1.11.2017

Chance the Rapper & The Weeknd Cover GQ

Chance the Rapper and The Weeknd double up for the February issue of GQ.

In separate solo covers, Lil Chano and Abel are all smiles for the magazine’s Sound+Style issue, celebrating music and fashion. Chance sports a powder blue jacket and his trademark “3” cap, while The Weeknd gives a come-on-over pose in all black for his.

Abel’s feature story is slated to drop tomorrow (Jan. 12), but Chano’s piece is already here. During the interview, the Chi-town MC talks extensively about his idol, Kanye West.

Chance the Rapper

“I don’t think I ever wanted to be like Kanye in personality,” he says. “I think I definitely want to, have always wanted to, have his boldness or assurance in myself. But I’ve definitely seen Kanye do things where I was like, ‘I’d never do that’ I’ve always been able to defend Kanye… Like when he went onstage with Taylor, I was like…well…Beyoncé kind of deserved that. I’m rationalizing everything that he does, but I can’t say that in the same position I would do the same things… I always wanted to be more a person that people enjoy. Somebody that will make you laugh. I’m talking about just my personality, not necessarily how my music sounds. Because I believe I’m a disrupter like Kanye in a lot of ways.”

In fact, he says he often told people he wanted to be a rapper when he was a kid, in part because of Kanye’s influence. Some, including his father, would brush it off. “I remember that shit used to bother the fuck out of me,” he adds, “because I thought Kanye West was the smartest man in the world. The best poet in the world. The freshest-dressed in the world. That’s what a rapper was to me, and I wanted everybody to feel that way about the word ‘rapper.’ And ‘rapper,’ to me, is pretty much synonymous with the world ‘black.’ It’s a stigma.”

The Weeknd for #GQ

A photo posted by Rap-Up (@rapup) on

Along with the story, GQ also released an in-studio interview with Chance, in which he reflects on Yeezy’s impact. “He is the originator of art to me,” he says. “Somebody that made me think art was cool and to be outspoken and confident is cool. Also, to be sensitive.”

Watch the in-studio interview and see highlights from the Q&A below.

On Grammys: “I think the Grammys are super important to music. As a musician, I think it’s the same thing as an actor receiving an Oscar. Do I think that the Grammys are always fully representative of a person’s talent? No. Just like Leonardo DiCaprio didn’t get an Oscar until this past year. And he’s been doing his fucking thing. But I think everybody wants validation, everybody wants to feel like they did right. And I think the nominations are my victory.”

On Rap Beefs: “I don’t see it ever happening. You know, I take my fucking raps so seriously that I don’t write raps without having a purpose for them anymore. I can’t write raps without having a beat and having an understanding of what I’m going to do with that song. I have to know what I’m going to do with that track when I’m done. I can’t see myself ever having somebody say something about me on a song and me being like, ‘All right, now I’m about to say something about them on a song.'”

On His Parents: “I think I’m the most apprehensive and private of all of us. I remember when I was first getting into my career, my mom was very, very hands-on and protective. She’s super smart. I’m a young parent in a relationship, so there’s always relationship advice or parenting advice that I get from my parents. I do miss the times when I was, you know, still living on 79th and could come home, but I don’t feel as sheltered by anybody anymore. My dad has always just been a people person. I still look to my dad for advice. My dad’s the man. And I can’t say that enough. He has always stuck up for people. And he’s also always been a good dude. That’s who I want to be.”

Chance the Rapper

On Donald Trump: “I’m okay if the story seems boring to people because I’m a good guy. I’m cool with that. I’d be cool with people remembering me as a good, boring dude. As long as people say good… the good guy, in what I’ve seen happen so far, the good usually wins. That’s why I’m not afraid of a Trump presidency… You gotta just understand, like, shit has been fucked-up, right? Like, ‘Make America Great Again,’ that’s not a real thing because shit ain’t really switched up for them. It’s not really going that bad for you. If you feel like you’re the under-represented, under-appreciated side of Middle America that is white—quote me—you need to, uh, toughen up, ni**a! Somebody gotta punch you in the chest, because shit is sweet for you. You know what I’m saying? I would say to everybody, you know, the world is coming together. Like—there’s every day people are becoming more a more, I’m not using this world in terms of emotion, but sensitive to real issues… and aware…. I would say the main reason not to be afraid is that I’m making music for your kids now. I’m coming so clean-cut with the message of hope and understanding, and the Word, that it’s like: What could you be fearful of?”

On Being Broke: “I go broke a lot. I go broke a lot because I have this understanding that whatever I put out there, if I really am doing what’s right, it’s going to be rewarding, you know? If I’m working on it—if I’m diligently working on it—something will come back. And that’s how every project has been since I was in high school, since I was Instrumentality [Chance’s musical alter ego in high school] and I was giving out CDs for free. Everything has come back tenfold. I remember sitting on the back of the bus on the first day of the Social Experiment tour, with my face in my hands. I emptied out my bank account, and before I did that tour that was the number one thing I said I’d never do. ‘I’ll never empty out my savings.’ But I put all that money up, and within two weeks, when everyone was getting paid, I was like, Okay, cool we’re good again. The same shit happened with Surf. And the same shit happened with Coloring Book. I was fucking around in this studio–like this studio is stupid expensive.”