Tech

Chance The Rapper Reveals Details Of His Apple Music Deal To Defend His Indie Cred

Chance said on Twitter, "I wanna clear things up. @apple gave me half a mil and a commercial to post Coloring Book exclusively on applemusic for 2 weeks."

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Chance the Rapper, the artist who recently won a historic Grammy for his online mixtape "Coloring Book," took to Twitter today to respond to growing skepticism over his status as an independent artist.

Chance has publicly championed his freedom from record labels throughout his career, and he hasn't signed to a label to date. But there's been a rising tide of questions and criticisms (The Village Voice, the Ringer, Fact Magazine) about his growing stardom and his choice to temporarily make "Coloring Book" an Apple Music exclusive for two weeks, despite claiming that it was free.

I never felt the need to correct folks on my relationship with @apple but now that more people have tried to discredit my independence..

I wanna clear things up. @apple gave me half a mil and a commercial to post Coloring Book exclusively on applemusic… https://t.co/JKAvPUMasA

That was the extent of my deal, after 2 weeks it was on SoundCloud for free. I needed the money and they're all goo… https://t.co/EVuZ5m0KOd

If you come across oprtunities to work with good people, pick up cash and keep your integrity I say Do It https://t.co/yF0gBPkLhY

Reality TV personality and rapper Joe Budden debated Chance's independence just yesterday on his podcast, "I'll Name This Podcast Later." Chance previously made all his music available for free online, so his decision to sell exclusive streaming rights over his music to a major corporation (even if for a limited time) jarred some of his fans.

You can listen to the conversation about Chance in this clip posted to YouTube:

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

Some people on Twitter were also unconvinced about exactly how ~independent~ Chance might be:

Apple paid Chance half a mil to make Coloring Book an Apple exclusive for 2 weeks and he still considers it a free… https://t.co/5N6HCLPWLM

The biggest corporation in the world paying for exclusivity = indie?? https://t.co/XoJLUlRxXx

You can't have my independent edge and still be commercial (cough cough frank ocean cough cough chance the rapper cough)

Apple Music struck a similar deal with Frank Ocean for his album Blonde, which also debuted in 2016 exclusively on Apple Music.

But others pointed out that Apple Music isn't a label and therefore doesn't own the rights to the rapper's music.

According to sources within the company, Apple only worked with Chance as a distribution and marketing partner, so it doesn't own the rights to any of his music.

Apple is acting as the distributor and doesn't own rights to the music, Chance does....so yea that's independent. https://t.co/fiO858eAZb

In an interview with Complex Magazine released March 13, Chance talked about the creative importance of being independent from major labels.

"I don't mean do it by yourself, like literally, like, 'I'm doing everything,'" he said. "You can bring on your friends and professionals that you know and build a business where you're the upper management. Where you're the creative, and you are the last decision maker, and you don't ever have to feel compromised...But [when] you sign to label, you get a boss, and that shit's just fucked up to me. Why should you have a boss?"

Chance the Rapper's publicist did not immediately respond to request for comment.

Blake Montgomery is a reporter with BuzzFeed News and is based in San Francisco.

Contact Blake Montgomery at blake.montgomery@buzzfeed.com.

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