Chance The Rapper discusses not signing to a major label and "Coloring Book" in a new GQ profile.
GQ released a profile on Chance The Rapper today, which takes us back to the day before Chance hit the ESPYs stage out in L.A., where the rapper performed a record off his critically acclaimed Coloring Book mixtape in tribute to Muhammad Ali.
The profile finds Chance discussing his idea for the Muhammad Ali tribute, which included a black men's choir, whom Chance specifically instructed not to smile during the performance, saying they should not be "doing anything other than conveying that power."
Later, Chance speaks on his decision not to sign with a major, or anyone, for that matter. "Just in terms of, like, those guys being able to say that they got me. That's what they want to do," he tells GQ. "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."
In case there was any doubt that Chance wasn't getting shit done solo, he added, "I make my money off of touring and merchandise. And I'm lucky I have really loyal fans that understand how it works and support. I don't see myself ever being in a position where I need to sign to a label."
Finally, towards the end, Chance reveals he's got some pretty high-up-there fans. When asked if he knows if Coloring Book has made its way to the White House, the rapper says, "Oh yeah. They're bumping Coloring Book hard up there. If you go up there, you'll probably hear Coloring Book. This is not a joke at all."
When asked how he knows this, he cited the First Daughter, whom he knows personally. "Malia. Malia listens to Coloring Book. And I send them stuff sometimes. I haven't seen Malia since I was a kid. I think they were both in school the day that I went up there recently, but Barack was talking about it. Or, uh, President Obama was talking about it."
He elaborated on the President bumping his mixtape, saying, "There was a big meeting [in April] about My Brother's Keeper and criminal-justice reform, and a whole bunch of artists and celebrities were there. And at the end, everybody takes a group photo, and he's signing stuff. And he keeps pushing me to the back, and I'm like, ‘I don't understand why he won't sign my shit.’ And he makes me wait till the end, and then he brings me up to his office, and we had a really good conversation about what I was working on. He told me I needed to start selling my music. He's a good man. Even if he wasn't president, if his ass worked at, like, Red Lobster, he'd be just a good man working at Red Lobster."