Billboard/Austin Hargrave Chance the Rapper
10.6.2016

Chance the Rapper Weighs In On Racism, Grammys, & Beyoncé Vs. Adele

Chance the Rapper is ready for the Grammys.

Joining Alessia Cara and Maren Morris on the cover of Billboard’s “2017 Grammys Preview,” Lil Chano opens up about what the biggest night in music means to him.

“Me being nominated would be a whole other victory,” says Chance, whose streaming-only album Coloring Book is eligible for the first time. “If I do win, just know that I’ll be reveling in it.”

Alessia is also quite vocal in the article, explaining how the public perception of women in music needs to shift. “Stop trying to pit [women] against each other all the time,” she says. “Why does [competition] always have to be portrayed as a feud? You don’t really see that with men.”

During the lengthy Q&A, Chance also discusses Beyoncé, Adele, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, racism, and more. See highlights from the conversation below.

On Beyoncé vs. Adele: “Beyoncé. I thought Lemonade was a well-structured album, politically vocal, streets-ready and cohesive. Not to say that Adele’s album didn’t have any of those things, but I only heard it, I think, once. Coloring Book would be a strong contender for album of the year, too. I’m not coming for Beyoncé at all. She will be nominated but I’m just saying, why not Coloring Book for album of the year?”

On Hillary Clinton vs. Donald Trump: “Hillary Clinton, by far. Not to sound selfish, but she’s from Chicago so I would hope that she’d be engaged in our city’s current troubles and needs. She has a certain sincerity that’s hidden by the media. I’m not sure if it’s because she’s a woman or because Donald Trump just has a stronghold on the media at this time, but she’s unfairly treated. I can’t really speak on her policies but I feel a certain connection to Hillary Clinton that’s just not there with Donald Trump.”

On a Grammy nod’s significance: “The first thing I’ll do is give glory to God. If I get nominated, I’m going to throw a huge party in Chicago and I’ll fly in all my friends. We’ll celebrate the Grammys’ recognition of grass-roots independent artists and this new way of releasing music by nominating me. We’ll f–ing go crazy for, like, two days straight.”

On his Grammy wardrobe: “A suit — somebody told me that the VMAs was more lax, so I wore overalls. Then I got there and there were people in suits, so I was f–ing pissed. I’m not going to make that mistake again. All award shows, next year’s VMAs — straight suit.”

On racism: “Pretty much the same challenges that they face throughout the rest of the world in terms of being overlooked, underappreciated and held back from a lot of stuff. Colorism and racism don’t stop when you’re a musician or when you have wealth or when you’re in any given position. Kendrick [Lamar] going home Grammy-less [in 2014, when he was nominated in seven categories] was an awesome moment for people to recognize that it plagues us regardless of talent or skill.”

On the best advice he’s received: “Donald Glover told me when I was, like, 19 to hire a business manager. He said it was the smartest 5 percent he ever gave up, and I agree, just in terms of structure and planning. That same year I was chilling with Jill Scott, and she asked me how I was dealing with my finances. Then she broke down to me how I should delegate money to my family, to my own needs, to my craft and, of course, to my taxes.”

On what he’d change: “I’d change the entire world’s value of black American ingenuity and opinion.”