Chance the Rapper: disruption's influence and interview with Nathan Goldenberg

This is the last post of my three-week-long piece covering Chance the Rapper. Its been fun learning about and listening to this interesting artist, as well as working with Brendan Kirk on the second part of the piece. So now it is time to wrap it all up.

In conclusion...

Last weekend while I was taking the SAT, one of my reading sections covered creativity and the possibility of making requirements in order to better discern who or what is truly creative.

The general thesis of the passage was that something or someone can only be creative if it is recognized as such. Thus, Emily Dickinson was not creative when she first published her poems because it took years and years for her to be recognized for her work.

So, by these terms certainly Chance is creative. He has garnered serious acclaim for his music in the past years and is appreciated, even idolized by many. He is inspiring a new era of rappers  - hopeful young men and women looking to mimic and build upon his new sound.

How do I know? Well on of such inspired young rappers attends my school. Nathan Goldenberg, or Natey G is a hip-hop artist in my grade who says his biggest influence is Chance. Why? 

"Chances integration of a wide variety of musical elements makes chance different from other rappers. Not only is chance a dope rapper but he has a great voice which fits perfectly with his funky style. Chances partner ship with donny trumpet also pushes chance past most rappers today. Donny's brass is always a pleasant surprise on a chance track. Finaly chance just has the dopest addlib in the game and thats a fact. Aigh!"

Natey G recently released his single April Showers, a really catchy song with the same kind of "old-time" influence as Chance. Instead of the soul music Chano employs Natey G opts for a remixed version of March Winds and April Showers, a song popularized during the 1920s. 

Just to keep with my interviewing roots I decided to interview Nathan to get a better perspective on his rapping and how Chance has factored into his experience.

How did you get into rapping?

I started rapping with a child hood friend of mine at age 11. Although I wasn't that committed I still loved putting down the shittiest bars you will ever hear. I really started to pick things up sophomore year when I was granted access to a professional studio. Being able to learn the ins and outs of recording with top of the line equipment drove me to put out more content and really get things rolling.

What do you find special about rap as a genre?

The special part about rap is the ability to develop your own unique style. When a friend runs a rap song I can easily identify the artist because each artist has there own flow, tone, and style. Developing this lyrical identity is the coolest thing about rap because you can take it any direction you want to go, the possibilities are endless.

What rappers do you look up to? Why?

Chance the Rapper is my favorite rapper out there right now. His style is so new and sets him aside from anyone in the game. I love his incorporation of vocals on his tracks and the live instruments he spits over. A lot of people get hung up on his voice, but I think it's fly as fuck. Chance is my main inspiration when it comes to rapping and I've learned a lot just from running his shit.

Let's say, you meet up with Natey G seven years from now. What's he going to be up to?

In 7 years Natey G is gonna be doing big things. I dont know if it will be music, but I know its gonna be big, I can feel it.

Are you attending college?

I plan on attending college because education is the key to success. If you have the funds to go... why not? Sure you can make a living without going to college but a college education will go a lot further opening up endless job opportunities. If all else fails, music, college, life... I'll be in California running my own farm. Peace.

Nathan is an example of a new generation of rappers learning and getting inspired by artists like Chance the Rapper. So is he creative? Is he inspirational? I would say yes.

(Before we continue please check out Nathan's Soundcloud and Youtube Channel.)

The second, and possibly more concrete reason why I believe Chance the Rapper is important is his disruptive tendencies in terms of how he treats music as a career.

First things first Chance makes no money off his music. All downloads are free and he never puts his own albums or mixtape on iTunes or Google Play, or Amazon. Although other artists do the same with mixtape and singles, Chance completely runs with the "free" concept. 

In the same way that apps are often offered for free with in app-purchases driving profits, Chance makes his money after his listeners are hooked.

How? Performances, tours, merchandising. It's certainly a risky concept, making music your career without selling music but Chance's wild success is creating a lot of conversation regarding the necessity of paid music or record labels.

So that's why he is important. Chance is illustrating to Nathan Goldenberg and other young musicians like him that a record label or an iTunes account, it means nothing. Make good music and you can make it work.

According to CelebritiesMoney.com Chance is worth a million bucks as of 2015.

Everyone can learn from that. Perfect your craft and let the Xs and Os come later. 

Chance is a creative, original, disruptive artist succeeding by flipping the music industry on its head. That's pretty cool. 

Even though I have yet to get my chance to interview Chance, I encourage all of you to listen to his music and check out this interview here. Not only is Chance a fantastic musician but also an extremely thoughtful human, concerned with lives other than his own.

David Silverman