Chicago native Chance The Rapper recently released his latest mixtape, Coloring Book. True to Chance fashion, the full-length project was released to the public for free, but was also available on Apple Music’s streaming service. As an independent artist adamant on never selling out, Chance’s Coloring Book has been a popular topic in the music industry, reaching the ears of those far and wide.
On Tuesday, Beats 1 Radio released Chance’s interview with Zane Lowe. In the hour-long interview, Chance and Zane sat down to discuss the work that went behind Coloring Book, religion, artistic integrity, family, and of course, Chicago. Here are 10 things we learned from the interview.
“Finish Line” was originally supposed to be the mixtape’s intro song
After listening to Coloring Book from start to finish, it seems strange to think that anything other than “All We Got” could be considered to be the mixtape’s opening track. Zane Lowe begins the interview by asking Chance about the theme of the record, “music is all we got,” a line that both Chance The Rapper and Kanye West share on the opening of their respective projects. Chance recalls his first time hearing the initial version of “All We Got,” described how the Donny Trumpet and Nat Fox track was originally meant for singer, Grace Webber: “I heard [it] and was like, this is it…that’s exactly what I need.”
According to Chance, “All We Got” shapes Coloring Book because it talks about faith and other blessings in the world, but highlights the importance of music at the end of the day.
Kanye and Chance have a mutually collaborative relationship
In the interview, Chance describes the work behind The Life Of Pablo as an experience that both artists learned from. “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,” he said.
However, good conversations are not the only thing that the two artists share. Chance reveals to Zane Lowe that Kanye played a large part in the refining of Coloring Book‘s opening track, “All We Got.”
“He does it literally in one take,” he said. “So from top to bottom…He plays all the drums that you hear on the track as they are now.”
Chance has always had a strong relationship with God
Chance has always been religious, but attributes his brief move to Los Angeles as the catalyst to the gospel-inspired Coloring Book. In that time, Chance felt like he was losing his touch with his religion, so he began writing music rooted in God.
When asked what he thinks God means to kids these days, Chance responded, “I still think that God means everything to everyone. Whether they understand it or not…The new generation and the forward is all about freedom and having the ability to do what we want… we’re not free unless we can talk about God.”
Chance uses his free releases to present himself as a beacon
Without hesitating, Chance admits that he uses his free release technique as an attention-grabber. Chance, however, emphasizes that this does not solely mean reaching as many people as possible. As an individual strongly against signing to a label, Chance strives to use his music to present himself as a beacon—he wants to show musicians what can become of an independent artist.
“No Problem” is about Universal’s restrictions on his music
The catchy “if one more label try to stop me” hook comes from Coloring Book’s “No Problem,” which features Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz.
The song stems from Chance’s aggravation with major label companies. Due to the fact that most of the artists featured on Coloring Book are signed, many labels did not take lightly to the fact that their artists recorded songs without their knowledge, planned to make music videos without their consent and intended to release the music for free.
“That’s when you get phone calls where people are trying to tell you that they own your friends,” he said.
Chance and Justin Bieber met at Coachella
“Juke Jam,” a song that Chance describes as “very, very Chicago” is not the first song Justin and Chance have collaborated on. Back in 2013, Chance was featured on Justin’s song “Confident.”
Much to our surprise, Chance reveals that it wasn’t until 2014’s Coachella festival (after the making of “Confident”) that the pair actually met in person and had an impromptu dance battle.
“All Night” is the best song that Chance has ever written
According to Chance, his song “All Night” is the best song that he has ever written because of the “funny, stupid concept” behind it.
“The idea behind it is that I’m at this party, and there is women all over me and there’s professionals in suits all over me and people that are telling me that they’re my cousin and shit… and in my mind, all anyone ever wants from me is a ride home,” he said.
Chance enjoys screenwriting
As it so happens, Chance The Rapper is a fan of theatre. More specifically, the Coloring Book rapper enjoys screenwriting. He revealed that he has already completed two screenplays in his lifetime: One that he spontaneously self-titled The Stupid Halloween Party and another to which he is more secretive—only describing it as “existential.”
The Childish Gambino collaborative mixtape is still on its way
Out of fear of getting in trouble with his “older brother” Donald Glover, better known as Childish Gambino, Chance hesitantly assures his fans that the promised mixtape is still on its way: “The tape is no where close to being done, but it will come out.”
We were lucky to get a mixtape release at all
Thanks to the actions taken by various record companies, the version Coloring Book released to the public on May 12 is missing many songs Chance intended to have on it. A song titled “Good Ass Kids” featuring Haha Davis, as well as songs featuring Big Sean, Jeremih, and J. Cole were restricted from being broadcasted because they were not cleared by their respective record companies.
“[That] will never happen like that again,” he said. “I don’t think there will ever be a release from me again that feels controlled.”
Watch the full interview between Chance The Rapper and Zane Lowe below!