Chance the Rapper’s meteoric rise has been on his terms. The Chicago rapper has made no qualms about his beliefs, whether it be as a Christian, or working independently without a label. In turn, it has made him one of the more sought after artists in the world, with three Grammy wins to his name and plenty of success.
To counter that, Jordan Peele has his own hold on 2017, shifting the narrative from his work as a comedian who starred in the noted sketch comedy show Key & Peele, to a director who created one of the year’s best films with the horror film Get Out. They have both created incredible work on unconventional terms, so their pairing for Teen Vogue‘s music issue is a natural one. Peele and Chance had a sit down, mostly to discuss the 24-year-old rapper’s success and beliefs.
“When I was working on Coloring Book, I knew that I wanted it to be a beacon for independent artists and music makers with their own agenda,” Chance told Peele. “I realized there was a lot of work that would go hand in hand with it. That’s what kind of led me to become more involved in the schools and in my church. It’s cool to say things, but if you can do it, [that] makes it real.”
The lengthy interview broaches subjects such as Chance’s thoughts on being labeled a “Christian” rapper, working with his idol in Kanye West, and dealing with the “age of instant information.” Chance counters the “Christian” tag with a simple punch, “I hate labels.”
He continued, ” I never sought out for people to recognize it as a gospel album. I don’t make Christian rap, but I am a Christian rapper. When I was going out and trying to fully give glory to God, in my setting, I feared that people would be dismissive of it, like, ‘This is Christian rap, I’m not trying to hear it.’ But it’s the total opposite: People were very accepting of it. I think that’s always the goal of art, is to make people ask themselves questions. Like Get Out!”
After Chance brought up Get Out, Peele asked for his feedback on the film. You’ll remember, Chance bought out an entire theater in Chicago so kids could go see the film for free; he’s definitely been vocal about his support for the movie. Chance explained how he felt like it told a story that hasn’t really been told:
“I think it’s very revolutionary in that it tells a story that’s never been told. It uses this discomfort and awkwardness to describe blackness in America and being black in these white spaces. The scariest parts aren’t necessarily all the jump scenes, right? My most uncomfortable moment was when Chris [the lead, played by Daniel Kaluuya] was dragged into this conversation between Rose [the love interest, played by Allison Williams] and the police officer, basically over his freedom. I felt that helplessness. I’ve been in those uncomfortable situations around the police. Or being around a family of white people and experiencing those certain cultural cues. I love that Rose tells Chris ahead of time, “You know, my dad’s gonna tell you that he voted for Obama.” That’s some sh*t we hear! Dudes aren’t really getting killed going to visit their white girlfriend’s family for the first time, but everything around it is a reality. This movie puts it on everyone’s plate and makes everybody deal with it — and, at the same time, find themselves in it. I loved it.”
This obviously meant a lot to Peele, who later suggested the two of them turn Get Out into a musical — now that would be something to see. Read the entire conversation here.