From Mixtapes to Grammys



BY: ELIAH DAVILA | @essenceofeliah

It is easy to say that Chance The Rapper’s earned Grammy caught some fans by surprise but others not so much.  Not only did Chance win his first Grammy but he also went home with three Grammys in one night. Chance was nominated for seven different awards and went home with Best New Artist, Best Rap Performance, and Best Rap Album. Some may be new to Chance The Rapper’s music but if you have followed the young artist from the beginning you also know all of his successes would not be the same without social media. All of this began in 2012 with the high school rapper’s first digital release of 10 Day on the website DatPiff. The artist gained exposure for his music by sharing his mixtapes on social sites which stretched his fan base beyond his hometown’s city limits of Chicago. With the release of his first mixtape he then also released Acid Rap digitally. Even though Acid Rap was a digital release with the help of social media fans created a rage about the project which helped the artist earn a spot on the Billboard Top 100 and nominations for other music awards. This all leads to the release to the Grammy winning mixtape Coloring Book. Chance being an independent artist is not signed to a label which allows him as an artist to release his music how and when he wants. The rapper remains focused on releasing his music digitally and for free for everyone to access. This strategic process and faithful relationship with digital releases for people to share is what led to Chance’s awards. This was the first year that the Grammy’s allowed streaming-only albums to be up for nomination. Chance took advantage of this opportunity because before he was unable to be nominated for a Grammy because of the prior regulations on digital released music. Not only is this an amazing opportunity for the rapper but for all upcoming artists from here on out. He has set an example on how to make music solely for expression and allowing his audience to share the work because his music speaks for itself. The new digital age of music is changing the way on how music is discovered. Users on all social media sites can easily force an artist main stream by sharing its content. Chance the Rapper in many interviews mentions freedom as an artist. Freedom of sharing has caused this free artist to break ground on a new culture of sharing music and still receiving credit alike artists signed to record labels. So, keep sharing all the cool music you discover you also could help create a Grammy recipient.


Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images




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UNT Eagle Strategies

Class members of the social media class in the Mayborn School of Journalism