What Chance The Rapper's Grammy Wins Can Teach Us
"...I honestly believe if you put forth effort into something and you execute properly, you don't necessarily have to go through the traditional ways." - Chance The Rapper
I may not be a Chicago native, but I'm definitely a Chicagoan -- and I think it's safe to speak on behalf of the city when I say, we were all SO very proud of this 23-year-old artist at the 59th annual Grammys ceremony this past Sunday.
Chance walked away with 3 of his 7 nominations: best rap performance, best rap album and best new artist. He made history when he became the first black man to win best new artist (Lauryn Hill was the first black woman who won in 1999) and it was the first time a stream-only album, meaning there were no physical copies of "Coloring Book" sold, won an award. The Grammys only relaxed this rule last year, but Chance had a hand in that decision being made; that goes to show how influential this young man is and his dedication to the art.
But you know what was a first for me? I have never, in all the years I've watched the Grammys, heard/watched anyone praise God as vehemently as Chance did on Sunday night. To be so young and unapologetic about his faith, I was stunned! Most 23-year-olds, even if they are believers, are not that comfortable with praising God that way! He said, "Glory be to God, I claim this victory in the name of the Lord!" As I watched, I clapped and shouted along with him, of course celebrating the win, but also celebrating the fact he's so openly loving and praising God. It was amazing to witness.
But what I also took from his wins and performance of "How Great" on the show, he has been relentless in his pursuits of rising to the top. He's achieved his success without being attached a major recording label, completely changing the game and the way we think about achievements within the music industry. Getting signed to a major is no longer an accomplishment. Record sales? That really isn't that important either, if you commit to other revenue streams. If Chance can make it to and win the Grammys, free of restrictions, what's your excuse for not working towards and achieving your goals? Let's take a look a few lessons the young boy has taught us:
Chance's non-traditional rise within the music industry is a testament that there's no need to "sell out" or even charge for your music, when there are endless opportunities to create wealth, without compromising the art. On the path to pursuing your dreams, there are going to be moments when you feel you're not making the right decisions. You may even feel like you're getting left behind when others are makin' moves. But you know what? God always knows when it's our turn; He's not going to let our blessings pass us by! Stay committed to the process and watch the blessings fall in your lap.
Don't Relinquish Control Of Your Destiny.
This is pretty simple, right? We're each uniquely designed by the Lordt himself. It's reported Chance was offered million dollar deals even after winning the Grammys, but he knows he'll be giving up a ton of creative license by attaching himself to a major label -- plus everything about him, from his image to his music, would be completely dictated by someone else (or several teams). Only you know what's best for you. Why would you leave that power in the hands of someone else?
It's Ok To Love the Lord and Be Unapologetic About It
When God has been good, sometimes you just can't contain your praise lol. I get it. I'm happy that Chance has presented himself as a human -- a young man who's made mistakes, not claiming perfection, but knowing that the Lord he serves is perfection. Whether he knows it or not, he's sending the message that it's cool to love God. It's cool to talk about God. It's ok to combine hip-hop and gospel (and not make it sound corny). God is love. Love is God.
So. Now that we know Chance is no different than any of us with dreams, what's your excuse?