**ing scares me to this day to see that I have two records now with Lil Wayne. But, you know what Im saying, I think to have him come in it and have him backing it up, cause there is a Chicago version of that record that will come out at some point and it does have, you know what Im saying, the people I wanted to have on the record, but this version made sense for the album

ZL: Chicago people?

CTR: Yea, I dont need to say who it is, itll come out. But its huge. Its having them do it, I think people that are juggernauts in the game stand next to me and also say like dont tweak on him. You know what Im saying? I think it was poignant and it made its way to everyones ears that it was supposed to.

ZL: Whos Big Fella?

CTR: Oh, so you dont know who Ha Ha Davis is? Of course you dont know who Ha Ha Davis is. Ha Ha Davis is the f**ing funniest of all time. And hes from Detroit and you know what Im saying hes just like a comedian, a new age comedian so hes on Instagram, is where we all watch him from. But Ive been a fan, everybody in Chicago says big fella cause its some Midwest sh** at this point, its some South sh** now too like everyone says big fella. But I was a fan and I hit him up, I think a week before we went to Atlanta, or actually like two days before we went to Atlanta to shoot the No Problem video. And I was like yo, will you come with me just rock with me and we went out and just hung out together and met people together and now hes one of my closest friends. After he was in the video, I was like yo, will you narrate this whole project? So he was on four out of like fifteen of the, well he was on Grown Ass Kid, his main monologue is on Grown Ass Kid which, the labels, they stopped me. It didnt make it on the project.

ZL: Can you just get it out anyway? Just find a home for it?

CTR: I actually found out recently that the record leaked and its online but its official release is gonna be on Cam Obis project whos one of my favourite producers and did, he did Good Ass Outro, the outro from Acid Rap and Blessings on this new project, like the reprise. And he did three records on this project that all got stopped.

ZL: So much stopping

CTR: Yea

ZL: No more stopping.

CTR: Yea, dont try anything anymore.

ZL: No more.

CTR: Can I show you this Big Sean song that was supposed to be on the project that got stopped? You probably couldnt play it on the broadcast cause it wasnt a cleared single.

Broadcast paused while Chance plays song privately

ZL: Its interesting cause like, to me its dope as hell like I love that but its funny now listening to Coloring Book

CTR: You feel it wouldnt have fit?

ZL: It feels like

CTR: Everything happens for a reason.

ZL: Crazy right? Still man, hearing you and Sean together.

CTR: It wouldve been perfect. Its funny cause Sean, Jeremih and Cole all tour together and those are like my three best friends in music. And we had three songs altogether that were all collaborative songs and they all got stopped. Luckily, Jeremih still ended up on Summer Friends but Jeremih was on like three or four songs on Coloring Book.

ZL: Man, the more you tell it the more I realise like were lucky we got anything at all.

CTR: Yea

ZL: Out of the guests at least, itll sure

CTR: Itll never happen like that again though. All it takes is, is, I think the growth of the artists, plural, and the retraction of the control, and then... I dont think, I dont think there will ever be a release again from me that feels controlled.

ZL: You dont want zero problems.

CTR: They definitely dont want a single one.

ZL: Hahaha. Love you man.

CTR: Thank you

ZL: Thank you

CTR: Naw, this was awesome.

Date of text publication: 18.01.2021 at 20:47