Chance the Rapper Talks Grammys, Independence, & Trump with Katie Couric

Chance the Rapper has been hanging out with Lil Wayne, DJ Khaled, and Migos recently, but he’s also been talking to another big name: Katie Couric.

Joining the famed journalist for Yahoo! News, Chano opened up about a variety of topics, including his refusal to sign to a record label. “I think there’s a lot of attention on me not signing a record deal, but I also don’t believe in publishing deals or traditional upper management style of music being distributed,” he said. “I get to choose how much my music costs, when my music gets released, when I go on tour, who I work with, what movies I work with.”

Asked if he would ever consider signing with a label, the Coloring Book rapper continued: “No, but do I sometimes think, ‘Dang, this would be much easier if I had a machine behind me?’ Yeah, I think about it all the time.”

For now, he says he makes most of his money off merch. “Luckily, I have a very successful merchandise business,” he said. “I sell merchandise online at That’s my main revenue. Also, you can buy tickets to any of my shows on And, reinvesting in myself and being faithful to my consumers and my God, I’m always covered.”

See more of Chano’s Couric interview and read highlights from the conversation below.

On violence in Chicago: “The respect for life is little [to] none in the city because we don’t really feel like people care about us. There’s a lot of things that I wasn’t exposed to or didn’t understand or know about until I went downtown. It’s literally like a different city over there. The violence in Chicago is isolated to certain parts. Maybe if that violence moved outside of those same parameters, maybe people would feel like it’s important to do something or take action.”

On the Grammys: “It’s still unreal to me. There’s nothing like it. All of that time, up until the Grammys, was the craziest time of my life. You spend weeks and weeks working on a performance and once it happens, it just kind of bookends it. I just can’t wait for the next preparation time.”

On Donald Trump: “When I said it sounded like he was going to war [with Chicago], I was saying that for people who felt like he sounded like that because it does kind of sound like he’s saying that, but he could be meaning that, from a federal place, he would be coming in and using his influence to start funding some of the stuff that’s been at an impact. If that’s what he meant, that would be awesome.”

On his chest tattoo: “It’s a backwards tattoo that says ‘Get back to work.’ It’s a mirror tattoo, which is a concept I created. Basically, it’s a reminder that I’m not doing enough.”