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Interview: Chance the Rapper Talks GRAMMY Wins, Fatherhood and More

Complex Chance

Chance the Rapper sat down with Complex to talk about his recently success including winning 3 Grammy Awards. In this revealing interview, the Chicago MC describes becoming a father and the birth of his first child. He also reflects on his trailblazing path through the music industry and his ambitious plans for his next album. Take a look and watch the 30-minute sit-down below.

Complex: So, tell me. You have the baby and begin working on Coloring Book shortly thereafter. As a writer and a creative person, for me, it’s been incredibly difficult to find that space to think to work on stuff, to sequester yourself. How did you approach that when you were working on the record with the baby?

Chance: It was kind of impossible. I didn’t have any space or anything like that. I talk about it a lot, how we camped out at the studio with, like, 17 air mattresses in this huge building. My daughter and the mother of my child were also staying at the studio with me in a room on a terribly uncomfortable inflatable mattress. Trying to build a home inside of a studio—it’s impossible.

But getting to take my daughter places when I’m not on the clock—that’s like, a fucking surreal experience. Going around your family or around her mother’s family and having them interact and having kids around, and really just delving into family life, is so fucking dope and so separate from any joy that you can experience being creative.

Lauryn Hill talks about it a lot. I met her recently, and I have a sideways picture of her hanging up in this house. When she wrote “To Zion,” it’s in a lot of ways a resignation letter from making music. But it’s her debut album, and so it’s hard to understand how [she] could do that. I understand the song so much more [now], because art just reflects life, or examines life. Anything you create, it’s secondary. It’s a reflection to what is actually going on. Existence is the most beautiful thing, and when you really get to experience life with your kid, you know—you know!

Complex: Is it harder to make connections with new people after reaching this new level of success?

Chance: To a certain extent, yeah. Going to parties is different. I used to be the most outgoing person at a party. I used to get hella phone numbers, and I also just made mad friends. That’s why I’ve been able to be successful in the industry, ’cause a lot of people that I would work with ended up still being my friend afterwards. Because I like to make friends. But now, I go out and I’m not really trying to talk to nobody. I’m kinda sitting in the corner or hanging with the group of people that I had just left another place with. They’re like, why did I even come to the second party? I think it’s good that way though.

Complex: Your celebrity has grown dramatically in the last 12 months. I’m sure your finances have also grown in tandem. Has that put stress on many of your relationships?

Chance: No. A lot of the people I’ve been working with have been my friends for years now. I do get stressed when we’re trying go to Navy Pier or we’re trying go to the movies or we’re trying go somewhere, and I’m slowing up the group by stopping and taking pictures with people, or [when I’m] not able to come hang out at all ’cause I have to do something. But my real good friends kind of got filtered out in that in-between period between Acid Rap and Coloring Book. All my in-between friends got lost somewhere in between. So, now I’m in a good place—I hang out with who I want to see. I don’t really have a lot of people that are like, “Oh, you changed!” ‘Cause I’m still here.