Call him Chance The Unconventional. His career took flight after an incident that many would consider detrimental to a student’s future—releasing his debut mixtape 10day while on a 10-day suspension from downtown Chicago’s Jones Prep High School. Ever since, Chancelor Bennett, better known by his stage moniker Chance the Rapper, takes pride in thinking outside of the rhombus. He listens to “weird shit” on the regular. He gets an LSD buzz before hitting the booth. And the 20-year-old South Sider wants his listeners to take part in his idiosyncratic ways of living and thinking, to question any and everything.
We sat down with the new face of Chicago hip-hop—who’s worked with the likes of Joey Bada$$, Ab-Soul and Twista—about acid trips, future major label plans and what to expect from his sophomore mixtape, Acid Rap (dropping tomorrow, April 30). —Shannon Powell
VIBE: First off, happy belated! You went skydiving for your 20th. How was that?
Chance The Rapper: Skydiving was crazy. It was dope. It’s the scariest shit I’ve ever done in my life.
Clearly you’re not afraid to take risks, and we’re excited to see what risks you took on the mixtape. You have some pictures on your Instagram with Skrillex and RZA, can we expect collabs with them on Acid Rap?
I can’t say if they’re going to be on the mixtape, but I can say that I met them in L.A. I met RZA at this studio and we did some really dope shit together. Me and Skrillex were kind of more organic and just chill. We worked on some shit also. He’s a homie of mine.
While we’re talking about collaborations, who are your favorite artists and artists you’d like to work with?
I’m a big R&B guy. I’m a huge R. Kelly fan. That nigga’s from Chicago and he went to high school with my momma, so I really fuck with that nigga. Who else? I’m a big Rick Ross fan, and I think everybody knows I’m a big Kanye fan. I listen to a lot of new artists out of the U.K. What’s that chick’s name? She’s a new artist…
Yeah, yeah! Good Job!
So would you say these artists were your influences growing up?
I listened to a lot more R&B growing up for a long time and then when I was about 10 or 11, I started listening to Kanye and to a lot more rap shit later like Twista, Ross, Jay Z, 2Pac and then eventually all rap music.
NEXT: Early days recording to Kanye beats >>>