I really enjoyed watching the Grammys yesterday and it wasn’t because my fav Beyoncé shut it down but because of Chance The Rapper. Now I won’t sit here and pretend to be well versed in all things Chance but I will say I have paid attention to his career and admired everything about his delivery. Last night was particularly amazing to watch because not only did he take home a few awards, the rules were changed so he could be included in this year’s awards. With all my admiration for him, there are a few things about him and his work ethic I believe we can learn from:
- Ambition/Drive: Chance The Rapper is Ambitious. Unapologetically. He knew what path he wanted to take and he focused on it and created opportunities for himself to execute. He didn’t wait for opportunities to come his way he simply created it and committed to it and he is getting results. In an interview for Chicago Mag with Tomi Obaro, Chance’s father Ken Bennett said, “One thing about Chance is that he’s extremely strong willed,” …. “If there’s something that he believes he should be doing; he sticks to his guns.”
- Spirituality: God first and everything else will fall into place. Often times, people confuse Christianity with perfection truth is we are all flawed but the best part is understanding that with God, you will constantly improve. Chance puts his love for God on full display. No games no gimmicks. If you’ve ever listened to any part of him speak and any part of his music, you know he loves God and yesterday even as he gave his speech, he acknowledged the one who made it all possible. He has confidence in his path because he trusts God. In an interview for Rapzilla he says, “I never really set out to make anything that could pretend to be new gospel or pretend to be the gospel,” ….“It’s just music from me as a Christian man because I think before I was making music as a Christian child. And in both cases I have imperfections, but there was a declaration that can be made through going all the [stuff] I’ve been through the last few years.”
- Innovative: In the music industry, people are constantly being signed to deals that basically force them to change their message. In a recent interview with GQ he said “Just in terms of, like, those guys being able to say that they got me. That’s what they want to do. It’s like a fucking dick-swinging contest, where they all just brag about who they recently got. And so I’m definitely not trying to be a part of their dick-swinging contest. I’m staying far away from all dick-swinging.” Most artists have to please the powers that be and in many cases lose their voice and who they are but Chance did not fall for that. He surrounded himself with a great team, created a brand and put his work out there independently. No labels no contracts just hard work and a great team. He did what many wouldn’t do. He bet on himself and created a path when he realized that the other options were not working. The lesson here? There’s more than one way to skin a cat so when the option presented to you doesn’t make sense, create one for yourself and be committed.
- Vision: If you can’t imagine it, you probably cannot achieve it. Every successful person has a vision. Every success you achieve starts from the mind and having a vision will guide your actions. Chance the Rapper is not different. His vision is evident in his constant rejection of a music deal, his commitment to his work and his excitement when on stage doing what he always knew he would do. His vision has been recognized by artists across all genres and in December 2016, Pete Wentz of Fall out boy tweeted, “Hopefully kids see more chance the rappers and see if they have the vision they can do it themselves…”
- Humility: Humility isn’t natural, we learn it as we go and life teaches us a few lessons. It makes you wonder exactly what Chance the Rapper has been through in life that keeps him so grounded and humble. His display of faith, his passion for the issues in Chicago and black men across America, his open mindedness towards sharing the spotlight with people. It’s clear we can learn a thing or two from this young man on humility. In an article by Matt Miller released October 21, 2016, Miller states, “One of Chance the Rapper’s most defining attributes is his total humility. Despite his immense talent and success, he has a distinct lack of ego, showcased most often by his willingness to highlight his supporting musicians.” Humility brings opportunity and with Chance the Rapper, it is clear why things are falling into place for him.
We all have things we want to accomplish in life but what drives you? What’s your purpose? At 23 years old, Lil Chano from 79th is teaching the world what it means to have purpose, drive, vision sprinkled with RAW AMBITION. There’s absolutely nothing you can’t achieve in life. NOTHING! My question for you today is what are you going to do differently? What are you going to change? Are you going to keep waiting on opportunities or are you going to create it? Are you going to let your life pass you by while you watch 23 year olds take over the world? What do you want out of life and finally, HOW BAD DO YOU WANT IT?