Chance the Rapper stopped by the University of Chicago Institute of Politics recently for an hour-long discussion with Bakari Kitwana. The Chicago MC discussed his upbringing in the Church, political activism. and almost signing a major label deal with Sony after the release of his 10 Day mixtape in 2012.
“I remember I had a label meeting with this woman who I really respect and don’t want to paint her as a bad person at all. A woman named Sylvia Rhone, who’s at Sony Music,” he told Kitwana and the audience who had gathered. “That was the one deal I was going to take. I don’t really talk about it enough, but there is this deal that I was going to take in 2012 after my first mixtape, 10 Day. I was getting courted by labels and I remember I went to this meeting. I got flown out to New York."
Chance likened the scene in the label's office to a scene from the movie Cheetah Girls and said of the meeting, "In real life, niggas really do go to label meetings and start rapping in a room full of people in suits to prove that they need that deal. And it’s an ugly thing to think about."
Ken Bennet, Chance's dad, convinced him not to rush into the deal: "They were talking about printing up contracts, then and my dad called me and was like, 'Son, I know you’re in New York and you’re doing something really important, but remember: don’t sign anything,' Chance remembers. "And I was like, 'Damn, is he in this bitch?' And moral of the story, I didn’t sign that shit."
Watch Chance the Rapper's hour-long interview at the University of Chicago above.