It's not often that an artist can be successfully polygamous in a musical sense. However, flirting with and engaging in relationships with multiple genres is one of Chance the Rapper's specialties. From gospel to Top 40, hard rap to tearjerking R&B tributes to the late and great Muhammad Ali - Chance can do it all. He is arguably one the greatest musical movers and shakers of our time. By this time, most of the free world has probably heard of the southeast-side Chicago native, but not everyone has witnessed the musically polygamous side of Chance. If you don't know the full extent of Chance's brilliance, peep his stripped-back performance of "Summer Friends" on Good Morning America that aired Monday morning (8/15). He performs alongside Francis Starlite (of Francis and the Lights) and longtime friend and producer, Peter Cottontale, who is stellar on the keys.
"Summer Friends" comes off of Chance's latest project Coloring Book - a free mixtape that became the first "stream only" and free album to grace Billboard's Top 200 peaking at #8 and also peaked at #1 on iTunes. Oh, and Chance is completely label-free. Despite being courted by the world's most prestigious record companies, Chance continues his run for independence. And he's succeeding.
The tune "Summer Friends" itself is about the harrowing spike in violence within Chicago that happens in the heat of the summer months - an issue Chance is outspoken about. Along with music, Chance is extremely involved with projects for social good and hosts a monthly open mic event for high school students to engage with arts and the community. Perhaps his line from the tune "Blessings" sums up Chance perfectly - 'I don't make songs for free, I make 'em for freedom.'